What Are the Best Ways to Cope with Loneliness and Social Isolation?

In our quest to uncover strategies for overcoming the challenges of loneliness and social isolation, we’ve gathered insights from nine experts, including dating coaches and directors.

From embracing self-compassion and social goals to exercising for mental well-being, these professionals offer a range of advice to help you find connection and comfort.

  • Embrace Self-Compassion and Social Goals
  • Partner for Wellness Accountability
  • Engage in Altruistic Activities
  • Find Joy in Personal Passions
  • Create a Personal Retreat Space
  • Connect Through Podcast Communities
  • Establish a “Third Place”
  • Be Proactive in Social Outreach
  • Exercise for Mental Well-Being

Embrace Self-Compassion and Social Goals

Ella Scaduto, Matchmaker and Dating Coach, Smoky Matchmaker

Ella Scaduto, Matchmaker and Dating Coach, Smoky Matchmaker

Practice self-compassion, knowing that everyone experiences loneliness or social isolation at some point in their lives; it in no way reflects their self-worth. Try to create a daily routine that involves activities around people; volunteer work is a great start.

Create small, achievable social goals: having small talk with a stranger while getting coffee, attending social gatherings, or even reaching out to an old friend. Spend some time developing positive and supportive relationships. 

A quality relationship will always beat the quantity of them. Get yourself out and about; physical activity and/or sports promote physical and mental health, and your brain will enjoy all those happy hormones. And then there is always a puppy somewhere waiting to be adopted to keep you company and love you unconditionally.

Partner for Wellness Accountability

Clare Gilbey, Founder, Chakra Practice

Clare Gilbey, Founder, Chakra Practice

In navigating the often challenging waves of loneliness or social isolation, one approach I’ve found profoundly beneficial is the concept of wellness accountability partners. This idea blossomed from my own experiences during a particularly solitary phase.

I reached out to a friend, proposing we become each other’s wellness allies—sharing daily check-ins, discussing our emotional states, and encouraging each other’s self-care practices. 

This mutual support bridged our sense of isolation and deepened our understanding of personal and collective healing.

It’s a simple concept: find someone you trust to partner with in your wellness journey, making the path less lonely and fostering shared growth towards emotional and physical well-being.

Engage in Altruistic Activities

Jacob Coyne, Founder, Stay Here

Jacob Coyne, Founder, Stay Here

As the founder of Stay Here, an organization dedicated to mental health awareness and suicide prevention, I’ve come across numerous individuals grappling with loneliness and social isolation.

My experience, combined with interactions with over 1.4 million followers on social media, has underscored the profound impact personal connections have on our mental well-being.

One effective strategy to cope with loneliness involves engaging in altruistic activities. Contributing to the well-being of others can significantly reduce feelings of isolation. For instance, volunteering for local community services not only helps bridge the social gap but also instills a sense of purpose and belonging.

This approach is grounded in the principle that when we shift our focus outward and contribute to others’ happiness, we inadvertently enrich our own lives. 

This perspective is backed by countless stories shared within our community, where individuals found solace and connection through acts of kindness and service, reminding us that in helping others, we find a path out of our own isolation.

Find Joy in Personal Passions

Maarten Cox, Director, Gecko Routes

Maarten Cox, Director, Gecko Routes

It is important to note that you can never feel lonely as long as you’re happy with yourself. However, engaging yourself in something that brings out the best in you is also important. Join a club or community, or do something that is your passion. 

While seeking out your passion, you also meet people who have similar interests. You develop a good connection with them, and the feeling of social isolation goes away.

Remember, loneliness always comes from inside; you can be in a room full of people and still feel lonely. So always seek happiness from within yourself so that if you are ever alone, you’ll never feel one tad bit of loneliness.

Create a Personal Retreat Space

Chris McGuire, Real Estate Investor, Real Estate Exam Ninja

Chris McGuire, Real Estate Investor, Real Estate Exam Ninja

One effective way for individuals to cope with and manage feelings of loneliness or social isolation is to create a personal retreat space within their own homes.

