How to Overcome Loneliness in All Journeys of Mental Health Recovery
Recovery is a difficult but rewarding process. It can be hard to stay on track, but if you are feeling lonely, there is hope. There are many things that you can do to combat loneliness and stay motivated during your recovery journey.
Admit Your Loneliness and Don’t Be Ashamed of It: Don’t be in denial. The first step in overcoming loneliness is admitting and accepting it. You may feel embarrassed or ashamed of the way you are feeling but understand that these feelings are normal. Acknowledging your loneliness will help you move past it because then you can start taking action to change it.
Gratitude: Keep an Attitude of Gratitude! Practicing gratitude helps shift your thoughts and energy from negative to positive. Write down three things each day that you are grateful for and focus on those items instead of the loneliness.
Be Aware: When we get caught up in our own problems, we may not realize how much more difficult other people’s struggles can be compared to ours. Becoming aware of other people’s situations can make us appreciate our own lives and take away some of the loneliness we may feel in recovery.
Help Another Person in Recovery: One great way to combat loneliness during recovery is by helping out another person who is also going through the same process as you are. Helping others can give you a sense of purpose while also allowing you to connect with someone who understands what you are going through.
Move A Muscle, Change A Thought: If a negative thought comes into your mind, try physical activity like walking or running as a way to distract yourself from those thoughts and clear your head. Exercise releases endorphins which can boost your mood and help reduce stress levels associated with anxiety or depression brought on by loneliness in recovery.
Go To a Meeting: Reach out for support from others who understand what it’s like to go through the process of recovery – these people know exactly where you are coming from! Attending a meeting with others who have similar experiences as yours can provide an invaluable boost in morale when feeling lonely during recovery efforts. Download My Mental Health App to connect you to a meeting now.
Have A Plan and Purpose: Having an action plan for each day helps provide structure when recovering mental health issues that often cause feelings of loneliness due to isolation or exclusion from unhealthy activities enjoyed before you were in recovery. Making plans ahead gives more purpose outside of just focusing on overcoming adversity while providing a sense of accomplishment once tasks have been completed successfully throughout the day.
Connect with Nature: Taking a walk outdoors allows one to appreciate nature while being surrounded by positive energy that disconnects them from whatever caused them distress before stepping outside. Breathing fresh air has calming effects which helps ease tension, decreases stress, increases energy, improves sleep, boosts immune system, lowers blood pressure & increases productivity.
Get Professional Help: Talking with an understanding professional about how one feels provides an outlet for expressing oneself without judgement. Having someone listen & empathize with emotions often makes one feel less alone & less overwhelmed by the situation at hand. If you’re not ready or shy about a face to face meeting be sure to download the My Mental Health interactive self-guided virtual
recovery system app at mymentalhealth.org.
Enjoy Solitude as a Choice: Learn to be alone without being lonely. Doing something enjoyable by yourself, such as reading books, writing poetry or completing puzzles. This allows you to disconnect from all the noise and concentrate solely on yourself. This can be meditative, providing for self- reflection.
Feeling lonely during recovery doesn’t have to be an insurmountable obstacle; there are many steps that can be taken in order to overcome these feelings so that one does not become discouraged along their path towards healing & successful recovery. By admitting your loneliness, practicing gratitude, becoming aware of other people’s situations, helping others, “move a muscle, change a thought”, attending meetings, making plans & purposes for each day, connecting with nature, getting professional help, if necessary, & choosing to do something for yourself -you will find yourself better equipped when facing the emotional challenges that come with successful recovery!
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