5 Things to Remember when Dealing with Loneliness

Loneliness is something I think we’ve all dealt with at one point in our lives. Some people experience it more than they’d like to admit. Others have avoided it by surrounding themselves with lots of people, even if they don’t consider them to be true friends. For me, I wasn’t lucky enough to be blessed with many friends growing up. It never bothered me when I was younger, but as I got older it slowly began to affect me. I wondered why I didn’t have more friends, and I realized that having few close friends is beneficial to my well-being. Everyone’s journey is different. But, whether you’ve experienced the lows of feeling lonely or not, it’s important to realize that time spent with ourselves is something we can’t avoid in this life. So if you are struggling today, here are five things to remember. 
  1. 1. You aren’t alone

    Loneliness can feel very isolating. It can feel like you are the only one to ever feel this way and can even bring on feelings of embarrassment or shame. However, feelings of loneliness, especially among young adults, are more common than we think.  According to statistics, “women under 35 have felt loneliness more than other age groups.”  It seems as if now more than ever young women crave vulnerability in their relationships and the need to connect with others they can relate to. If you are ever in a moment of doubt and wonder if your experience is unique only to you, remind yourself that it isn’t. I think living in the age of  social media also adds to feelings of loneliness because we constantly have access to everyone’s highlight reel. Being on the outside looking in can make you feel like you are somehow missing out, even if what you are seeing isn’t based on reality. 

    three girls during golden hour
  2. 2. You can better yourself 

    It might not feel like this all the time, but you are in a position to become your best self when you are in a period of just being by yourself. When you have no distractions, you can work on your goals, discover new things about yourself, and work on self-care. I know we live in a culture that praises being on the go, but learning to enjoy your own company can allow you to value it.
    Woman laying in a field of flowers
  3. 3. You learn the value of self-reliance 

    girl standing in field of flowers
    When we are young, we think the friends we have will be around forever. Even as adults, in our naivety, we still think this. But we know now that as seasons change, friends come and go. And it’s okay to feel hurt and to grieve. Take as long as you need to heal, but remember that just as you are on a journey, so are your friends. And sometimes they just won’t be around. But you will heal and gain confidence in your own journey. You will find the tools you need to get through your own battles, and you might even find new friends along the way! You get stronger each time you embrace being self-reliant. 
  4. 4. You learn to be a better friend 

    I’ve spent a lot of days lamenting on not having the friends I desire. But being in periods of loneliness has taught me that I can learn to be a better friend to others. In times of self-reflection, you learn how to overcome your toxic traits and how to better navigate relationships with people. Sometimes God will give us time to become the people we want to see in others. 
    Molly Peach-Girls Laughing At Night
  5. 5. You can grow in your faith 

    For those who are religious, having a relationship with God is a beautiful thing, and periods of isolation can help us grow in our faith. I don’t think I would have had the opportunity to get closer to God if we weren’t forced to be indoors in the middle of a pandemic. Being alone taught me that with God we are never really alone. He’s always with us, no matter what we face. 
    Girl with closed eyes and praying hands
Struggling with loneliness can be challenging. We can feel abandoned, misunderstood and even wonder why we are alone for certain periods of our lives. But there’s always a lesson we can take from what we go through — a positive to gain from our experiences. You can come out stronger, with a better understanding of who you are and learn how to love and relate to others better.