How NOT to feel isolated
Almost two years since the COVID-19 pandemic started, a lot of people are still struggling without having connections because of the restrictions.
Yes, some restrictions may have been lifted, but because of the Omicron variant we’re still far from the normal life that we know.
A client shared with me, “I'm struggling without connection because of all the COVID restrictions, how can I connect with others? I feel so isolated.”
If this is how you’re feeling too, I'm sorry that you feel isolated. I'm sorry that you feel disconnected. The crazy thing is we can feel isolated or a lack of connection really any time! Even when we have lots of things going on and many people around us, not just in COVID times.
My heart goes out to these people, especially the people that live alone or the people who work from home and they're alone, or seniors and they live alone.
It's going to take three things to break from the loneliness:
Let me share a little strategy:
Tell people you trust how you feel, like your family, friends, loved ones, connections, even acquaintances because maybe they feel the same way. They might not have told you because they think you're busy or that you have it all together. You sharing first could open up their honesty.
One of my friends and I have been terrible at keeping in touch. Absolutely terrible, but we love each other dearly. We're not mad at each other about it, just busy and didn’t call each other.
So we made a plan to have phone calls once a week, every Thursday morning. She's driving to work, and I'm walking on the trail, and we have a conversation. What I learnt was that the more you talk with the same person, the more you get rid of the fluff that is at the surface, and the more you're able to actually talk about the real feelings that you have, whether it be isolation, loneliness, disappointment, depression, or anxiety.
If you have some friends, you need to be creative in what you're going to do with them.
You can even think creatively.
If you don't have friends, then you need to put yourself out there and start connecting with others.
Maybe there is a neighbor that you like who you could invite to go to the park and sit six feet from them. Invite a few people. Maybe there's a local place that is doing virtual wine tastings. You get a bunch of people together and everybody's in their own home trying out the wines.
You can also look for places that already have community. There are women's groups like the Dynamic Women community. There are churches. There are other organizations that already have events and groups happening where you can just join in.
You can find other people and connect with them. You can go on Meetup.com and see what events are happening because at least some will be virtual and if you prefer you can join some in person events. Some of them might enjoy a hobby that you like. It could be bird watching, video games or great restaurants. Reach out to these types of groups where you know that you're going to focus on a topic that you already like, so you can start to build easy connections that way.
You really have to look for ways you can put yourself out there and connect with other people, and then make it a continuous thing that you do. Just like I have with my call with my friend.
Be honest about where you're at because if people don't know that you need to hear from them or want to spend time together then nothing happens. And with all of the people you choose to have in your life know that you can also, design relationships, create some boundaries, an of course open up about how you’re doing.
Read more of my blogs here:
1. D.R.I.V.E.: 5 Ways to Motivate Yourself
2. The Power of Baby Steps
3. 10 Honestly GOOD habits to have
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