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 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! :)
- Veritas xWfa06Tip 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.
- 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....
- Please don’t worry about being a downer. Everyone has bad days and most would understand. It is natural to feel anxious and self doubt in a new job setting, more so when you are going through a life change such as divorce. Please keep the faith, it does get better. Cliche, but take a deep breath and tell yourself one day at a time. It helped me calm down when I was similarly overwhelmed. Sending you healing thoughts.Feb 248
- 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 244
- Veritas jstSomeoneSame 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
- 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.
- 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?
- 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.
- Google / Englena33moreI 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.
- 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”.
- When you are depressed, there is a big risk of embracing loneliness/becoming comfortable with it. There were times when I stayed at home binge watching. You get too comfortable. And it is difficult to be motivated to take a course or focus on hobbies. It is important to stay socially connected in such a situation.Feb 247
- 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 240
- 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 245
- 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..
- 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.
- 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.
- Things that have worked for me:
- work out 3x/week
- spend time with ppl who lift me up
- 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
- Just leave the fucking Seattle and go to NYC. My life is 10x better. Especially for foreigners.
- If you don't have a personal mission in life you'll never be truly happy. No matter what.
- @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 52
- 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 :(
- > 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 284
- @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.
- 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.
- “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.
- 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.
- <3 struggled with suicide and depression all my life (since 2nd grade) and this helps a lot.
- Microsoft Robot2Pick up a new Hobby, like Tennis for example. Anyone can play Tennis at any age and different level, great social game and very healthy.
- Salesforce / SalesTpaq02moreDealing with depression is one of the hardest battles you fight in life . It is miserable to go through a day feeling hopeless and unhappy . I am dealing with the same now . All I keep longing for is one normal day to feel happy and excited again .I am trying a ton of things right now to deal with it . Constantly trying to be amongst people (the ones you know and the ones you don’t) , trying to read , giving meetups a try. Working from home fucks me up more than anything else , I try to not do it at all . I hope you can slowly get back to leading to a happy life again . Stay strong !
- Thanks for sharing!
I too had followed some of these while I was working on healing. Couple of things to add that helped me was playing with my pets, watching some motivational videos, going to meetup events and traveling.
- Hi Zenobia, I found that traveling and owning pets at the same time while being by yourself is not easy. I tried Rover or similar arrangements but I figured I can't fully trust random strangers to take good care of the pets. How did you arrange your travels while having pets?
- I have birds and they stay out of their cage during weekends and sometimes during evenings too if they are in mood. If I am going out for couple of days my friend would come home and watch them one time a day.
There are services which takes care of your pets while you on vacation. It can get expensive sometimes though. Best would be to take help from friends
- Snapchat trd6cyI can't imagine what you've been through but let me tell you what I did:
1) eat healthy
2) go to a gym and work your ass off (go to a group class so you don't slack🤗)
3) surround yourself with friends
4) surround yourself with family
In that order. If you do "1 and 2" ... 3 and 4 will come naturally.
Also, try to sleep well. That will come naturally with 1-4 but try to force yourself to sleep well.
Good luck. I'm praying for you.
- If you're ever in Seattle, hit me up and let's hang out. Low key, it go crazy. I'm here. Been through depression and anxiety losing my parents, rough patches with my marriage, the works.
- LinkedIn Eng155Gym has been my saving grace. Ever try it? Same as taking an antidepressant daily
- I used to workout 3-4 times a week, I maintained it even on my worst days; until I was hit by never ending chronic pain. Anything that hurts, now stays for a long time. Regular work out recovery now drains all the energy out of me and can take over a week. Any simple injury will take weeks+ to heal. I now live with chronic back and neck pain, and I stopped working out for months because all of these frustrations and failures make me spiral way further down my depression hole.
It's not as easy as people in this thread make it sound...Mar 10
- Cisco / ProductajnabeemoreYou’d be surprised to know how many people go through the same stuff that we feel only we’re going through. It’s a pretty good list you’ve put down. In addition to this, I’d join a workout/yoga group, any art/music group if you’re into that and maybe a trekking group for the weekend.
While you may want to stay single, life’s not easy staying single. And just cos it failed the first time doesn’t mean there isn’t a person who’d love to be with you. Take your time and get back out there. Don’t keep yourself from the joys of having a partner. Lastly, we’re all here for you (your work family)
- Pandora w0MbAtVery human advice, thank you for sharing this as people in low points often forget that there are ways to work on getting out of the funk. Advice to all: Please please please talk to someone if you feel that it's just getting worse and worse. There is a light at the end of that dark hole, but you have to fight to get to it.
- Amazon mWsP43Going to therapy and doctors to get the help you need is one of the hardest steps, and in a lot of cases I think the most important. The stigma can be hard to get over, but for me it was realizing that there is a chemical imbalance in my brain and that's no different from a broken arm, or the flu. If your body isn't well, theres no shame in medicine to help.
- Amazon DssaHi op, thanks for sharing. Good advice. May I ask if you are a male or female? I know we're supposed to be breaking gender stereotypes and what not, but some of the advice (like having people who hug you) isn't quite as easy to find as a male and in the worst case could inadvertently come off as creepy.
- I’m female. Agree it’s not easy for men to ask for a hug. If you have female friends you are close to, it may not come across as creepy. My former carpool partner, a guy, is very restless these days - waiting for his girlfriend to get a visa and get here. He asked me for a hug (I haven’t asked him!), so I guess this is not uncommon. Needless to mention, it is important to establish that rapport first.
- टूटा टूटा एक परिंदा ऐसे टूटा
के फिर जुड़ ना पाया
लूटा लूटा किसने उसको ऐसे लूटा
के फिर उड़ ना पाया
गिरता हुआ वो आसमां से
आकर गिरा ज़मीन पर
ख्वाबों में फिर भी
बादल ही थे
वो कहता रहा मगर
के अल्लाह के बन्दे हंस दे
अल्लाह के बन्दे
अल्लाह के बन्दे हंसदे
जो भी हो कल फिर आएगा
- PayPal DoOrDieFor those that feel lonely, where does the feeling come from? I feel it because I’ve been in love before and I miss it.
- Salesforce tensorchicFor me it's coming from no one to bounce things off. No one to be vulnerable to. No one to share responsibility with, etc.
I've been in love before where none of the above were met and I still felt lonely. Our society just makes it hard to be single unless you have gazillion family members who get in your business.
- Overstock.com / MktgT3ch.g0dLet's talk, pm me, almost identical situation and I know you'll be amazing. Trust me dude, we've got this!
- Music/dance and group fitness sessions have worked like magic for me.
I listen to this song when I feel low these days:
Had to have high, high hopes for a living
Shooting for the stars when I couldn't make a killing
Didn't have a dime but I always had a vision
Always had high, high hopes
Had to have high, high hopes for a living
Didn't know how but I always had a feeling
I was gonna be that one in a million
Always had high, high hopes
Fulfill the prophecy
Be something greater
Go make a legacy
Back in the days
We wanted everything, wanted everything
Burn your biographies
Rewrite your history
Light up your wildest dreams
Museum victories, everyday
We wanted everything, wanted everything
Mama said don't give up, it's a little complicated
All tied up, no more love and I'd hate to see you waiting...