52 Things to Do When You’re Feeling Lonely


27 – Go to a show or a concert. What do people not do much of at a performance? Talk. So it doesn’t matter much if you’re alone or with somebody who makes you feel alone. In fact, no matter what, you’re not isolated. You’re with 1,000 (give or take) other audience members, all enjoying the same thing.

28 – Join a support group for something you’re working through. If you’re struggling with something in your life – divorce, addiction, the stress of being a caregiver, depression – consider becoming part of a virtual or in-person support group. Not only will this provide you with consistent and caring connection, it will also be a reminder that you’re not alone in your thoughts and experiences. Sometimes we just need to know that we’re not the only ones.

29 – Plan ahead for the rough days or times. Maybe you’re at your loneliest when the kids are with their other parent. Or maybe the holiday season has you feeling like you’re marooned on some godforsaken island, floating in the middle of tinsel and Christmas cheer. Identify the particular times or situations that are associated with an uptick in your loneliness quotient and plan for them. Those weekends when the kids are gone can become your time to pursue your interests. That holiday season may be an opportunity to get out of town. A little foresight and planning goes a long way to heading off the loneliness before it swallows you.

30 – Celebrate the benefits of being alone. Blasting music while you get ready in the morning? Check. Cooking dinner in the buff? No problem? Or deciding again on cereal for dinner? Okey dokey. Take a few moments and jot down all of the benefits you gain by being alone. And then take a moment each day to say, “thank you” for those opportunities.

31 – Read or watch a memoir or a biography. Take a break from being inside your own head and take a peek into someone else’s. It’s easy to believe that we are the only ones that experience certain fears and doubts. When you read these personal accounts, you will realize that others also face those same concerns. You may also find yourself inspired as you read about how they were able to overcome their perceived limitations.

32 – Boost your confidence. When you’re feeling less-than, it’s easy to withdraw and isolate from other people. This becomes a vicious cycle, because isolation leaves you feeling even more down on yourself. Instead of directly addressing your loneliness problem, try attending to your confidence problem. Here are some ideas to get you started.

33 – Make the time you have home alone purposeful. Idle hands may not really be the devil’s work, but too much unstructured time at home when you’re lonely can sure make you feel like hell. Consider giving yourself some loose structure around your time at home. Limit your television time and maximize the time engaged in activities that fuel and restore you. If you find yourself struggling to figure out what to do in the moment, jot down a list of possibilities when you’re feeling okay that you can turn to in times of need.

34 – Start (or reignite) a hobby. When you’re engaged in something that you’re passionate about, you don’t have the mental space to feel lonely. This is a great opportunity to try that thing you’ve always thought about or to pick up your high school hobby again and give it another try. Not only do hobbies keep you occupied and fulfilled, they also provide an opportunity for you to engage with others who share your interests.

35 – Nurture a new connection at work. It’s amazing how easy it is to feel alone even while in the midst of others. This phenomena can easily happen in many work environments, where people are more focused on tasks or technology than on each other. Make an intentional effort to reach out to someone at work. And then, if it goes well, reach out again. Friendships, like flowers, require attention to thrive.

36 – Practice mindfulness meditation. Meditation teaches you how to be okay on the emotional cloudy days. How to accept the momentary discomfort and trust that sun is still shining. There are countless apps or free downloads to get you started. Just a few minutes a day can change your entire outlook.

37 – Sleep. When you’re exhausted, everything seems worse than it is. If you’ve been routinely burning the candle at both ends, prioritize rest before you assign yourself the label of “lonely.” After a few nights of good sleep, you may find that your pessimism has lessened and your feeling of isolation has lifted. And if not, at least you’ll be in a better place to do something about it.

38 – Watch a (carefully selected) movie at the theater. Watching a movie at home is a solo experience. Watching it in the theater turns it into a shared adventure. With many theaters now allowing you to preselect your seat, you can decide if you want to be in a corner by yourself or sandwiched between two odd-numbered groups. Be cognizant of your movie selection. A romantic story may not be the best if you’re already feeling lonely.

39 – Join 7 Cups. This is an innovative online support service that pairs trained active listeners with people that are looking for comfort. You can either sign up for the anonymous service to receive help or, you can also apply for the online training course to become an active listener. Either way, it’s a community of people that have a shared goal of better mental health and connection.

40 – Become a fan. Whether you elect to cheer the Baltimore Ravens on to their next Superbowl or you dress up as Wonder Woman at the next DragonCon, join a group of like-minded people that are rallying around the same cause. Regardless of the group or person you rally around, invest in some clothing or car stickers that identify you as a member of the club. You’ll be amazed how many people will notice and initiate a conversation just because they see a Gryffindor crest on your shirt.