This retreat space can be a dedicated corner, room, or even a cozy outdoor area where they can engage in activities that bring them joy and solace. It could be a reading nook, an art studio, a meditation space, or any environment that aligns with their interests and preferences. 

Designing and utilizing this retreat space can carve out moments of solitude and self-care, allowing them to recharge and find inner peace. This dedicated space serves as a sanctuary where they can engage in activities that foster self-reflection, creativity, or relaxation.

Whether it’s reading a book, practicing mindfulness, exploring artistic endeavors, or simply enjoying quiet time, this retreat space becomes a personal haven that helps individuals combat feelings of loneliness and provides a sense of comfort and rejuvenation.

Connect Through Podcast Communities

Connor Ondriska, Co-founder & CEO, SpanishVIP

Connor Ondriska, Co-founder & CEO, SpanishVIP

To cope with and manage feelings of loneliness or social isolation, explore the world of podcasts and audio storytelling. Podcasts offer a unique and intimate form of connection, as listeners can engage with a variety of captivating topics and narratives while feeling a sense of companionship. 

Podcasts are available on virtually any subject, from true crime to comedy, self-improvement to history. By finding podcasts that align with their interests and passions, individuals can immerse themselves in rich storytelling and engaging conversations that make them feel connected to a wider community. 

Many podcasts have active online communities where listeners can discuss episodes, share thoughts, and connect with like-minded individuals.

Listening to podcasts provides intellectual stimulation and comfort, as well as companionship, helping individuals combat feelings of loneliness and create a sense of connection in their daily lives.

Establish a “Third Place”

Scott Lieberman, Owner, Touchdown Money

Scott Lieberman, Owner, Touchdown Money

Third places refer to the social surroundings separate from the two usual social environments of home and work. These can include gyms, libraries, cafes, churches, and so on.

Over the years, third places have slowly died as people work longer hours and spend more time at home on YouTube, Reddit, and Instagram. I believe this is a major contributor to why many people feel lonely.

This is why I recommend having a third place where you see the same faces twice or thrice a week. This could involve going to the gym or participating in a hobby like soccer. From there, you could plan with the people you see regularly and eventually build a vibrant social circle.

Be Proactive in Social Outreach

Joshua Bartlett, Running Coach, Your Next Run

Joshua Bartlett, Running Coach, Your Next Run

To effectively cope with and manage feelings of loneliness or social isolation, my advice is to be intentional about reaching out and connecting with others. As a small-business owner who works remotely from home, I understand how easy it can be to get caught up in work and let personal connections slide. However, it’s crucial to make a conscious effort to set up events or schedule interactions on your calendar.

By actively initiating contact and arranging to meet friends, family, or even professional peers, you create opportunities for social engagement that can break up periods of isolation. This might mean setting a regular date for a catch-up call, joining a local club or group that shares your interests, or attending networking events.

When you make the first move to reach out, it not only provides you with social interaction to look forward to but also opens the door for others to reciprocate in the future. This mutual exchange can help foster a support system where feelings of loneliness or isolation are less likely to take hold.

Remember, relationships are a two-way street, and by being proactive in your social life, you’re more likely to create a network of connections that can sustain you through the ups and downs of running a business.

Exercise for Mental Well-Being

Fahd Khan, Director of Marketing & Technology, JetLevel Aviation

Fahd Khan, Director of Marketing & Technology, JetLevel Aviation

One practical tip is to engage in regular physical activity or exercise to cope with feelings of loneliness or social isolation. This improves physical health and boosts mental well-being by releasing endorphins, known as “feel-good” hormones.

Exercise can be a powerful tool to combat loneliness, providing a sense of accomplishment and potentially opening avenues for social interaction, whether it’s a group fitness class, a walking club, or an online workout community.

Last Updated on by Sathi Chakraborty, MSc Biology

Authors

Mehar Jolly
Sathi Chakraborty, MSc Biology

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