16 Ways to Battle Loneliness

Battle loneliness in coronavirus quarantine

I don’t usually give things up for lent, but this year I decided to take a break from alcohol. Relaxing with a glass of wine has become an expensive and unhealthy habit.  So I joined an online reset group and made the decision to just say no – this month.

That decision was made before the Coronavirus  hit New York and cancelled the school where I work for who knows how long.

The instant joy of knowing I have a free unexpected week off was reminiscent of 7 years ago when Hurricane Sandy closed down the area and I had two weeks at home with no work.  Of course, 11 of those days also meant I had no power in the house, so the wine bottles opened early, neighbors visited daily and the whole period is just a blur in my mind.

So this time I am preparing differently.  I have stocked the refrigerator and found a place to store my Costco size toilet paper package.  I have some cold medicine on hand and have been making daily “mocktails” with cranberry-pomegranate juice and Emergen-C packets.

Omitting alcohol from my diet should also help keep my immune system healthy and I will have energy to fit in some home workouts (no excuses)!

But as a widow who has had to stay home by myself when I had the flu a few years ago, I know that you can get lonely very quickly. So here are some ideas to get you out of the funk.

  1. Facetime (or Skype) – I love having conversations with my kids and seeing their faces.  My brother and sister and I have started to have group conversations on Sunday evenings.  We used to call mom on Sundays, but now that mom is gone, we are staying connected by chatting together.  We see each other and other members of the family as well.
  2. Write a Letter – especially if you know someone a bit older, they really appreciate letters. My 94 year old aunt sends letters to me and about 40 other relatives each week.  I know she expects them in return and doesn’t go on the computer so I will put that on my list of things to do this week.
  3. Call a Friend – I don’t like to make phone calls, but once I do, I love to catch up with friends.  Let someone know you are thinking of them and give them a call.
  4. Comment on a Blog – Bloggers love to have people read what they wrote.  Write a comment and engage in a conversation with real people.
  5. Walk the Dog – Mine is currently sleeping on the couch, but getting outside will be good for me and him. Exercise releases endorphins which make you feel good. And you just may say hi to a neighbor – just no hugging today.
  6. Coloring Book – The pages in the books can be quite meditative.  Focusing on something like coloring will keep you in the present moment and away from the anxiety of the news.
  7. Read a Book – Download something from the library or Amazon onto your phone. Since I am taking a break from alcohol this month I just finished a book call “Sober Diaries” by Clare Pooley.  She is a well educated stay-at-home mom from London who wrote a blog and turned it into a book about her one year staying Alcohol Free.  Funny and very relatable.
  8. Do a Puzzle – I haven’t done one since my dad used to set them up in the dining room on a card table when we were kids.  I wanted to do something with my hands in the evening so I started a 1000 piece puzzle.  It was actually really fun.  There is a great sense of accomplishment when you find that piece you have been looking for.
  9. Play a Game – If you are alone, Words with Friends on my phone is my go to game.  It is like scrabble and you can play with a friend or the program will find someone for you to play with.
  10. Solitaire – The card game we all learned when we were kids.  Play it while watching TV or listening to music.
  11. Netflix – Some favorite series I’ve watched recently: Outlander, The Americans, Flea Bag, Mad Men, You, The Good Place, Schitts Creek, Vikings, Stranger Things, The Crown… just to name a few.
  12. Clean the House – Just kidding!
  13. Make a To Go box – That is on my list today.  I still have boxes of dusty stuff I brought upstairs when the kitchen was under construction.  I do not want most of that old stuff going back into my new, clean kitchen. Once I find homes for the good stuff, the rest is going into a box to be donated. No second thoughts.
  14. Toss Papers – I will put on a timer and go through the stack of papers.  Toss, shred, file or act on.  I do have an issue with too many papers.
  15. Plan a Trip – For the summer of 2021.  Where would you like to visit? Check out the websites, read some blogs, pin the blogs onto a new Pinterest site.  It’s fun to look forward to something exciting! Best 12 days in South Africa without renting a car
  16. Cook – Look up recipes using ingredients you have in the refrigerator right now.  Be creative and enjoy.

Hope these suggestions are helpful.  Please comment below if you like one of these, or if you have more ideas.  I will need some too. Thanks for reading.

Battle loneliness in coronavirus quarantine
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10 Responses

    1. Thanks so much!! Still sorting through stuff to keep in the updated kitchen. I never suggest cleaning. Lol!

  1. Well done! A timely and on point list of tips during a confusing time for people. I’m one of those weirdos who are never bored, maybe because usually, as a grandma of 6, a blogger myself and retired ad agency owner it’s finding time that’s the problem. These are different times, with even grandkids keeping distance from the ol’ gal, but also the right moment to look back in awe of how generations fared who had to give up far more. Wartime meant rationing, blackouts and bomb shelters none of which was convenient or fun. I’m sure we can survive this time, too. Keep up the good writing!

    1. Thank you so much for your comment – it’s good for the kids to keep their distance now. I was teaching kindergarten all week and kept looking at those cute faces thinking they could all be carriers! Hopefully this will pass with limited disruption as possible. Stay healthy

  2. start a hobby – pick something that resonates with you – be it actually “Making something” or “researching a subject that you’ve never had time to do”

    I’m New Zealand, and no general outbreaks here, although people arriving home from various other countries have got ill. So there isn’t complete lock down but there have been cancellations of big and medium sized events. I’m also a home alone person, so I do have to careful but that’s been quite normal for me over quite a few years, as I do have health issues…

    However, I’ve been suffering the last month or so with other issues, nothing to with current worldwide crisis (or my usual health issues) and haven’t been out much, I’m just starting to be less “jumpy” and so made a list of “making” – I’m a maker by trade so I’m already have the supplies…but I wanted to concentrate on certain things…

    1. What a good suggestion to focus your mind on making something or researching a topic. I need to find a hobby and I think once the weather warms up here in the spring I will enjoy doing some gardening. Thanks for reading.

      1. you could use your “gardening” as such a project – be researching the reasons you are going to plant xyz – through to creating some object that be part of that garden – even something as simple as hand-drawn sun orb or take an old mirror that will reflect something in the garden…create a mini outdoor space (I’ve no idea how big your yard/garden space is) – then when your garden is underway you have a space to admire and create in …

  3. I love your list and am actually doing some of the items on the list. Since I am now working from home for the unforseeable future, the cleaning is becoming a real thing. As I am sitting at my desk, there is a pile of post-its and while I am on conference calls I am going through them and throwing out old crap that is no longer relevent. Also making comments on blogs, spending more time with my dogs (they love it when I play frisbee with them), etc.

    Thank you for this great list!

    1. Thanks for responding. Yes. Making play with the dog and regular walks will help us all stay more sane.

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Runaway Widow
Join me, Kristin, on my journey to adjust to the sudden death of my husband and learn to live as a young, middle-aged, remarried widow.

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