Jump to content

Coping with loneliness


kim42

Recommended Posts

Hi everyone, I haven’t posted in a while but I have been feeling a little down this week. I hope everyone is safe and healthy.

So lately I have been feeling very isolated which I know it’s not uncommon these days. I have been working from home for almost a year now. I’m grateful for my job, it keeps me busy and I don’t take it for granted. However, I feel like it’s been going on forever and there’s little chance we’ll be going back to the office anytime soon. I’m so tired of this home office thing, I miss my real office, the everyday commute, I just miss my routine I used to have. I live alone and miss my social life. I go for a walk with my friends (only one friend at a time), and I also go for a walk on my own, but I have started to miss the activities we could do before the lockdown.

There’s this guy I’ve been seeing for a while now, we’re not very serious though. I thought it would help me to have some sort of distraction but lately I’ve been feeling empty after I see him.

I don’t want to complain too much to my friends, I know we are all on the same boat, and I know there are people who are in a more difficult situation than me, I just feel like my life has been very dull lately (can’t think of a better word).

I do realize I’m not the only one who feels like this, I just don’t have anyone to tell this without the fear of being judged – that’s what my family usually does. I’m thinking about talking to a therapist but maybe you guys can help me too.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Awww, I understand. I think therapy is a great idea. If not now, then when is a better time to address loneliness and isolation?

Consider that when people judge complaining, they are defending against getting sucked down into a place where they don't want to go. They're fighting their own struggles, and they don't welcome sabotage. (I gather that you can respect that.)

So glad you're walking, and you're being safe about it.

It might be helpful when talking with others to voice your complaints in a tricky but beneficial way--frame them as things you envision doing again someday. That's a sideways but uplifting way of stating what you miss by raising them as plans for the future as opposed to feeling ripped off by not being able to do them now.

It's a subtle technique to 'reframe' stuff into a goal rather than a complaint. It's a good life skill to adopt, because it forms synapses in your brain that signal rewards to strive for rather than defeat.

When defeatist brain patterns become chronic, this can engrain an overall depression on whole nervous system, which can translate into a depression of your body's functions.

So the goal is to adopt techniques for countering a downward spiral with an upward one. 

A coach on my job taught us that it takes 21 days for the brain to repattern to form a new habit. He said to write a list of habits to change, but to only work on one at a time. The first one I picked was to switch the voice I run in my own head away from my default of negating and whining and more toward the voice of a positive, inspiring coach.

This was not easy, but I'm glad that this is the first habit I tackled. It has formed my foundation for all else. This doesn't mean that I never complain, it just honors my larger goal: resilience.

I don't WANT to drill myself into a deeper hole to climb out of. While complaints might feel 'good' to get out, I don't want to train myself to feel 'good' about feeling lousy. I'd rather use my intelligence to work in my own favor.

Head high, and I hope this helps as a starting point. We can get through this.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, kim42 said:

I have been feeling very isolated which I know it’s not uncommon these days. I just don’t have anyone to tell this without the fear of being judged – that’s what my family usually does. I’m thinking about talking to a therapist but maybe you guys can help me too.

Sorry this is happening. Nice sloth btw 😉. It's ok to feel crummy right now. However some short term therapy may give you some coping tips, try it. We could all use whatever help we can get these days.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm also sorry you're feeling this way.  I am desperate for more peace/quiet/personal space - it's so challenging in such different ways.  I can relate to your not wanting to complain.  I have many friends about to be subjected to a blizzard and we have crappy weather where I am - dreary, crappy weather - but no way would I complain to Blizzard Friends.  So, I didn't.  Would you be interested in doing virtual volunteer work?  I did that to a minor extent last Spring.  We're also teleworking but I was already teleworking 75% of the time.  My husband says he doesn't miss being in the office but misses business travel.  I miss having lunch with my coworker -it was only about once a month but it was fun and good to get out of the office!

I hope you find a therapist you like and who is a good fit.  Wishing you all the very best.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm sorry you're down in the dumps.  Would you consider adopting or fostering a pet?  Would you want a cat?  A cat is lower maintenance than dog ownership. 

There is a work around to socializing safely.  When I was in public, I observed a group sitting in a large circle more than 6 feet apart, eating take out meals and they looked like they were having a good time.  They were in a parking lot!  I've seen groups gather at local parks with this same concept. 

Can you exercise to help you mentally and physically?  Do you enjoy healthy distractions such as reading or watching movies at home? 

