Challenging life experiences like loss or divorce don’t have to feel so isolating. Jeff Crume, our Circles Guide who specializes in relationships and personal development, offers 5 ways to feel less alone when things get tough.
1. Find people to connect with.
One of the biggest acts of self-love when you feel alone is to find friends to talk to about your challenges. Studies show that talking to others who understand your experience, validate your feelings, and offer a non-judgmental ear can be tremendous for your mental health.
It is, however, something many find difficult to do! You may not want to burden others with your emotions. You may feel like no one “gets it,” and that you’re the only one experiencing something this hard. This can make you feel even more alone during difficult times.
Talking with others who can relate to you, and to whom you can relate to, can reduce anxiety and depression, help you express your feelings, teach you new coping skills, and generally remind you that you are not alone. You can find these groups online through apps like Circles.
2. Treat your “flaws” with the compassion of a friend.
Whenever you get stuck in a pattern of criticizing or judging yourself, practice radical self-compassion through journaling, self-affirmations, or CBT-based reframing. Treat yourself with the same kindness and understanding that you would offer to a good friend. Give yourself the grace you wish others would give to you.
Have you considered that when you embrace your flaws, you also embrace the part of you that feels alone during hard times? When we criticize ourselves (especially when we are down), it is almost as if we are abandoning ourselves in times of need. Practicing self-compassionate is a way of practicing self-kindness and self-love.
3. Surround yourself with positive people.
The people we surround ourselves with have a profound impact on our self-esteem and self-worth. Seek out friends and family members who support, encourage, and uplift you. Limit your time with those who don’t.
4. Engage in self-care, even when it feels hard to.
Take care of your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being by engaging in activities that make you feel good. This can be anything from exercise, reading, meditating, or simply taking a relaxing walk.
When we deprive ourselves of basic self-care, we sometimes feel worse. Remind your body of how simple things like sunlight, moving our bodies, and eating nourishing foods can also nourish our spirits.
5. Ask for help.
We all need one another. If you’re struggling with self-love and self-worth, ask for help. Seek the help of a support group, a coach, or mentor that can help you identify and overcome the negative thoughts and behaviors that seem to feel heavy during these difficult times.
By finding groups, practicing self-compassion, surrounding yourself with positive people, engaging in self-care, and asking for help, you can begin to take steps to feeling less alone. Be patient and kind with yourself, and always believe you’re worth it! There is no greater you than you.
Jeff Crume is a Circles Support Group Facilitator and seasoned mental health professional with over fifteen years of experience in areas including grief and crisis, relationship challenges, life coaching and personal development. Jeff has been helping people navigate their way through life, and he finds inspiration in witnessing people’s self-discovery of their innate power. A husband and father of four children, Jeff enjoys sipping a warm cup of coffee while watching the sunrise in the mornings and chasing the sunsets on his mountain bike in the evenings.