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It’s Friday, July 3rd and I’m sitting in my chair feeling the effects of loneliness and isolation. Tomorrow is a major holiday and I have no plans, friends, or parties to go to. My children, on the other hand, each has somewhere to be where they’ll be laughing, playing, and drinking with others.
Loneliness and isolation are no joke.
As I sit here I’m wondering how many of my readers are also alone. Due to the current crisis in America, I’m guessing that I am not alone in my thoughts and isolation. Before January 2020, I read an article about the dangers of middle-aged women are facing with loneliness and isolation.
“Research has linked social isolation and loneliness to higher risks for a variety of physical and mental conditions: high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, a weakened immune system, anxiety, depression, cognitive decline, Alzheimer’s disease, and even death.”https://www.nia.nih.gov/news/social-isolation-loneliness-older-people-pose-health-risks
According to the above article, many women are alone but not necessarily lonely or isolated. Loneliness and isolation do not have to take its toll on your mental or physical health.
Here are ten ways to combat those feelings of being alone and they do include the current “six-feet” suggestion.
- Plan a day trip for yourself. Who says that you can’t travel alone? I certainly don’t. I recommend that everyone goes on vacation by themselves at least once. It’s empowering. I’ve been on a weekend trip alone and it was quite liberating.
- Call a friend and have a chat about the good ole days. I have one particular friend that I met while stationed in Austin, Texas. She is also a single mother. It would be fun to reminisce about “back in the day”.
- Visit a family member or a friend that is also feeling the effects of loneliness and isolation. Chances are, if you are lonely, someone else in your life is too. Find out who they are and make them a cup of coffee, tea, or even a meal. Sit outside and enjoy some company.
- Take your camera and go for a walk in the park. In my county, there are plenty of parks next to the river, hiking trails, and even state parks with lots to see. Take your camera and see what you can discover in nature. I find that being out in nature is a great way to combat loneliness and isolation even if you are walking by yourself.
- Go to a restaurant that has outdoor seating and eat alone. This is quite fun. Before restaurants had restrictions, I enjoyed eating alone. It’s another way of taking care of yourself.
- Are there any movie theaters open near you? Get some popcorn and take in a flick.
- Volunteer. Check out some local charities to see if anyone is having an event that needs volunteers. Volunteering combats loneliness and isolation in more ways than one. Giving back always makes the heart feel good. Who knows, maybe you’ll meet your new best friend.
- Join an online dating site and make a date for coffee. Of course, follow all my safety protocols and advice. Make sure your potential suitor knows that you are merely looking for coffee and conversation. This could be a lot of fun and no pressure to build a romantic relationship.
- Bake a few dozen cookies and take them to your neighbors. Knock on the door, say hi, and offer the holiday treats. They will be thankful, and you may even get some nice conversation out of the kind gesture.
- Finally, the last thing I want you to do to combat loneliness and isolation is to attend a house of worship. Many churches are open once again. No matter where your faith is, there is a spiritual home for you. Go online, find one close by, and visit.
There you have it! 10 ways to combat loneliness and isolation that do work. Please drop me a line and let me know what you did and how it helped.
Now it’s time for me to get up and get going! I’m going to the park with my camera for a hike and perhaps to make a video or two.