I closed my eyes. The sound of the wind rustling the tree leaves was beautiful, almost like music. Finally. It was peaceful, serene, and best of all, quiet.
I’d wanted this stress-free moment for a long time and, in a way, the quarantine had given it to me. Why, then, did I feel so unbearably sad? When I opened my eyes and looked around I saw that I was completely alone. I was alone…and lonely.
Right now, you may be feeling lonely because of the new circumstances the pandemic has brought and all of the life adjustments we’ve had to make to adapt to our new normal.
Feelings of loneliness are okay. And, feelings of loneliness don’t last forever as long as you do something about them. Here’s what to do and what you need to know about love and social distancing in 2020.
For starters, as a networking expert, I can tell you that the last thing you want to do is search for love from a place of neediness. Whether we’re talking about ditching feelings of loneliness by searching for intimate, romantic love or simply deepening our love for family and friends, you want to search for that love from a place of mental and emotional power. Becoming dependent on the attention, love, and approval of other people is only going to cause mood swings that put you on an emotional rollercoaster with the people you’re interested in or care about.
So, to remove that feeling of dependency on others practice self-love. Form and build habits that help you to feel better each day. Engage in self-love activities such as treating yourself the way you would want to be treated by others. That could mean respecting yourself more by drawing boundaries or loving yourself more by reminding yourself of the things you’re grateful for and taking more pride in yourself.
Then, once you’ve started building a deeper love for yourself, begin focusing more on your purpose. This will help make sure that when you begin searching for love, you’re searching for it because you want to and not because you need to. You have other things to focus on that you care about in your life.
Any feelings of loneliness that you’re experiencing can be channeled into your WHY. You should have people in your life that you can talk to whenever you feel lonely, that’s one of the joys of having friends, family, and loved ones you care about. However, they’re dealing with the new normal too and may not always be available to chat or spend time with you. In cases like those, don’t take it personally, but instead, focus your attention and energy on your purpose. What makes you feel inspired? Ask yourself, what would be your one superpower? What would constitute a perfect day for you? Would you ever want to be famous? What is your most treasured memory? When was the last time that you cried…when you were happy? Knowing the answers to questions like these will help you know more about what you want out of life and get you closer to your purpose—to your WHY.
Once you’ve done this, you can begin searching for love from a place of abundance. When things go wrong in terms of setting up plans or meeting with a loved one, it won’t stress you out or ruin the rest of your entire week. You have other things you can focus on—your purpose—and you can take that time you were going to put into other people into loving yourself instead.
I recommend you expand your social circle into three groups. Your Support, your Peers, and your Mentors. Your Support is the people you speak with on a daily basis, such as your friends and family. Your Peers are the people you work with. Your Mentors are the people qualified to give you expert advice on a particular subject or topic of discussion. By expanding your social circle this way, you can always have someone to reach out to whenever you’re feeling lonely so you can socialize a bit more with your newfound mindsets. This will also help with any feelings of loneliness you may be experiencing.
Make a promise to yourself. Promise yourself you’ll take action to love yourself more.
As my own loneliness began to set in more, I began to think about who I could talk to or socialize with to deal with these feelings of loneliness. When it finally dawned on me that I should also be loving myself more to feel less lonely, I started working on my habits. The first habit I took on was exercising.
Exercise releases positive chemicals in the brain such as endorphins, dopamine, and adrenaline. With that one habit I was able to feel happier, my self-esteem increased, and I had more energy as well as more control over my emotions. From there, I made a habit of keeping an eye on things to be grateful for throughout the day, sometimes journaling my thoughts out onto paper. All of these habits helped me find myself in a place where I could be alone without being lonely. And, I could reach out to people to socialize or deepen my relationships without feeling like I absolutely needed them in my life to be okay emotionally.
Take action to show yourself more love. Give yourself the chance you deserve to feel happier and throw those feelings of loneliness away.
Previously Published on Thrive Global