Life is full of crappy moments, bad situations and relationships that leave us wondering if our heads are screwed on straight – you aren’t alone in your struggles against acute despair, finding the right thing to say or even just scoring a job that allows you to pay the bills on time. Despite this indistinct solidarity, you often feel like you’re facing down the barrel of a charmless life, without a hope in the world. There is hope. Not just for the lucky ones who begin their lives on the right side of town, but every single one of us, whether we’re junkies, six minutes away from a Non 12 Step Rehab program to voiceless teenagers, crippled by depression.
Volunteering at a local animal shelter will soon banish your feeling-lonely-blues, as the shameless affection of friendly creatures slowly uncoils something poisonous inside you and allows it to dissipate, even slightly. Not only will you be contributing something to the community and receiving many appreciative puppy licks for your efforts, but you’ll meet new people, opening up the doors into new segments of social life and conversation. Volunteer work takes the emphasis off self and allows you to focus on something else for a while. You are appreciated and even lauded as an unsung hero. It doesn’t get much better than that.
Dance lessons bring out the awkward streams of laughter in everyone; of course, there will be the pros down the front, hands on hips and dressed in the latest sports gear, but really, who needs to look like a shop display to move with rhythm? Not you. As you pick up the movements, you’ll feel yourself smile and become a part of something organic, a live wire of energy and frivolity unmatched by even the most organised rave. It’s a natural high and responsible for a manageable rush of dopamine, essential for stimulating those dusty, little used pleasure centres. If you’re worried about money, there are loads of cheap deals online and introductory packages; alternatively, check out a local YMCA for cost friendly classes.
Switch off the internet for a couple of days. Facebook and other social media platforms are increasing our availability, developing feelings of loneliness due to instant accessibility and a charade of extraordinary lives. What are we talking about? Logging on can be confronting, especially if it feels like nobody ever talks to you (without you initiating), nothing is happening, you go nowhere and do nothing…There’s nothing special or shareable about you. Bullocks. Social media has transformed into another form of pea-cocking or grand standing, allowing people to selectively stream only the very best bits of their lives or potentially lie about what they did on the weekend. Think of it this way, if they have time to update and upload all week, are they really enjoying the moment? Probably not. Forget about what everybody else is doing. The moment is here, seize it.
What do you do when you’re feeling lonely? Do you believe the lives people lead on their media profiles reflect real life?