How to cope when you’re feeling lonely

The novel coronavirus pandemic demands social distancing, quarantine and isolation. Collectively, we understand the goodness of “flattening the curve.” A lack of sufficient connection is difficult  for many of us. Social connection is a primal human need- in the end, we’re pack mammals. .

First of all,  know that you’re not alone in this!

Most of us have felt some level of anxiety or depression since the beginning of the social isolation episode. It’s a normal human emotional response to feel that way right now. BEING ALONE DOESN’T MEAN BEING LONELY. You’re not with your closest ones physically, but they are there for you, just reach out!

Being alone doesn’t mean being lonely

Loneliness is much different from solitude and many people confuse the two with each other. If you like yourself, you have no problem with being alone. When you accept yourself completely, you’ll enjoy having quiet time away from all the external noise. You’ll feel happy when alone and also when surrounded by other people. Few get this. What can you do for yourself those days?

Connection is a superpower!

Especially that meaningful one. Think of who is really important for you those days. Is it family? Best friends? Call (or video call!), text and let them know how you’re feeling about them and what you’re going through.

Look within

When you find yourself spiraling into the feeling of loneliness, imagine that you’re talking to a four-year-old version of yourself. How would you talk to that four-year-old if they told you, “I’m scared that I’m not going to get to see my friends”? How would you respond? Ideally, you’d meet this little kid with compassion. Sometimes feelings are like that; we just need to acknowledge them with compassion and let ourselves feel them.

Find time for self-care

It can help to write out a schedule in the morning because it encourages you to notice the things that you look forward to that bring you joy—including making time to relax. Take a bath with a candle, practice yoga, cook something healthy and delicious. Practice meditation and grounding breath. You really deserve all those treats now.

Oh, finally:

Remember, you are your own’s best friend.

Others will never make you happy and whole. Therefore, it’s up to you to cultivate the strength and depth of connection you have with yourself. It’s worth it!