41 – Have your DNA tested to determine your ancestry. When you have your results, you can begin to trace your family tree back hundreds of years. Talk about reinforcing the connections you have with others! Depending upon your settings, you may be able to contact (or even visit!) living relatives all around the world. One caveat with these companies – be sure to read the privacy notices carefully before you decide to proceed.

42 – Go on a solo trip. There’s nothing like changing your view to change your attitude. Travel can highlight many of the benefits of being alone: autonomy, freedom and flexibility. Furthermore, tackling a new city solo builds your confidence and your resilience. If you have been feeling alone while in a relationship, individual travel can give you the mental space to think and process. If an overnight trip isn’t possible, consider a day trip, even if it’s just to the other side of town.

43 – Take off your mask. Ultimately, we feel more alone when we don’t feel seen or understood by another than when we are by ourselves. If you are presenting a front to world, you risk always feeling unseen and alone. It can be scary to let the mask slide away. You face the real risk of rejection. Yet if you never allow the “real” you to shine, you also don’t allow yourself to be accepted.

44 – Take a personality quiz. Sometimes loneliness comes from believing that you’re only person to perceive things in a certain way. When you take any sort of personality quiz (especially the Myers Briggs-based ones, which have entered the common dialog), you will discover that you are far from alone. In fact, you may discover that there is a whole subset of people out there that see, process and present like you.

45 – Find ways to share experiences with others. One of the primary ways that we find meaning and joy in experiences is by sharing them with others. Yet there are ways to do this even when you’re operating as an individual entity. Consider visiting a unique and stunning museum exhibit. You can share your feelings of amazement with the others standing beside you through words or shared looks. You can write about your encounter and publish it or mail it to another. You can inspired by the experience and let it impact your interactions going forward. You may have to be creative to find ways to share your solitary adventures, but I have faith you can find a way!



46 – Practice yoga. There’s a reason it’s called, “practice.” There are no expectations that you’ll be good at before you do it (or, even after you’ve done it for 20 years!). Yoga provides an interesting mix of being in your head and body within the four corners of your mat and also feeling the energy and hearing the breath of the larger group. You may never speak, yet you may also find that you feel heard. It’s powerful stuff.

47 – Run a booth at local fairs. What do children do when they feel lonely? They open up a lemonade stand. Why not try the adult equivalent? It could be lemonade at the neighborhood block party. Or margaritas (AKA spiked limeade) at the weekly outdoor concert. Or maybe you ditch the drink idea all together and set up a craft stand at the local art fairs. Think about where your interests and your opportunities intersect. And before you say, “I couldn’t,” try.

48 – Be careful not to be too needy. When you’re lonely, you can easily project neediness. This can unknowingly cause others to back off, as they sense the anxious energy behind your words and actions. It’s a bit of a catch-22, when you’re isolated, you have a tendency to grasp onto any connection yet that same intensity will push people away. Work to regulate your own emotions and reactions, especially before you consider dating.

49 – Try out a climbing gym. Because climbing takes two – one to tackle the wall and one to belay – if forces interaction and camaraderie between people. If you’ve never belayed, begin by taking a brief training course from the instructors at the gym so that you’re comfortable. And don’t worry about going solo – there’s always others alone or in odd-numbered groups that would be happy to pair up for a climb.

50 – Go on stage. If you’re naturally a performer, you thrive with the energy of a crowd or you are musical, consider finding your way onto a stage. Even though the interaction may appear to be uni-directional, you will also be feeling the vitality of the audience. You can sign up for open mike nights at a comedy club, play guitar at a coffee shop or sing with a church choir. If you’re unsure about where to begin, think about signing up for a class that culminates with a performance.

51 – Do something scary. When we go through something scary with others, it creates a bond. Whether that experience be jumping out of plane, going through a haunted house or just watching a scary movie, you will feel closer to anybody that shared that same event. And if nothing else, you’ll feel like a bada$$ for making it through!

52 – Know that you’re not alone in feeling alone. Every single one of the over seven billion people on this planet also feels lonely sometimes. Isn’t it nice to know that you’re in good company:)

Thank you for sharing!

4 thoughts on “52 Things to Do When You’re Feeling Lonely

  1. robynlang3 – Wollongoing, Australia – Robyn Lang is a photographer and writer. Up till recently she's been the 'analytical scientist' but is now discovering a new creative side to her life which disproves the old right brain: left brain dichotomy. Finally, enjoying a complete brain, Robyn is writing, photographing and walking her way around the world. Robyn lives and works in Wollongong, Australia - a not so secret treasure and the 10th largest city in Australia.
    robynlang3 says:

    Great advice!

  2. I do not know where I would be if I did not start volunteer work at a Senior Center. They are always looking for helping hands .These Seniors come to socialize and are full of life! It makes me feel alive again.

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