This pandemic has prevented us from CONNECTING with other people. We are being told to STAY HOME and STAY APART!!
We may have many ‘friends’ on social media, but rarely get to spend time with people one-on-one, eye-to-eye, getting to KNOW each other.
We text and comment, but when was the last time you had a heartfelt, deep, face-to-face conversation. When was the last time you HUGGED someone (besides your children)?
After moving to a new state, I’d been feeling extremely lonely. My loneliness was causing me to be on social media MORE, but that pseudo-connection left me feeling emptier and lonelier.
Social media allows for VIRTUAL connections, but not a SOUL connections.
The same technology that promises to help us be more connected than ever is – in some ways – making people more disconnected that ever.
My loneliness caused me to become SO sad!! Not one person in this new state called me “friend.” Few people even knew my name.
My husband listened as I told him how LONELY I’d been feeling. Then, as husbands like to do, he gave me something to DO about it! Husbands love to FIX things.
At first, I didn’t want him to FIX it…I just wanted to FEEL it. Then, I slowly acted on his suggestions and it really DID help! If you find yourself feeling lonely, these ideas might help you too:
Reach out to old friends
I can’t tell you how refreshing it is to catch up with people who know you and love you. Call an old friend today.
It’s important to choose a handful of friends that are “lifers” … friends that you want to stay connected with for life. Those are the friends you need to continue to check-in on and reach out to.
Call old friends and tell them you are LONELY! Letting someone know how you feel invites them to encourage you, pray for you, check in on you, and spend time with you.
I was feeling sad that very few friends had reached out to me, then I began to realize I had not reached out to anyone either. I have one friend who lost her father, another friend just went through a divorce, another friend also moved across the country. I had not reached out to ANY of them!!!!
Wow, I was throwing myself a pity party, then realized I was not doing what I wanted others to do for me!
2. Reach out to new friends
I had TWO people in this new state that knew me, and I reached out to them. One was my neighbor…we just sat on her porch and talked while our kids played. I invited the other lady I had recently met to stop by for coffee. It was refreshing to chat and begin to build a friendship.
When we sow genuine seeds of friendship – kindness, encouragement, and time – we WILL reap a harvest of good friends.
3. Get outside
I know we are being asked to STAY IN, but I am recommending you Get OUT! Take a walk and soak in the fresh air.
BONUS: PEOPLE are outside!
This might sound silly, but I intentionally went on walks and bike rides with my kids around my new neighborhood JUST to meet our neighbors and find potential friends. The circumstances are different right now, but you can still get out and wave at neighbors or chat with a mom at the playground.
My first good friend was someone I met when our kids were playing together at a park.
As our world begins to open up – go to places like the library, take a class at the gym, go to church, or attend a Bible study.
I was actually writing this post outside and a lady from my church recognized me and said hello. We talked for a few minutes and she asked what I was writing about. I was embarrassed to answer, but took a deep breath and said: Loneliness. Out of compassion, she invited my boys and me over to her home for lunch that week. We went and had a wonderful afternoon together. It was exactly what I needed, and would not have had happened if I’d stayed inside – wallowing in loneliness.
Movement creates opportunity!
Get out of your house. Smile. Be friendly.
4. Start a Gratitude List
Start writing a list of things you are grateful for. I’m currently writing a list of 1000 things for which I’m thankful based on the book One Thousand Gifts gifts.
If you look for the good, you WILL find it!
When I began to focus on the things I DO have rather than what I don’t, my attitude began to change. My shift in perspective caused my heart to mend.
5. Connect with your Heavenly Father.
We are never really alone. Our Heavenly Father is always ready and willing to spend time with us, comfort us, and heal our wounded hearts. It’s easy to forget that God is with us all day long…ready to listen and connect. He’s the one Friend that will never leave or disappoint us.
…But I am always with you.
You have held my hand. Psalm 73:23
…You can be sure that I will be with you always… Matthew 28:20
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted. Psalm 34:18
So don’t worry, because I am with you.
Don’t be afraid, because I am your God.
I will make you strong and will help you.
I will support you with my right hand…Isaiah 41:10
The closer we get to God, the fuller our hearts will be and the less lonely we will feel. However, it’s okay to ask Him to provide us with strong friendships!
He’s the one who said:
“It’s not good for man to be alone!” (Genesis 2:18)
If you’ve moved recently, I wrote a post called “LOVE WHERE YOU LIVE” with some similar but additional ideas and encouragement. You can click here to read it.
If you’ve found something that has helped you build friendships and overcome loneliness, leave a comment.
Action Step: Re-read the list and choose ONE of the 5 suggestions that you will do RIGHT NOW!
Kathryn Egly and the Help Club for Moms Team
For more encouragement, check out: You are Never Alone, by Max Lucado