Coping with loneliness/depression

Apple py1
Feb 24 184 Comments

I live by myself. I am yet to get over a failed marriage from a few years ago. I am not interested in getting into a new relationship.
Some days then, I feel lonely/depressed.

I am lucky to have extended family near by that look me up, continue to invite me out even when I decline, sometimes come home and drag me to a movie and so on.

I am not as lonely these days. A combination of interesting work in the office, new manager who encourages us to go after work that uses our skill sets have been key drivers.

I do wonder though about others afflicted with loneliness/depression and want to share a few things that have helped me.

There are a lot of ways to get out of the “funk” but if you are struggling getting out of the house, the below might help you.

A. Routine
A routine of having a few consistent interactions/people in your life. Saying hello to the receptionist, exchanging small talk, having your breakfast made by the same person in the office cafe and the little chit chat.

B. Get out to get groceries or food (if you can’t get yourself to cook). Avoid home delivery unless you are physically sick.

C. Get a house cleaner! The cleaner/neater my place, the better I feel. I consider it an investment! The lady comes twice a month and I’m so grateful. Sometimes I’m so thrilled I do a little jig after she leaves :)

D. If you feel a cold/cough/fever/nasal congestion coming, take a medicine immediately. Don’t wait for it to blow up. You are alone and being physically sick makes it worse. I arm myself with DayQuil/NyQuil capsules, cough drops and electric vaporizer with vapopads. Together they quickly do their job.

E. Find a walking buddy at work. Helps with getting exercise, and talking/listening to someone’s day.

F. Schedule lunch with someone at least once a week. My energy is quickly drained when I’m in a group. I end up not joining my team during lunch. I do love interacting with people, so schedule one on one lunches. Scheduling helps because it’s so easy to just have lunch by yourself at your desk and miss out on social interactions.

G. Most people have kids or a better half. It’s difficult to find people you can make spontaneous plans with. No doubt. But do try to reach out to people you think you can count on to listen to you when you’re having a particularly hard day. Stay strong if you didn’t judge well and someone does not appear to have the time or inclination to listen to you. Everyone has their own preoccupations.

Related, find a friend you can ask for a hug. I have the luxury of having 3 people at work I can go to and say, ‘I need a hug’. Sometimes that physical contact helps heal. They reach out to me when they need one too. I can see this being difficult for men :)

H. It’s hard to remember to do this, but treat yourself to a massage or some flowers or chocolate every now and then.

I. Get a few drought resistant plants. I didn’t water my plants and they would keep dying. A patch of green can really lift your heart.

J. I did not do this for a really long time. Please find yourself a therapist. It may take a while to find the right fit but it is worth the struggle.

K. If you can afford it get a personal trainer. It’s on my to do list :) Nothing like getting fit to feel better, the release of endorphins will improve your mood too.

Finally, if you have a friend who could you use some companionship, there are so many little ways you can make their day: a small bunch of flowers, a surprise knock on the door, a call or text, sharing a fruit or snack (a coworker got me a single mango once, another co-worker got me some Indian snacks she made at home, they did these in a very matter-of-fact way, but I was so touched!).

And, pay it forward! :)

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TOP 184 Comments
  • Veritas / Strategy xWfa06
    Tip from the old me, you don’t need company to watch movies, go to malls or parks. Being around people even if they aren’t part of you group helps. As does something do engage your attention - window /real shopping, the movie plot.
    Feb 24 1
    • New / Eng
      BogoSort

      New Eng

      PRE
      Samsung Electronics
      BogoSortmore
      ^^ this.
      Feb 27
  • Autodesk Peets@1
    Thank you for your thoughtful advices and your kind heart. I am currently dealing with my divorce. There are some days I feel normal and I can put my bad marriage behind while some days are tough. This weekend has been one of those down days.

    What’s more challenging is that I got a new job and I find myself anxious about my performance.

    Good news is that I am following some of your advice. I am still struggling with self doubt. I feel like I am not good enough and I need to do more for my job and my career but I find myself doing nothing about it. I already feel I am being a downer....
    Feb 24 6
    • Autodesk Peets@1
      Thank you! I will keep that in mind. So kind of you. Bless your heart.
      Feb 24
    • Cerner / Eng Zenobia
      Peets@1 - this was me for past 1 year after me getting out of bad relationship. Had hard time to perform and even do bare minimum at work... not only that I never felt like getting out of the bed and going to work. I had self doubt over everything and was constantly blaming myself for whatever had happened. But time heals everything. Put little efforts everyday and things will get better with time. I had completely engrossed myself in job search and staying busy had helped me. If you need someone to talk to you can message me any time.

