Like shattered glass (1)

Where there is an ending, there is a new beginning, but I can’t seem to find this new beginning. Some things are hard to live with.

Things like regret, loss, and especially heartbreak. Going through the pain of heartbreak seem like a never ending pain.

These were the words I said to myself one morning as I stared at my image in the mirror. 

Hello, my name is John. I work in a digital marketing firm and my job is pretty good.

I am good looking and I know what I want.

I remember using that line in my bio when I signed up for a dating site. There are various good-looking girls on dating sites, but my first rule is: I must see you physically before I start anything serious with you. I remembered Jane I met on this dating site a few years back. She appeared good looking in photos and has nice butt. We kept chatting daily and scheduled to meet in a restaurant for dinner. She had to reintroduce herself severally before I believed. Why does she look so different? That was when she told me she used filters in her photos. Well, she is okay… But not as pretty as the photos. 

What happened to your butt? I asked her. 

I just wanted to be real with you, so I did not put it on. She replied. 

I nodded my head slowly in shock and made up my mind to see a lady in person before being serious. I shrugged and said to myself, Thank God she’s being honest, anyway. 

We eventually did not go into anything serious. Perhaps I don’t like her that much for commitment. So, I told myself she was older. 

Oh… Sorry for diverting. I wanted to tell you about a lady I met on this dating site. 

Her name is Bukola. I call her Bu…. Ko… And she likes the way I call her that. The first attraction for me was her smile. How can a lady smile so innocently I mumbled to myself as I kept staring at her pictures. I told her I love her as much as I love her smile and we kept the conversation going for weeks. Apart from the fact she has a charming smile, her butt looks real in her photos. Why did I believe it’s her real butt, anyway? I told myself I won’t believe anything online till I meet the lady physically. Her case was exceptional. I thanked God for helping me locate the woman of my dreams. There is a connection I screamed with excitement while I gestured my hands in the air as if trying to catch something. I got her! I said in excitement.

OVERCOMING LONELINESS (7) (DISCOVERING YOURSELF)

YOU CAN USE ALONE TIME TO CONNECT WITH YOURSELF.


Think of what you enjoy doing alone. Are you a reader?

What kind of books do you enjoy reading? Read it! Perhaps you do not enjoy reading; but think of what you like to do alone and do it. 
The internet is accessible to you.

You can go on YouTube and learn something that interest you. For an example: If you enjoy taking smoothie, you can go online and learn how to do that. If you enjoy makeup, you can spend time alone learning that too.


You can learn something new or you can perfect your skills. There are various online classes you can access online for free (and paid version if you wish). If you want to learn a skill, you can do that alone. You can use alone time to get back in touch with yourself. 


Meditate: When you sit down and meditate, you have a moment to observe your feelings. Although meditation takes practice and consistency. Take a moment alone and focus on your breathing. 


Inhale and exhale.🧘‍♂️🧘


Loneliness can seem like a huge issue to overcome, but taking baby steps can produce positive changes in your life.

Remember, Loneliness can hit anyone, but it is nothing to feel ashamed about. 


Everyone feels this way sometimes. Make human connection a priority!

Overcoming loneliness(6) (using Affirmations, gratitude and journaling to combat loneliness)

Affirmations are positive statements to help you overcome negative thoughts. Create affirmations you can repeat to yourself daily.

Here are some examples of affirmations you can say to yourself when you’re feeling lonely:

❤️My existence matters on this earth.

❤️My life is filled with laughter, love, and good times.

❤️I attract positive people.

❤️I radiate love and compassion for myself and others.

❤️My feelings are valid.

❤️I am getting better.

❤️I have the courage to connect with people.

❤️The universe needs me.

Gratitude: Focusing on gratitude is another way to combat your loneliness. Write down at least 5-10 things you are grateful for each day.

It could be for the air you breath in,

the water you drink,

Shelter, Wind, Rain,

Sunshine,

etc. Be grateful for the simple things you have in life; the things that make you smile.

 Your gratitude list can be big or little. Just 
think of what makes you to be thankful.

Another Journaling prompt you can write in your journal is writing what scares you about being lonely. You feel lonely and you are unhappy about it. Perhaps there is something you fear more.
It could be fear of growing old alone. It could be fear of being alone when your friends eventually get married and live their lives, but you are left alone. Write down what you fear most about being lonely and say them aloud. 

The fears you keep can have a hold on you, but when you say them aloud and change your thoughts about how you feel, you do not allow the fear of being lonely to take the best part of you. When your friend is feeling lonely and comes to tell you about it, what will you do? 

You will empathize with your friend, right? Write down what you will do to yourself if you were offering support to your friend. Come up with some kind words you can say to yourself and write it down.

You can come up with your prompts. These are just a guide to put you through journaling if you are just starting how to journal.

Journaling is a good way to vent your emotions, and it helps you be in touch with your feelings, stay organised and memorize event that has happened to you.

OVERCOMING LONELINESS (5) (WRITING AS AN ANTIDOTE TO LONELINESS).

Another writing prompt you can pen down in your diary is to ask yourself how it feels like asking for support. 

How do you feel about reaching out?

✍️Write it down. 

Recall a time when a family member or friend (s) supported you emotionally, 
Financially, physically. Recall the moment and write how you felt at that point.

Identifying yourself with a group or certain individuals can help combat your feelings of loneliness. 

Connection is an antidote to loneliness!

If you have the feelings of loneliness, what can you do to get away the feelings of being lonely?
Can you reach out for support?
Can you reach out to groups online that suit your interest or a volunteer group (NGOs)? Write the answer you come up with.

