Reduce Your Loneliness

Theresa May, the British Prime Minister, is having her government address what is called a “modern health scourge.” She states that her country is not the only one whose health and welfare are being affected by loneliness.

Yes, loneliness doesn’t only affect your mental health but may affect your physical health and longevity as well.

But, you can’t wait for someone else to help you out of it; isn’t it time to choose to improve this for yourself?

Here are some suggestions and you’ll probably come up with others:

1. Screw up your courage and suggest a cup of coffee or lunch with someone you kind-of-sort-of feel might be interesting or enjoyable — maybe a neighbor or co- worker. That is, don’t wait for it to be someone you think is FANTASTIC!!! It’s a way to start practicing what might lead you to other choices that have promise. And, if the person turns you down you really can survive! Facing rejection is a part of life for EVERYONE.

2. Volunteer for something — anything. Choose something that seems like it might hold some interest for you — animals, the elderly, children, ill people, the homeless, a chorus, a political group, ushering for theater, or something I haven’t thought of. Again, it’s a start. Maybe there will be people there who you find yourself getting connected with. Maybe that won’t happen the first time but maybe after several tries with the same or different places there’ll be one or two people with whom you “click.”

3. Attend a class. There are many that are low-cost and cover a variety of topics — computers, history, yoga, self-help, film, improv, etc., etc., etc.

4. Accept an invitation from someone you don’t feel connected to. You may be surprised and find that person has a little something to offer. Or, there may be other people there that you find enjoyable.

5. Contact someone you haven’t seen for a long time and suggest getting together. It can be fun to catch up.

Take a risk! What’s the worst that can happen? —You’ll be bored? (Then leave early.), you won’t like the person or the class? (Then make it a short experience.), you won’t be able to find something to say? (Have some topics ready in advance but avoid highly controversial ones. What vacation spots have you liked? What are some of your favorite books? What made you choose the job you have?) Make sure you ask questions about the other person.

Being with people can be more enjoyable than you think. Go for it!

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