      Hope things get better soon.
      Feb 24
    • Autodesk Peets@1
      Zenobia - thank you for your thought and your offer! Very kind of you. I may message you later.
      Feb 24
    • Veritas jstSomeone
      Same situation... initial phases of divorce.. also have a child to take care of... it's going to be tough but I m willing to face as continued compromise encourages my spouse to be further bad and it's causing serious health damage to me... I hope I can do justice to my child
      Feb 25
    • Facebook tGTv63
      Stay strong my man. Stay strong
      Feb 25
  • Microsoft EDBTZ
    Genuinely curious and not trying to troll, but I come from abroad and it seems to me that depression is a lot more common in the US... So many people I know are on medication of some sort. Does anyone know why that is?
    Feb 25 8
    • LinkedIn / Eng xfactorial
      In India (where I'm from) it just doesn't get diagnosed. You're just being moody that's all
      Feb 25
    • Microsoft Eyree
      capitalism is the cause for depresion? the dumbeat thing I heard
      Feb 25
    • Microsoft CastleRaid
      There are studies that support that depression is fairly consistent among different cultures.

      I used to think it’s a very western culture (first world) thing but I was pointed to medical research that proved me wrong. Sorry, I don’t have links to the research anymore.

      There’s a book I’d highly recommend though. The noonday demon.
      Feb 26
    • Google / Eng
      lena33

      Google Eng

      PRE
      Salesforce
      lena33more
      I think in other countries there are so many problems that people don't have time for depression. You constantly have to survive on that low salary. And people are more social and care about others. Here it is individualistic country. That's why there are more depressed people.
      Feb 26
    • Microsoft CastleRaid
      ^ This is what I used to think too. But it’s not true based on what I read.
      Feb 27
  • LinkedIn / Eng
    howd

    LinkedIn Eng

    PRE
    Amazon
    howdmore
    K. Find a "Third Place". We spend our lives between home and office. I believe that it is important to visit a "third place" on a regular basis. That could be a gym (better if it involves interactions with other people and not just "weights"), a dance class (Latin American dances are great to meet people), or some other sort of activity that involves other people.
    Feb 25 1
    • Apple py1
      OP
      Thank you, this is great advice.
      Mar 2
  • Apple / Mgmt
    j3ffB3z0s

    Apple Mgmt

    PRE
    Amazon
    j3ffB3z0smore
    What about embracing being alone and becoming comfortable with it? You free up an incredible amount of time to focus on yourself and your hobbies. You stop feeling lonely and it ceases to be an “affliction”.
    Feb 24 6
    • Apple / Mgmt
      j3ffB3z0s

      Apple Mgmt

      PRE
      Amazon
      j3ffB3z0smore
      It becomes depression when lack of social connection -> feeling unhappy. While I can understand that’s the majority, I believe embracing loneliness and deriving happiness from that is a totally valid alternative. Besides, unless you’re living on a remote island in with no way of communication, then you’re not really “alone”.
      Feb 24
    • Apple py1
      OP
      Hmm. I agree that accepting the state of things and deriving comfort/solace from such a state is a great step. At the same time, in my experience, it is important to be socially connected and have a sense of belonging. Yes, none of us are really alone the way you describe, but there is a difference between having your breakfast made by a different chef every day in the cafe vs the relatively meaningful small talk with the same chef every day. Let’s just agree to disagree :)
      Feb 24
    • Apple / Mgmt
      j3ffB3z0s

      Apple Mgmt

      PRE
      Amazon
      j3ffB3z0smore
      I am in agreement that if sense of belonging is something that your derive meaning from, then absolutely you need to nurture it. Life is full of alternatives! I’ll request a different chef (or none at all) and that’s ok too :)
      Feb 24
    • One Click Politics disnotHR
      This.
      Feb 25
    • 6sense whsvehusb
      I see so many people here I’d want to be friends with. Hang out over movies, karaoke, dinner, career. Ping me if you want to connect.
      Mar 21
  • Zillow Group salad🥗
    Thanks for the wholesome content. I found integrating into a community to be really beneficial personally. Religious people have it easy. They can just go to church..
    Feb 24 1
    • Xilinx / Mgmt Calm00
      Spot on.
      Feb 24
  • Netflix / Product Thats_It
    Looking at a lot of spare time (new to city, still finding my community, etc) I’ve challenged myself to start volunteering. It takes me out of my comfort zone (which I like as a learning exercise) and gets me meeting folks that have nothing to do with my career or typical circle of friends.

    It’s giving me more purpose. It’s giving me something to do a couple nights a week. It’s making me feel better about myself and keeping me from wallowing.
    Feb 25 2
    • Microsoft bWmv13
      This is a great idea. It's not than just another way to fill time, there's the gratification of helping others that gives deeper meaning.
      Feb 25
    • Netflix / Product Thats_It
      Thanks! For anyone interested check out www.volunteermatch.org. You can find a bunch of different volunteer ops based on your skills,interest, availability.

