Living alone has its upside of independence and simplicity – but it can have a downside: increased isolation. While there are a variety of reasons that someone may live alone, it is easy to experience loneliness, or “chronic loneliness,” which can increase the level of the stress hormone, cortisol. That’s especially true during COVID-19.
Even if you are not living alone, you may experience times when you feel lonely which can affect your cardiovascular health and immune system, as well as lead to depression and anxiety. If you are feeling a little on the lonely side, here are tips to fight chronic loneliness and better connect.
- Phone a friend: Yes, texting can be faster and more efficient. However, phone conversation can allow you to open up and feel better connected with someone. Try picking up the phone next time instead of texting so that you can truly check in with a friend or loved one. You can also consider video conferencing as another alternative to texting for a more connected experience.
- Take a Social Media Break: Burying your head in your phone instead of stepping outside can increase feelings of loneliness. Relying on online connections prevents us from spending time with those that are right in front of us.
- Furry Friends: Caring for a pet can provide purpose as well as the companionship of a new pal. Walking the dog, for example, can help you meet people in your neighborhood or at parks. Studies have found pets even add years to our lives.
- Join a Group: Find a group that shares a common interest with you. From community groups to book clubs, there are ways to connect (even virtually) across almost any interest. Go to the meetings and get involved!
- Volunteer: Find a cause you are passionate about and join their efforts. Look online at volunteer opportunities in your area, check with your local schools, city hall, library, hospital, church, pet shelter, homeless shelter or soup kitchen.
Help is available if loneliness lingers
It is easy to isolate yourself from others and fall into a pattern of chronic loneliness. Make sure to follow these tips to fight chronic loneliness and stay better connected. This can help boost your spirits and consider contacting a mental health professional if feelings of loneliness linger.
If you are interested in tools to support your emotional health, check out Blue365’s deals on mindfulness courses to help find balance and happiness in daily life.
As a member of Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield you have access to Blue365® at no cost. Blue365 offers exclusive health and wellness deals, keeping you healthy and happy, every day of the year. Click here to sign up today or You can also sign into your My Blueprint account to access Blue365 deals.
This content is not intended to substitute for informed medical advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or condition. Always check with your doctor before changing your diet, altering your sleep habits, taking supplements, or starting a new fitness routine.