Joanna is the Junior Wellness Lead for SSEDITORIAL Magazine, specialising…
To me, summer has always been such a social time. Everyone seems to be out having a barbecue or swimming in the sea. There’s children’s laughter in the air, and festivals are finally back. But when you live alone or don’t have many friends, all these great summertime things might exacerbate the feeling of loneliness. With no one to speak to when you’re stuck indoors during good weather, you might struggle to cope. Whether you’re lonely or alone, it will eventually take a toll on your mental health.
Here’s how you can make yourself feel better:
Be More Sociable This Summer
When you work full-time, mustering the energy to take part in any social activity might be difficult. Sometimes all you want to do when you come back is lie on the couch. However, including social outings in your weekly routine can help you feel less isolated. It’s a good idea to make more plans with your friends or commit to taking part in social events.
Keep in Touch With People
As harmful as technology is to your mental health, it can also be a great way to stay emotionally connected to people who live far away. Use the Internet to your advantage. Remember to send your loved ones an occasional text asking about their well-being or plans for the week. It might not seem like it will make much of a difference, but it will reduce the sense of isolation. It’s also a good idea to reach out to people from your past, such as school friends or past co-workers. Even though you drifted away, you might be in different places in life now that allow you to reconnect. Plus, reminiscing about old times can be fun.
Consider a Digital Detox
Social comparison is an even bigger issue during summer than at any other time of the year. This is because everyone seems to be having fun, and it might be tempting to stay plugged in when you’re at home alone. Suddenly, festival photos, engagement rings and beach parties flood your feed. When you feel lonely, scrolling through images like that on social media can be especially harmful. It can make you feel like you’re missing out and wasting your youth. Consider reducing the time you spend online. Opt for healthy distractions instead such as reading a book or even binging a favourite TV series.
Stay Connected to the World in Small Ways
When you live alone, it’s easy to feel isolated from the rest of the world. To stay more connected to what’s going on outside, find ways you can stay present. For example, you could take some time to look out of the window and focus on the surroundings, and remember to greet neighbours and shopping assistants when you go out.
Become Immersed in a Book This Summer
Being alone isn’t the same as being lonely, but when you have no one to talk to about your day, it might be hard to shake off the feeling of isolation. One of the great ways to instantly combat loneliness is to read a good book. Even though the world is fictional, the bond you develop with the characters is real and might increase the sense of belonging.
Use Background Noise
Sometimes something as simple as playing a TV series in the background can make you feel less lonely and trapped in your own mind. You can always play white noise that will calm your thoughts and help you relax.
Focus on Yourself This Summer
This might sound like such cliche advice for lonely people because how can you appreciate alone time if you’re always alone? But when you do focus on yourself by learning a skill or achieving a goal, you strengthen the relationship you have with yourself and generate a sense of achievement which makes loneliness easier to deal with.
Joanna is the Junior Wellness Lead for SSEDITORIAL Magazine, specialising in mental health, wellness and lifestyle. In her spare time, she likes to write scripts and dance.