      I’m only a couple months in on this but am really enjoying it.
      Feb 25
  • Airbnb chilll
    Things that have worked for me:

    - work out 3x/week
    - spend time with ppl who lift me up
    - self-care
    - no alcohol
    - healthy, nutritious food
    - at least 8 hours of sleep
    - an enticing book
    - knocking things off the todo list
    - cleaning my home
    - spending quality time w/ bf
    Feb 27 4
    • Microsoft Mlife
      no alcohol? 🤯
      Feb 27
    • 6sense jehbeb
      Book recommendations??
      Feb 27
    • Airbnb chilll
      @mlife, yeah, no alcohol if I'm feeling really low. Alcohol is a depressent. We've made it socially acceptable to be alcoholics and it makes us feel worse. I don't need alcohol to be social, and you shouldn't either ;)
      Feb 28
    • Airbnb chilll
      @jehbeb Bad Blood, Becoming, An Astronaut's guide to life on Earth
      Feb 28
  • Amazon ally28
    Is there a risk of getting depression if you feel lonely all the time? Ever since moving to Seattle I’ve felt very sad that I don’t have friends to go out and do social things with. I’m in my 20’s and I spend my weekends alone at home. It really bugs me because thats no way to live up your youth. I have friends but they never go out to do anything. Over the months I’ve been getting more and more lonely.
    Feb 25 7
    • Expedia gordonlion
      Seattle is a very good place to be for families. Definitely not the best if you are young and single
      Feb 25
    • Hubspot gQcP26
      Have you tried Meetup or Bumble BFF? Both can be hit-or-miss, but they can be good for at least getting out from time to time.
      Feb 26
    • VMware / HR iNwX20
      For what's it worth, seasonal depression in the north is really a thing. I encourage you to google, "Seasonal Affective Disorder"
      Feb 26
    • Amazon / Product
      AmzgGrace

      Amazon Product

      BIO
      15 years in tech
      AmzgGracemore
      Try to get an assignment to live elsewhere for a bit—I had the good fortune to do this a few years ago and it was life changing. Back in Seattle now and tempted to find another assignment.
      Feb 27
    • Amazon ally28
      Thanks for the kind words. I tried meetup once but it didn’t seem to go anywhere. Ironically it ends up being a bunch of boring tech people
      Feb 27
  • Twitch CREAMCHEEZ
    This is the best post I’ve read on Blind.
    Feb 25 0
  • Oath FMzR44
    I'm an immigrant just like many of us here. I'm in my late twenties and being away from my parents gave me a good taste of depression.

    To overcome it, I tried going out whenever I can, during the weekends. But, it doesn't work most times. I find social interactions exhausting. It just feels better to sleep and forget you exist!

    Over the past few months, I have learnt to live alone and not feel lonely. I have accepted my circumstance and myself and then it feels much easier. I have accepted the pity that comes with eating alone in a crowd. Going alone to a movie or anything to do alone.
    But, I try to be a deaf/blind person whose has a short term memory. You just look inward and be content. A feeling of Maya...where you don't emotionally attached to your surroundings.

    Our happiness is tied to our perception and if you can control your perception, you can control your happiness (and anger, jealousy etc). I still empathize with the weak and the suffering but I insulate myself from the negative emotions around me.
    Feb 25 2
    • Apple py1
      OP
      “Sleeping it off” feels good in the moment but I always feel terribly after, just as one might after overeating or binge watching.
      Please do consider that you may be imagining the pity when you are out by yourself. When I see someone out on their own, I see confidence and the ability to enjoy their own company. Even if you are attached, it’s not practical to have company always.
      Mar 2
    • 6sense whsvehusb
      Yes. Feels worse to have wasted away a day that’s not coming back.
      Mar 21
  • Salesforce Heimer
    There’s still hope for Blind.
    Good post, dude/girl.
    Feb 25 5
    • Amazon
      🤪☺️

      Amazon

      BIO
      Engineering + Analytics + Tech Entrepreneurship
      🤪☺️more
      It’s a girl.
      Feb 25
    • Salesforce Heimer
      How do you know that
      Feb 25
    • Roche / Eng DwxD41
      It says in the post
      Feb 25
    • Salesforce shaman
      If you couldn't tell it was a girl that's something odd on your end bud
      Feb 26
    • Salesforce Heimer
      Where does it explicitly say in the post that it’s a girl?

