A Guide to Making Loneliness a Little Less Lonely
For most of my life I’ve loved being alone, but there’s a big difference between being alone and the feeling of loneliness.
Words by Selena Arroyo
For years, London has been considered one of the loneliest cities in the world.
I never understood why but now I know. London is great when you have friends, but when you’re alone a lot it can be quite depressing. I’ve always been quite a lone wolf, but never actually felt lonely. During my junior and senior year of uni, I experienced loneliness for the first time. Loneliness plus Anxiety plus Insomnia is NOT a good mix. I found myself overthinking at night and the only way I could fall asleep is if I cried so much my head hurt and I was too tired to think.
By the time I did my MBA the loneliness passed, and I was just numb; when my grandma died after two months of depression and the inability of getting out of bed, I suddenly felt lonely for 2 weeks straight. I didn’t want to turn off the lights because I didn’t want to be alone with my thoughts. It was seriously shitty to say the least. I just felt dead inside and I couldn’t help but wonder why I was still alive when life was this pointless. Thankfully, those feelings subsided, and I didn’t go through 2 years of loneliness like I have experienced before.
For most of my life I’ve loved being alone, but there’s a big difference between being alone and the feeling of loneliness. One is great, it is independence, it is being so secure within your own company. The other is depression, it is anxiety, it is dark thoughts. I feel like in California, when you see someone alone it’s quite common, but in London there’s always big groups of friends around you that you can’t help but feel shitty, even though you’re aware that the reason the groups are so big are because maybe they’re afraid of being lonely too.
With that being said, there’s still some things you can do to try to overcome loneliness. I’m not going to sit here and tell you to go make friends because if you’re like me, you’re alone a lot and know that sometimes putting yourself out there to make friends can be even worse for you.
Personally, the reason I don’t have a lot of friends is because I refuse to let just anyone come in to my life, not because I think I’m superior or amazing, but because for me, life is too short to be around fake, uncaring people who are just not good for you! Also, due to my social anxiety, I feel too much and being around big groups of people makes me feel lonely and sad. So, if you’re like me I have a some suggestions.
Please don’t isolate yourself
I feel like a bit of a hypocrite because this is one of the things I’m best at but if you do have close friends you can trust, please speak to them. Don’t stay locked up in your room all day because that can actually make you feel worse! Go to classes, coffee shops, the park, anywhere! You need at least a little human contact.
Don’t overcompensate with food
Guilty as charged! I’ve gained so much weight in the past by binging my emotions. This is a short-term solution and, to be honest, I always feel worse in the end and this can be followed by other mental health and weight issues.
Take yourself to different places
Find something you love and go! I love coffee, so whilst I write my dissertation I’m taking myself to different coffee shops, libraries etc. I also plan on visiting other areas of London like museums and galleries. The plan is also to travel more, but we’re taking baby steps here folks.
Pick up a Hobby
I feel so cheesy typing this but starting my blog really helped in giving me hope and purpose. It gives you something to do. Do whatever makes you happy whether it be art, volunteering, cheese tasting, or anything else!
Again, second time being cheesy, but running really helped me. It clears your mind and, in a weird way, it makes you feel so free. The benefits in this one is great because not only do you help your mental state, but your physique improves along the way.
These are the 5 main things that help me through tough times, and maybe they could help you too. I hope this helped someone even just a little.