1. Don’t blame yourself in any way, shape, or form.
It will only make you feel worse. Blaming yourself for how you feel is never skillful, productive, or kind. A host of causes and conditions have come together in your life to create this painful feeling. It’s not your fault.
2. Seek relief from a non-human “friend.”
There are lots of possibilities: a pet, some comfort food, a favorite book or a show on TV, or even just sitting outside for a while. We can find solace in many things that ease the pain of loneliness. Experiment and see what helps you.
3. Connect with a human friend if you can.
Think of someone who is always supportive or who simply makes you laugh, and give that person a call or send them an email. You may resist doing this at first because it can be hard to reach out to others when you’re feeling lonely. In my experience, however, it’s worth giving myself the little extra push that’s needed to contact someone I can count on.
4. Do something creative, no matter how simple.
It need not be earth-shatteringly creative. Try a coloring book or a puzzle (I like jigsaw puzzles), or make a collage or experiment with needlework of some kind. Think outside the box and come up with something that would be fun and soothing to do.
5. Help somebody in need.
It could be an elderly neighbor or someone on a social media site who could use a supportive comment. Helping others eases loneliness because it takes us out of being so self-focused.
6. Call to mind others who are feeling lonely and send them kind and compassionate thoughts.
Wishing well to others who are lonely creates a special connection between you and them. Even more, when you realize that you’re not alone in your loneliness, you’ll feel less lonely; at least, that’s how this little practice works for me.
7. Visualize some place you’d like to be—a fun gathering, the seashore, a sporting event —and see if, just for a moment, you can feel happy for those who are there.
Feeling happy for others even when they’re doing what you wish you could do can make you feel as if you’re there with them, and that eases the pain of loneliness. Even if feeling happy for others only lasts a short time, it’s soothing and healing…and, amazingly, can even make you feel happy. Treat loneliness as an old friend who’s dropped in for a visit.
This is a way of not resisting how you’re feeling. Resisting only makes you feel worse, take care of your loneliness as if it’s an old friend. When you let painful emotions into your heart with compassion, it disarms them and that takes away their sting. This eases your pain.
9. Remind yourself that life is not always fun and that tomorrow is a new day.
None of us get our way all the time and, let’s face it, life isn’t always fun. This is true for everyone. Bottom line: this is one of those unpleasant, moments in your life. If you can be patient with your loneliness, it’s likely that by tomorrow, it will have eased a bit. Then, the next day, it’s likely to have eased even more. All emotions are impermanent. They arise and pass, arise and pass.
You can let your favorite singer keep you company as you sing along Karaoke style. It’s almost impossible to feel lonely when you’re singing.