Dealing with young adult cancer or long term illness can be very isolating. Whether you’re a caregiver, patient, or survivor, finding ways to keep your social network actively engaged can be quite a task…one that changing energy levels can make even more cumbersome.
We’ve talked a bit about different ways to keep your social network engaged by hosting a party with very little work, creating party themes, and ideas for things to do before 11 pm but today we have 10 tips for how to feel less lonely and isolated!
[list_item]call up a friend.[/list_item]
Sometimes help is just a phone call (or text) away. When I’m feel lonely and isolated, I have a tendency to continue that feeling by burrowing myself in my house (and often under the covers). Reaching out to someone and asking for some love and attention in the form of an open ear can make all the difference in the world.
[list_item]go for a walk.[/list_item]
When feeling lonely and isolated, fresh air can actively re-energize the body and mind. Walking outside, it is so much easier to realize that you hold a special and unique place in a very beautiful world.
[list_item]send a card.[/list_item]
Maybe this is something personal to me…but I absolutely adore getting snail mail. I’ve also found that taking the time to send someone snail mail makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Spending a few minutes (or longer) writing out a card to someone I love feels a lot like hanging out with them. They get to sit and listen to anything I want to tell them…and its all wrapped up in a great, card-like package!
[list_item]stay off of book face.[/list_item]
Unless you’re using facebook for some cancer or illness community event (maybe an online meet up?), facebook is the last place you need to be when feeling lonely or isolated. Facebook is where people seem to put the very best and most beautiful pieces of their life for all to see. Very few people talk about feeling low or sad or scared. While feeling lonely, browsing through pictures and posts of the very best versions of all of your facebook friends is destructive. Call a real person and talk to them.
I know, I know. Exercise is one of those things always suggested in self-help-y type of articles and posts. But, you know why? Because it really does work! Get that blood pumping and those endorphins flowing in the most natural way possible, by moving your body. Try starting with a walk, and slowly increasing to a jog. Take a dip in your local swimming pool. Pump up those bike tires, grab your helmet, and take a spin around the block. Even when I don’t want to exercise, I’m always glad that I did.
[list_item]try a new hobby or an old one.[/list_item]
Whenever I am feeling down in the dumps, spending some time doing something that I love always helps. Whether I’m sewing for a few hours, finishing up a stained glass project, reading a great book, or trying a new DIY activity, I always feel like a new person when I’m getting my hands dirty.
[list_item]treat yourself with care.[/list_item]
If your best friend called you up and expressed that they felt lonely and isolated, what would you tell them? Are you telling yourself the same things? Sometimes we are our toughest critics and our self-talk can get pretty nasty. If you wouldn’t say it to a friend, don’t say it to yourself!
[list_item]take yourself on a date.[/list_item]
Really want to go out to dinner or to see a movie? Do it! Even by yourself, these activities can be very fun and calming. Bring a book or your favorite magazine to dinner, then scoot off for a great new flick…don’t forget the popcorn!
[list_item]learn a dance off of YouTube.[/list_item]
Try learning this one!
[list_item]grab yourself your favorite beverage.[/list_item]
I love drinking hot tea on a cold day or iced coffee on a warm afternoon. Just taking time to give myself something that I enjoy helps to calm my soul and reset myself if I’m out of sorts.
What are the ways that you use to feel less lonely?