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What to Do on Lonely Days

Updated on September 14, 2013

We are all Universally Alone

Everyone's alone — or so it seems to me. They make noises, and think they are talking to each other; They make faces, and think they understand each other.

And I'm sure they don't. Is that a delusion?

T. S. ELIOT, The Cocktail Party

We are all alone, born alone, die alone, and -- in spite of True Romance magazines -- we shall all someday look back on our lives and see that, in spite of our company, we were alone the whole way.

HUNTER S. THOMPSON, The Proud Highway

We are lonesome animals. We spend all our life trying to be less lonesome. One of our ancient methods is to tell a story begging the listener to say — and to feel — "Yes, that’s the way it is, or at least that’s the way I feel it. You’re not as alone as you thought."

JOHN STEINBECK, "In Awe of Words," The Exonian, 1930

All the suffering that humanity ever knew can be traced to the one fact that no man in the history of the Galaxy ... could really understand one another. Every human being lived behind an impenetrable wall of choking mist within which no other but he existed.

ISAAC ASIMOV, Second Foundation


We All Feel Lonely

Most of us have felt loneliness at one point in our lives. Maybe our friends, family or significant others seemed to have no time for us. Maybe you moved to a new area without knowing anyone and had no friends to hang out with on the weekends. Maybe you are on your own for the first time and miss you family. Maybe you just ended a relationship and are missing the way things used to be. Whatever the case, you are not the first person in the world to feel lonely. There are things you can do to beat back the loneliness blues.

Do you feel lonely?

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What is Loneliness?

Loneliness is different from being alone. Many of us (myself included) enjoy being alone to get important tasks completed or have some down time in a very hectic and crazy world. True loneliness is that depressed feeling we get when we feel like we are all alone in the world with no friends and no support. It can be a dangerous feeling that can lead you down a path of hopeless despair. It doesn’t have to go down that path.

The deep feelings of separation that lonely people feel are not the same as being an outsider. Many people are outsiders who move to their own rhythm and do their own thing. That is not the same as being lonely. Lonely people feel a deep separation and isolation from the world around them to the point that they feel really depressed about their situation and hopeless that they will ever feel a connection to this world. In contrast, the outsider may relish being different and be comfortable going his/her own way and living by his/her own rules.

Things Can Change

Loneliness doesn’t have to be a way of life. There are plenty of ways to beat loneliness back. There are simple things you can do to help push back feelings of loneliness and get some control over your life.

  • Participate: Instead of moping around and wallowing in lonely feelings, get involved in something – anything. Engagement in life is a first step out of a lonely path. There are many things to do even if you don’t have any friends to do them with. You can do any of the following: Volunteer; Take a Class; Join a club, association, group. Even if you don’t make friends right away, you can gain some acquaintances and take your mind off of loneliness and maybe just get interested in an activity that leads you to develop your hidden talents or connect with others.
  • Get Active. Exercise is a good way to beat depression back. Get the blood flowing and send happy thoughts and endorphins going into the brain. Whether you join the gym or just go for a walk down the street, it all helps.
  • Pets Anyone? Pets are a great way to not be lonely. Pets cause you to channel your energy away from yourself and towards someone else. You have to (or should) take care of your pets and give them attention and love. Focusing on someone else often replaces the intense focus on yourself and what you think is wrong with you.
  • Get Creative. Develop a hobby, paint a picture, write a story, and join an online community that encourages you to express yourself. Creative expression allows you to get out the negative feelings and discover the common elements of humanity. Even reading can help take your mind off of loneliness and into the lives of others.

Please know that loneliness is something that most people experience. You are not alone in your loneliness. There are active things you can do to feel less lonely. There is help available for when you feel too overwhelmed with loneliness and sadness.

© 2013 truthfornow


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    • Efficient Admin profile image

      Efficient Admin 3 years ago from Charlotte, NC

      The four steps outlined above really are excellent tips. I believe focusing on these 4 tips you mentioned above will eventually give a person more confidence in themselves as time goes on. Voted up and useful.

    • truthfornow profile image

      truthfornow 4 years ago from New Orleans, LA

      Sorry for your friend. Hope he finds something that will help.

    • vespawoolf profile image

      vespawoolf 4 years ago from Peru, South America

      When I saw the title of this Hub, I thought of our friend who just lost his wife to cancer. He feels very lonely, and is trying to fill the empty void with activities he didn't have time for before. These are great suggestions....I'm going to send him this link. Thanks!

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 4 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Yes, big difference in alone and lonesome. Since being here I don't think I have ever suffered again from lonesome! lol Must be good medicine. ^

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      What to Do on Lonely Days so true these days can be so down but with your wonderful ideas it all sounds awesome. A useful and interesting hub.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 4 years ago from USA

      I liked you quotes and suggestions and most particularly the photo of that beautiful cat which complemented the hub so well. Pets are indeed a wonderful way to enrich your life. Voted up and more.

    • stricktlydating profile image

      StricktlyDating 4 years ago from Australia

      I don't mind being alone, I get so much done! Gardening and heading to the ocean for a swim are my favourite alone time activities!

    • mylindaelliott profile image

      mylindaelliott 4 years ago from Louisiana

      Sometimes lonely is good. I like your tips though. It's when lonliness goes on so long it hurts that I start looking for something else.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Nice tips to beat away the loneliness blues. Thanks for sharing.

    • truthfornow profile image

      truthfornow 4 years ago from New Orleans, LA

      Oh yeah, didn't think of that tirelesstraveler.

    • tirelesstraveler profile image

      Judy Specht 4 years ago from California

      Dogs are the best conversation starters ever. My dogs have introduced me to every dog owner in the neighborhood.

    • truthfornow profile image

      truthfornow 4 years ago from New Orleans, LA

      Sometimes I like to be alone. It is only lonely if I have nothing to do. Writing and work keeps me busy.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      A purpose cures many things, and I do believe that writing is a good one. Some people feel that they have no usefulness. Visiting others less fortunate, like at a nursing home, can help bolster self respect and confidence. We are all needed in the world.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Who could be bored this day? So much is going on, we must socialize and be open to new adventures. Great hub...Thank you..

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      I get the difference between being alone and loneliness. And I have to tell you this hub did a great job explaining. But I must confess sometimes I like to get down and lonely, strange I am sure but it makes me feel alive.

      Thanks for great insights.


    • Kathryn Stratford profile image

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      It is nice to know that we are not alone in our loneliness, and that there are ways to overcome this feeling. I have definitely been experiencing this off and on lately, and usually I am pretty good about not letting it overcome my being. These are some great suggestions.

      Thanks for sharing this thoughtful piece with us, and I hope you have a wonderful week!

      ~ Kathryn

    • janetwrites profile image

      Janet Giessl 4 years ago from Georgia country

      Very interesting hub. You described the differences between being alone, true loneliness and being an outsider which I find important because many people would mix them up. Good advice on how to get rid of loneliness. Thanks for sharing this.

    • truthfornow profile image

      truthfornow 4 years ago from New Orleans, LA

      Hubpages can keep loneliness away. Thanks for the comments.

    • thumbi7 profile image

      JR Krishna 4 years ago from India

      Writing online and reading others' works, commenting etc. kills boredom

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

      Very good article and important message to convey here on loneliness. Yes, there are steps we can take to get ourselves out of that social isolation and otherwise.

      Up and more and sharing

      God bless, Faith Reaper

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you for this. As a person who has been in the public eye, I enjoy the solitude my handicap has granted me.

    • Kevina Oyatedor profile image

      kevina oyatedor 4 years ago

      Very very true. Volunteer and be more outspoken is great advice. Great hub.