Sadness and loneliness are very common human emotions that everyone experiences at some point in their lives. The reason behind such feelings may be different for each person but may include things such as lack of social contact, a negative event having taken place, relationship difficulties, or having had an argument with family members or friends. Some people may experience sadness and loneliness more intensely than others and this could make their life feel very heavy and challenging at times. Some may also experience such feelings over a prolonged period of time and it may seem like the sadness and loneliness are not going away on their own. If this is the case for you or someone that you may know, it may be helpful to consult a professional such as a doctor or mental health professional to support you with processing these emotions in a safe space. Although there is nothing wrong with experiencing sadness and loneliness, they can be unpleasant emotions to deal with. Here are some tips that can be helpful for you to combat these feelings and better your wellbeing:
1. Connect with others
It is possible that you may be feeling sad and lonely due to a lack of human contact with other people. This has especially been the case for people living alone during the pandemic, which has forced us to isolate ourselves from the rest of the world. Reach out to a family member or friend, or go out and enjoy yourself with someone, if you can. If you find it difficult to initiate social interaction, there are support lines available with professionals who are always ready to listen.
2.Stay with your feelings
As stated above, it may not be pleasant to experience feelings such as sadness or loneliness. Many of us will try to push aside these emotions because we do not want to feel that way. Instead, I invite you to stay with your feelings and not resist them. Think of it as a way of making friends with how you feel. This can help you become more compassionate towards yourself and it will also help ease the pain.
3. Adopt a pet
Research suggests that having pets can have a lot of benefits, including boosting one’s mood and preventing loneliness. There are many sanctuaries filled with animals waiting to be adopted by someone who will give them a loving home. However, it is important to note that adopting a pet is a big responsibility and you need to make sure that this is something you can handle. A pet is for life and not something that can be discarded once you no longer have use for it.
4. Practice some self-care
Self-care is a good way to uplift your mood and help you feel better. Self-care may include things such as cooking your favourite meal, exercising, listening to some music, taking a hot bath or watching a feel-good movie, amongst other activities. Experiment with what feels good for you and see what activities can help to make you feel better. You can even end up finding a new hobby!
If you think that you can benefit from professional support on this issue you can reach out here.
Pamela Borg is a counsellor who enjoys working therapeutically with adults experiencing various issues. These include general mental health and wellbeing, gender, sexuality, relationship issues.
Bernhard, T. (2016). 10 Things to Try When You’re Feeling Lonely. Retrieved from: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/turning-straw-gold/201612/10-things-try-when-you-re-feeling-lonely
Betterhelp (2020). Why Do I Always Feel Sad and Lonely? Retrieved from: https://www.betterhelp.com/advice/loneliness/why-do-i-always-feel-sad-and-lonely
Scott, E. (2021). 9 Ways to Cope with Loneliness. Retrieved from: https://www.verywellmind.com/how-to-cope-with-loneliness-3144939