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What can you do when you feel lonely?

What can you do when you feel lonely?

Many people sometimes feel lonely. It doesn't matter how young or old you are, everyone can be overcome by a lonely feeling.

Feeling lonely is a warning signal from your body. It's a trigger to take action, so you don't get stuck in social isolation for too long. What can you do?

1. Ask yourself why you feel lonely

Do you miss friendly contacts, do you need a love relationship or do you have a lot of social contacts, but do you feel misunderstood? If you know why and at what moments you feel lonely, you can make an action plan for yourself to tackle your loneliness.

2. Realize that feelings come and go

Everyone feels lonely sometimes, that's part of life. It can go hand in hand with a certain stage of life, for example if you have just moved to a new city. Sometimes the feeling wears off on its own, as you get to know your way more and more in your new city. But the feeling doesn't always go away on its own. In many cases you will have to take action yourself and take matters into your own hands to feel better.

3. Loneliness "belongs" to major changes

During or after a pregnancy, after moving house, after a breakup or when you start a new job. When there are major changes in your life, it is normal to feel lonely. You change, while the people around you don't change and because of that you can feel alone for a while.

4. Make new friends

Do you know deep down you can use new friends? Put your shame aside and dare to take the first step in making contact. That's pretty scary, but these tips will help you on your way. Sign up for a course, workshop or sports lesson. In that case, you already have a common interest. When you get to know someone, it takes time to build a friendship. Research shows that it takes six to nine weeks before we consider someone a friend. Give it that time too.

5. Become a volunteer

It feels good to volunteer for something and you come into contact with others, so that your loneliness can (temporarily) disappear into the background. For example, sign up as a volunteer at the retirement home, many elderly people will be grateful for your visit. You can also sign up as a volunteer at the food bank or give language lessons. Choose something that suits you.

6. Practice with small talk

Have a chat with the cashier, a fellow passenger on the train or someone just like you who is waiting somewhere like you. There are three advantages of small talk:you feel a little less alone, you build up a circle of acquaintances and you practice with small talk, which may lead to a friendship one day.

7. Feel good in your own company

Do not try to flee from yourself by seeking companionship. Learn to appreciate your own company. Do what you feel like, go to the cinema alone or eat a pizza in bed.

8. Seek help

In some cases, the loneliness is so intense that help is needed. The first step is to admit if that's the case with you. Don't be afraid to bring up your loneliness with your doctor, who can help you further or refer you.

Jose Ros Photo