I hear you, this pandemic is isolating to be sure.  Think of this phase as only temporary.  It won't last forever unless new virus plagues crop up in the future!  You never know.  Hopefully, there will be herd immunity if most people are compliant with vaccinations.  However, we'll see.  Millions if not billions of people will decline immunizations.  There will be mask wearing and social distancing for a long time. 

I'm the complete opposite of you.  My husband and I do NOT miss our grinding, daily, long commutes.  We absolutely savor working from home without the alarm blaring at the ungodly hour of 4AM Monday through Friday.  In the past, we spent a lot of money on gas every month, came home with exhausted frayed, nerves, never had any time, inclination nor motivation to dabble in hobbies or loll at a leisurely pace.  We felt rushed at such a frenetic pace.  We feel as if we're on a long vacation nowadays!  Life in the slow lane feels pretty darn good! 

I miss my social life to an extent though.  I miss meeting my local best friend (from childhood) for all day shopping outings and dine out meals.  However, I lucked out with convenient excuses NOT cooking for huge holiday parties at my sister and mother-in-law's (MIL) house nor am I obligated to partake in random restaurant rendezvous gatherings with local relatives and in-laws.  I feel giddy to be spared from much dreaded forced gatherings.  Halleluja!  I'm kicking my heels!  I absolutely LOVE not having familial commitments.  I couldn't be happier.  A break from them is blissful.  While most people are depressed about this pandemic, I'm taking advantage of it.  Granted, I feel bad about COVID-19 but I might as well make the best of this situation.  That's how I look at it. 

Whenever I feel said, what helps me is to be grateful for anything positive.  I'm grateful for employment, working from home,  extra TIME, rest and being able to do what i want when I want.  I love marching to the beat of my own drum.  My husband and I don't have strict schedules anymore.   Also, my husband and I are able to save a lot of money every month.  We don't spend money on gas, we don't dine out nor do take out, we cook a lot at home, we don't spend money on entertainment expenses, don't travel and it's a tremendous savings every month.  No complaints about that! 

I agree with you, perhaps a professional therapist or psychologist can help you.  I wish you well. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 hours ago, kim42 said:

Hi everyone, I haven’t posted in a while but I have been feeling a little down this week. I hope everyone is safe and healthy.

So lately I have been feeling very isolated which I know it’s not uncommon these days. I have been working from home for almost a year now. I’m grateful for my job, it keeps me busy and I don’t take it for granted. However, I feel like it’s been going on forever and there’s little chance we’ll be going back to the office anytime soon. I’m so tired of this home office thing, I miss my real office, the everyday commute, I just miss my routine I used to have. I live alone and miss my social life. I go for a walk with my friends (only one friend at a time), and I also go for a walk on my own, but I have started to miss the activities we could do before the lockdown.

There’s this guy I’ve been seeing for a while now, we’re not very serious though. I thought it would help me to have some sort of distraction but lately I’ve been feeling empty after I see him.

I don’t want to complain too much to my friends, I know we are all on the same boat, and I know there are people who are in a more difficult situation than me, I just feel like my life has been very dull lately (can’t think of a better word).

I do realize I’m not the only one who feels like this, I just don’t have anyone to tell this without the fear of being judged – that’s what my family usually does. I’m thinking about talking to a therapist but maybe you guys can help me too.

Honestly I feel for you right now. With this lockdown I find myself forgetting who I am because we often define ourselves by what we do in our life.

I know this seems cliche but I started a whole bunch of new hobbies to keep me busy with and I think it personally made me more interesting. I started sending snail mail to old friends because I found it more personal, and tried finding more creative ways of connected with people. Right now, strengthen your friendships because you need a support network. 
 

With relationships, it’s easy for them to become stale because you don’t have the excitement that normal life usually brings to keep things adventurous and moving. I feel for anyone dating right now. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

I realized I forgot to say thank you for replying to this thread. I feel a little better now, when I wrote this I felt very lonely and isolated. So I managed to talked to an online therapist, it was just a chat, not a video call, it was in my first language, and I think it helped me, just knowing I could talk to someone without the fear of being judged.

Someone mentioned virtual volunteering - I found something I'd like but it seems to be pretty time-consuming so I'm not sure I could be involved in this while working full time. It's a great idea though.

Thank you for reminding I was able to save a lot of money too 🙂 

I'm trying to remind myself this won't last forever and to be grateful for the simple things. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...