If you feel lonely…
- Talk about it. It can feel vulnerable to tell people when we’re lonely, but naming it out loud is often the best way to start feeling better. If you don’t have anyone to talk to in person, call a support hotline or find community online, via social media or in a chat room. The internet can be a great resource for building community.
- Remember that feelings don’t last forever. This will pass.
- Find activities you like doing by yourself. As Annie McCarthy says, “make friends with your loneliness.” See if you can turn your loneliness into solitude.
- Get mental health support. Talk with a therapist, or join a support group.
- Get enough sleep.
- Find a place to volunteer. Helping others can help us feel connected.
- Get a dog (or any animal)! Caring for any pet can dramatically reduce loneliness.
Things to keep in mind…
- You aren’t alone in feeling lonely. Lots of us feel lonely—studies show that a quarter of the population experiences loneliness, at least.
- It’s possible to feel lonely around other people.
- Loneliness isn’t a statement about us. Feeling lonely can make us feel unlovable or unwanted, but that’s the loneliness talking, not reality.
Get creative with it!
- Our episode features stories of creative approaches to combatting loneliness—we’d love to hear yours! Leave us a voicemail at (617) 600-8419.
If you are having thoughts about suicide or harming yourself, you deserve immediate help. The following resources are available 24/7:
- National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255) (English, Spanish)
- The Trevor Project: 1-866-488-7386 or text “START” to 678678
- Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services: 1-800-662-HELP (4357)
Print/Download: Tips & Strategies for Loneliness (PDF)