Your soul thrives off of connection. And when this central part of you doesn’t get the nourishment it needs, it breaks down. Your mind, body, and soul are intimately connected. Social isolation and loneliness take a huge physical toll on the body, such as the greater likelihood of illness, depression, heart disease, lower cognitive function, and shorter lifespan.
If you’ve felt the effects of loneliness, invite God in. Your higher power can give you strength and remind you that you aren’t alone, even if you feel like you are. Instead of numbing the pain of loneliness with ice cream or binge-watching, turn to God for connection. Ask to feel Their presence with you the next time you feel overwhelmed by loneliness.This may look like engaging in your favorite form of exercise to rejuvenate your mind and body, which are intertwined with your spirit. Maybe a quiet reflection outside in nature will expand your soul and help you realize this lonely moment is just that—a moment. However, you connect with heaven, you can feel less lonely by doing so.
Human connection promotes wellness in all areas of your life. It’s a no-brainer that you will feel less lonely if you spend time with others. However, make sure that this is quality time. Sitting in a group of people and not participating in the conversation may make you feel even more lonely.Set yourself up for success by setting aside non-negotiable social time. Get a group of friends together and choose a regular time where all of you will meet. Dedicate these routine meet-ups to an activity you all enjoy, such as a potluck dinner or a game night (or both!).We are lucky to live in a time where technology allows us to connect with one another in a different way. Choose to use technology to meaningfully connect with your friends and family. Call a friend you haven’t seen in a while. Video-chat your grandparents across the country. Find a way to use technology to your advantage.
There are going to be hard days when the loneliness takes over and you don’t want to get out of bed. You may struggle with the “all or nothing” mindset, which only deepens your feelings of loneliness and shame.On days like these, lower your expectations without throwing it all away. Instead of your regular 30-minute workout, attempt a 5-minute stretch. If you had a fancy meal planned for your significant other, take a rain check on the meal but still invite them over. Find simple ways to move through this day with a more positive mindset, and make sure to give yourself grace in the process. This short exercise will help you focus on the positive even when things are difficult.
Have compassion for yourself. The way you treat yourself is one of the only things you have control over in your life. Loneliness is, well, lonely, but God is always there. Trust that this is only a moment. Open your soul and receive the gift of an expanded perspective, and know you aren’t alone.