Journaling helps you to have moments with yourself and you will answer questions without holding nothing back. Journaling gives you the power to be 
yourself in a safe space.

As you journal, create your affirmations. Affirmations are positive statements you say to yourself to help you overcome negative thoughts.

OVERCOMING LONELINESS (4). (WRITING AS AN ANTIDOTE TO LONELINESS) .

📝JOURNAL YOUR FEELINGS

Journaling is a powerful way to combat your feelings of loneliness. Journaling your feelings helps you to identify why you feel the way you do. It also helps you to manage your feelings of loneliness and seek the support you need to overcome loneliness. 

Before journaling your thoughts and feelings: find a space that makes you feel safe and calm.

This could be your bedroom, your yoga mat, a cool spot under a tree, or a quiet space in the park. When you are in your calm space, make sure you have the things you need for the next twenty minutes. 

Grab a snack,

a cup of water, coffee or tea (Depends on which you feel like having 
around to chomp as you journal) the most important thing is to get comfortable!

The second step before you journal is to take a few deep, slow breaths in and out (Perhaps 8-10 times)

Focus on how your body feels at that moment. Focus on your breath and your body. 

The goal is to write without editing how you feel at that moment. The human attention span is so fickle, and can easily be distracted. It is important you bring your 
attention to the moment before journaling your feelings.

Pick up your pen or your digital journal, then ask yourself:

 what it feels like to feel lonely. Does being lonely make you cry?


Does being lonely make you feel sad or guilty? 
Does being lonely make you sick or does it cause you stomach ache or headache?

 Be gentle on yourself and take a moment to reflect on how you feel about being lonely.

When you take time to answer these questions surrounding your feelings of loneliness, you are in a better position to identify your symptoms. When you can  identify your symptoms you have written, you find solutions to help you feel better.

❗Finding these solutions yourself may not totally take away your loneliness especially when you cannot do this alone (as you need to seek professional help) but, before then it will help you feel better such that it does not take a toll on your mind and body.

OVERCOMING LONELINESS (3)

There are also some social groups you can reach out to online and connect with them physically. When you meet people physically, there are ways to engage in a conversation with them, and this takes practice. Deliberately engage in a conversation and notice when the person you are speaking to feels uncomfortable to talk.

Some things you can do are:


When you go to a restaurant, ask someone a casual question by saying: “How is the food?”

or “How is the drink”, “Is this your first visit to this place?”. Ask the receptionist or cashier how are they are doing and smile at them.

Ask open-ended questions that do not require a “Yes” or “No” response. For example: You may ask: “How is the drink?”.
Compliment someone. You may say: “Your shoe is lovely” “I love your hair.

 “What cream do you apply on it?”
Keep the conversation going with small talk and avoid asking sensitive questions. Ask general questions everyone can ask even without knowing them personally. When you engage in a conversation, smile and nod occasionally to show you are present.

You can also open a group on social media on a subject that interest

you and you can plan a meeting with like-minded-people to connect with.
Attempt to reach out to loved ones too.
Create a WhatsApp group and connect with old classmates.


Plan a get together time!

NOTE: Please, when meeting up with people or groups you have communicated with online, ensure you meet up with them in a public and a safe space.

OVERCOMING LONELINESS (2)

CONNECT WITH OTHER PEOPLE : Sometimes it’s hard to mingle with other people, especially when you feel they do not fit into the group you want.

There are different groups to join if you search and find the one that resonates with you. For example, a volunteer group.

Joining a volunteer group gives you a sense of purpose in life. Knowing that you are helping the vulnerable in the society gives you a reason to keep living. You will find a sense of purpose in life and fulfilment when helping others.

Diverse volunteer groups have a niche. It could share food with the less privilege, taking care of animals, cleaning a community, advocating for a positive right such as mental health, self-care, etc or educating the less privilege in the society about a particular thing that will be healthy for them. 

Find the volunteer group that resonates with you and join. Apart from just volunteering, you can also connect with people of the 
same like minds just as yours and meet new people. 

Volunteering is also one way to stay engaged (and busy) rather than being lonely.

You will not only have the feelings of being useful, but you will also meet new people and make new connections. There are a lot of charity groups that need volunteers. Try reaching out to them online or if you know their physical location. When you are involved in a volunteer group, try to engage in a conversation with people as well. Actively look for opportunities to talk to others, rather than being on your own.

Think about activities or hobbies you enjoy doing, or something you would like to learn, and see if there are any groups or classes in your area that do what interest you. Such as dancing, swimming, book club, gymnastics, going for a stroll with your pet,.
 
When you have a dog and you decide to take your dog out for a walk, chatting to other pet owners and learning the name of their pets and their name can help you feel connected in your neighbourhood.

Think about what you will be happy doing without pressuring yourself.

OVERCOMING LONELINESS (1)

When experiencing loneliness, the idea of reaching out for help may seem impossible.

REACH OUT FOR SUPPORT.

It’s also important to reach out for help if you cannot handle your loneliness alone or if you are using unhealthy ways to cope with loneliness such as, drinking too much, overeating, or engaging in other unhealthy behaviour can increase your loneliness in the long-term.

Talking therapy allows you to explore and understand your feelings of loneliness and can help you develop positive ways of dealing with them. Therapy offers a safe space to explore the reason you feel lonely.

If you are not ready to speak to a counselor, there are other options for you. There are charity organisations or groups for you to reach out to. Some of these groups organise events/activities that bring people together. You can also reach out to your support system and people you trust.

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