      I could tell it was a girl, but didn’t want a “don’t assume my gender” reply
      Feb 26
  • Amazon / Eng jC2w0x
    Just leave the fucking Seattle and go to NYC. My life is 10x better. Especially for foreigners.
    Feb 25 2
    • Facebook pkigvfh
      How so?
      Feb 25
    • Amazon / Eng jC2w0x
      Only NY can meet enough friends from my home country and gender ratio close to 1:1. I'm not self segregation, but it just makes me much happier. Seattle is like the old CA import Asians to build rails, although the salary is good.
      Feb 25
  • Twitch zugzug
    Are you me.
    Feb 25 1
    • Microsoft / Eng
      Gal13

      Microsoft Eng

      PRE
      Cisco
      Gal13more
      😂😂
      Feb 26
  • Amazon sadpants
    If you don't have a personal mission in life you'll never be truly happy. No matter what.
    Feb 26 4
    • Microsoft / Product oeUv00
      Whats urs? I somehow started feeling like this. Feel privileged to have amazing job, kids, husband and dream home. But still smthing is missing. I am not depressed though.
      Feb 27
    • Vistaprint GGLQ22
      Try helping others...
      Mar 1
    • Amazon sadpants
      @Microsoft, I strive to be myself, in sync with my personal dreams and goals every single day. It's not an easy task for me to ignore all the negative energies and noise floating around. But when I manage to pull it off it feels very liberating. It might sound nonsensical, but it works for me.

      I do a lot of solo travel, hiking, nature lovin'. Silence, nature and disconnect from 'silicon obsession' helps me to connect my thoughts and realize what I truly want in next few months.

      I don't keep in touch with lying, stressful, superstitious, dogmatic, in general lost and negative people(no matter how hot they are) and relationships that turn sour pretty soon. I work out twice a day, eat healthy, play instrument, and volunteer to stay mentally flexible and healthy. I've had failed relationships. I no longer place my hopes/dreams/love/peace in others and bet on the feedback loops. I don't force/project expectations on others anymore.

      I was under depression. Got out of it without therapy/medicine/faux-socializing. Took me some time. My friend circle is small but strong.

      I guess what I'm trying to say is if you look back, spend some time with yourself, get in touch with your thoughts and feelings, there's a good chance you'll figure out what to do. There's no one trick wonder. A lot of self-reflection and experimentation is required see through the mess. I'll quit my preaching now...
      Mar 5
    • Microsoft / Product oeUv00
      Wow such fantastic detailed reply. thank you for taking time out to reply.
      Mar 6
  • Microsoft Username43
    I’m dealing with same issue. All your comments are true but you’re missing a point. When i’m depressed its not really under my control to get out of bed and do these stuff...
    I’m really struggling these days :(
    Lucky you, you have families nearby
    I don’t have it and i can’t even talk to them about my issue, they can’t come here so i don’t want to make them worried. So i have to fake laugh all the time we speak.
    Life is so hard these days :(
    Feb 28 3
    • Microsoft Username43
      Btw, unlike you i want a relationship but its so hard here :)))) (guess where i live)
      Feb 28
    • Facebook / Other Okjngcgfd
      > when I’m depressed its not really under my control

      I’ve been struggling with depression for the last three years and I used to believe this too. I started feeling better only after realizing this is a cognitive distortion.

      The irony of depression is that you don’t feel like doing anything and doing nothing makes you feel depressed pushing you down a negative cycle. Push yourself to do something, anything remotely productive and you’ll start feeling better.
      Feb 28
    • Apple py1
      OP
      @username43 I agree. The tips I list are for people who are moderately functional. If you are struggling as much you may need medication before you are able to make small lifestyle changes. The good thing is you have a desire to be in a relationship. I’m hoping that translates to a desire to get out of the house and participate in activities. Wish you all the best.
      Mar 2
  • Magic Leap lllereep
    <3 struggled with suicide and depression all my life (since 2nd grade) and this helps a lot.
    Feb 25 5
    • Microsoft / Product oeUv00
      Big bug
      Feb 28
    • Magic Leap lllereep
      ?
      Feb 28
    • Microsoft / Product oeUv00
      Big hug
      Mar 1
    • Magic Leap lllereep
      Thanks <3
      Mar 1
    • Dude/Dudette - feel free to message me anytime you want a friend.
      May 6
  • VMware theuser01
    Good job OP! Blind needs more people like you.
    Feb 27 1
    • Microsoft / Product oeUv00
      The world needs more people like OP
      Feb 28
  • Apple / Mgmt
    j3ffB3z0s

    Apple Mgmt

    PRE
    Amazon
    j3ffB3z0smore
    The second that your happiness depends on someone else, whether that’s a significant other, spouse, or that tinder stranger that you’ve somehow framed as the messiah to fix all your problems... then you’re setting yourself up for disappointment.
    Feb 25 1
  • Uber ZombieZoo
    You forgot to mention a root of most problems - stop using and be obsessed with social sites.
    Feb 25 0