What to do in the Moment When You Feel Lonely + 3 Things Not to Do

Everyone feels lonely at times and single moms are no exception, but how do you handle your loneliness at the moment? Here are six practical things to do next time you feel lonely and three things not to do.

The thing I hear over and over from single moms is that they are lonely. They may be surrounded by their kids constantly, but there isn’t anyone to share it with. Share the good, funny moments with and share the challenging, sad moments with.

On the opposite end, there’s the single momma who has to let her kids go to their dad’s house for a weekend and doesn’t just feel alone but is alone for 48 hours.

At that moment, whether you’ve got kids running through the house or a suddenly quiet house, what do you do to stop feeling so lonely? Stop the rollercoaster of emotions that will lead to nowhere good – fast?

feel lonely

6 Practical Things to do When You’re Lonely

Write

Write in your journal or write a card to a family member or friend.

The process of writing will slow your brain down and force you to concentrate. Slowing your thoughts can be especially helpful if you find yourself feeling anxious or catastrophizing (imagining scenarios where the worse will happen.)

Related: Journaling Prompts for Life After Quarantine

Connect

Sometimes all it takes is talking to another human being to bring your mood back up. Text a friend or call your mother.

If neither of those options is available to you, try going on a walk in a park where other people will be and simply making eye contact and saying hello to a few people. Getting out will enforce to yourself that you are not alone. 

Volunteer

Find someone who needs help more than you. There’s always someone in more need than ourselves.

When we take the spotlight off ourselves and focus on someone else, we find our problems seem much smaller. Whether it’s a few small acts of kindness or volunteering at a shelter, there’s always an opportunity to serve other people. 

Related: How I Celebrated My Birthday with 39 Acts of Kindness

Exercise

Depending on the extent of your loneliness, this may be hard to do but exercising will release endorphins that will naturally increase your mood. If at all possible, get your heart rate up for at least 20 minutes and get outside.

Even better, bring along your furry friend. If you don’t have enough energy for exercise, consider yoga to get the benefit of slowing your breath down. 

Related: How to Start Walking for Your Mental Health

Get Creative

Pick up an old art project, or go to your local craft store and see what intrigues you. Just like writing engages a different part of your brain, creativity will too.

Try journaling in your Bible for a two-one punch to feel a connection with God while getting your creative juices flowing. 

Pray

Invite God into your lonely places. Tell him how you’re feeling and ask him to fill your heart with contentment with your current circumstances.

Praying for “contentment” isn’t an exciting prayer.

But it’s a LIFE-GIVING prayer.

And it’s one we need throughout so many seasons of our life…whether we’re struggling through singleness, in an unhappy marriage, or even sometimes when we can’t quite put our finger on why we aren’t fulfilled.

Related: 10 Bible Verses to Help You Find Contentment With Your Life

Plus, contentment in our current season is one God wants for us.

Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.

Philippians 4:11-13 

What NOT to do when You’re lonely

Call Up an old Ex

Don’t do anything in your loneliness that you’ll regret in your fullness.

Turn to alcohol or other unhealthy behaviors

Everyone has a list of their own unhealthy vices. Maybe for you, it’s junk food or smoking. Whatever it is, have a plan before you get to a low point so these unhealthy vices won’t be available to you.

Scroll

Our phone is usually what most of us grab first when we feel lonely. The phone is our first go-to, even before another human being, before God, before our kids.

And most of the time, we scroll and scroll and scroll, trying to find something to fill us up, only to turn the phone off, feeling completely empty.

Numerous studies have shown social media makes more lonely, not more connected.

Challenge yourself to resist the urge to turn to social media the next time you’re feeling lonely. Go through everything else on this list before you head over to your social media app of choice.

Have you prayed, talked to another human being first, gotten sun on your face, exercised, eaten something healthy? 

What to do in the Moment When You Feel Lonely + 3 Things Not to Do