Many people are experiencing the pain of isolation and loneliness. Even within a relationship one may experience loneliness. Do you find yourself watching mindless television, binge watching movies or serial television, scrolling through social media, playing computer games? Are you sleeping a lot, or having difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, using alcohol, drugs, porn or a variety of other coping mechanisms to escape the feeling of being lonely? If so, you may be caught in the vicious cycle of seeking pleasure to avoid pain. These are maladaptive methods of coping. They may numb the pain, but only temporarily. Over a period of time they become self-destructive.
Numbing the pain also numbs any possibility of experiencing JOY! There is a better way, a way to discover your own light, a way to experience grace through LOVE of self. Here are just a few suggestions to help you begin the process.
1) Give yourself permission to utilize any ONE of these coping strategies, at a time, while setting boundaries for yourself. Then practicing a healthy behavior. Some examples may include:
- 30 minutes of playing a computer game, followed by 30 minutes of journaling
- 1 movie, then read a book for 1.5 hours
- 1-hour nap, then 1 hour of simple exercise:
- Jumping/jogging in place
- Dancing to your favorite music (vigorously)
- A brisk walk outside
- Walk up and down 3 flights of stairs
- Or exercise first, then take a nap
2) If you cannot go to sleep – get out of bed and…
- Take a warm shower or bath
- Read a book
- Go outside and look at the sky
These are just a few suggestions of where you may begin. There are many ways to manage feelings of isolation and loneliness. In my practice I support clients in changing their thinking, to change their feelings resulting in changing their life; by facilitating self-awareness and developing self-love.