Loneliness is a common problem which people face all over the globe, regardless of where you are from or what you believe in. Characterised as feeling isolated and with no one to turn to, loneliness is a very complex issue which can come and go seemingly without any distinct cause. This has become even more important in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has forced people to stay indoors and led to extensive loneliness as individuals aren’t getting the same level of social interaction which they were.
Ultimately, the best people to speak to regarding loneliness are therapists and medical professionals, who may be able to reflect on your personal history and help find the most accurate cause of your lonely feeling.
However, for people who want to try a few methods of dealing with this challenging emotion, we have identified some of the most common explanations for loneliness and put together a few very brief suggestions on how you can go about changing your mood and moving forward. With any luck, this resource will inspire you and bring a little positivity in these uncertain times.
Enforced Lockdown Like During the COVID-19 Pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound effect all across the globe. Countries have been forced to introduce extensive lockdown measures, asking residents to stay indoors as much as possible or, in some cases, completely banning people from leaving their homes. This is to prevent the virus from spreading but by reducing this risk, you can still create other issues.
Loneliness has become prevalent in the wake of COVID-19. Particularly for people living alone, it has become difficult to stay healthy and positive whilst in self-isolation simply because they have no-one to physically speak to. You might feel this way and if you do, it’s important to remember that you are not the only one. Hundreds of thousands of people are facing these same challenges.
Enforced lockdown might well happen again so learning the best methods for working through it whilst living alone is key. The most important strategy to employ is technology. Modern technology allows us to talk to people anywhere on the planet. Using video calls and phone calls to speak to others, even if they’re not close family and friends, generates that socialisation which can help negate loneliness and get you through tough times. Try organising calls with loved ones to help you stay sane.
Seasonal Affective Disorder
Another extremely common cause of loneliness and negative emotions is Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD. SAD occurs when your emotional state is affected by the weather. Typically, winter seasons are cold, dark and wet, which can make certain individuals feel low, lonely or negative. Similarly, bright summer weather can lead to greater positivity and happiness. This is surprisingly common and may be leading to your own challenges with loneliness.
There are a host of techniques to help deal with SAD, many of which work for some people and don’t work for others. It’s all about finding the right system which works for you. Some of the most common strategies include buying a SAD lamp, which emits light similar to that of the sun. This can be used in the mornings to generate that dose of sunshine your body is looking for, boosting mood and reducing the feeling of loneliness.
There are other strategies which also work, though – and, as always, socialising and speaking to others will always have a positive effect.
Finally, it’s important to highlight that sometimes loneliness is the cause of internal forces rather than external forces. Low self-esteem is an extremely complex issue but is intrinsically linked to loneliness. People with low self-esteem tend to feel that they are not worthy of the attention of others, or that others will not want to spend time with them. This can result in self-isolation and, in turn, loneliness.
It’s important that if you feel this way you understand you are never alone. There are friends and family of course, but there are also countless free support services and phone lines available to discuss your thoughts, as well as just to chat and get some socialisation into your day. Working through low self-esteem is a step-by-step process which varies for every individual. We recommend that you organise a chat with your doctor or therapist to help find the best solutions which work for you.
Hopefully, this has given you a brief insight and analysis into loneliness and what may be causing it for you. As with everything related to emotions, there are always exceptions and variations. Everyone is different. What’s important is that we acknowledge our differences and seek help when we need it to move forward. As long as you’re talking to others and actively working towards a goal, it counts as progress.