The Loneliness Epidemic Part 3: How to stop feeling lonely

Get up and get going with these helpful steps.

Feeling disconnected from the world and purposeless are often the two main underlying reasons for loneliness. For this reason, it is crucial to find ways to get connected again by plugging yourself back into the world and finding a reason to get up and going everyday. Here are three steps to do just that:

Start socialising again

Life in lockdown has cut all social ties for many people, especially seniors. Now that life is opening up again, it is time to work on your social well being. Join a club, take up a new hobby, volunteer at an organization close to your heart or go to a religious gathering to address your spiritual needs. Surround yourself with like-minded people and make meaningful contact with others.

Go online and connect virtually

Many South African seniors feel left behind or lonely, because their children and/or grandchildren live overseas. Start a WhatsApp family group to share photos of daily happenings or set up a weekly time and day that is convenient for everyone to have a catch-up Skype, Zoom or Meet call which is free and allows you to see everyone regularly.

Get a furry companion

Owning a pet has proven to have a highly positive impact on a person’s mental, emotional and physical health and is a wonderful way to curb loneliness. Going for a regular walk with your dog is excellent for you as the pet owner and having a living being to care for, look after and love gives you a purpose. Be careful when choosing the pet, as a wild, hyperactive puppy will probably be too demanding. Rather opt for a calmer breed that is a couple of years old and already has basic training. If a dog is not suitable, a cat or even a bird are both lovely options and will make wonderful companions. If a pet is not allowed where you stay, look at volunteering at an animal shelter or going for pet therapy.

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