Isolation can cause a myriad of issues; from poor self-esteem and even depression. Additionally, mental health conditions like depression can create a feeling of isolation in afflicted individuals. This vicious cycle can add to the already complex emotions going through someone’s head when they feel isolated.
If you’re feeling isolated, keep reading to learn more about how to conquer these feelings and keep your life moving.
Identify the Cause of Your Isolation
The first thing you’ll need to do is identify what’s causing your feelings of isolation. Do you suffer from depression, low self-esteem, or simply don’t attend social gatherings? Are you working all the time and never have room for personal activities? Perhaps you’re engaging in purely online relationships and not spending enough in-person time with those you love.
In today’s digital world, more and more people are beginning to feel the sting of isolation and loneliness. Apps and social media have connected us more than ever, but somewhere along the way, we lost the true connection we all once shared. According to this article by NBC News, Americans are vulnerable to feelings of isolation and loneliness; especially Gen Z.
Once you’ve identified what’s causing your feelings of isolation, you can begin to address them. If you’re spending too much time on social media, limit yourself to a certain amount of scrolling time each week, and spend the rest of that time going on walks, visiting places of interest, or connecting with friends and family in an in-person setting.
Sometimes, feelings of isolation are completely rooted in falsehood in the form of assumptions. Assuming people aren’t interested in you or don’t want to spend time with you can be incredibly damaging to your own self-esteem, as well as the relationships that you share with the people in your life. Assuming does nothing for you but isolate you in a place where you think no one cares about you.
Don’t make assumptions, but instead, ask questions. The right questions can help alleviate those feelings and bring closure to your assumptions. You’ll likely find out that it was simply a busy schedule that was keeping loved ones from seeking out time with you, rather than a negative feeling toward you. Having someone to talk to can be an incredible resource when you’re feeling lonely or isolated.
Embracing Your Personality
If you’re not comfortable with who you are as a person, you might be unable to fully embrace who you are and will end up feeling like other people don’t like you. Coming to terms with who you are as a person is an important part of personal growth, but can also create feelings of low self-esteem and isolation if you don’t like what you see.
It’s important to figure out why you don’t like who you are. Is it because you’ve made mistakes? Is it simply because you think others won’t like you? Are you not engaging in personal growth and are feeling stagnant? Every one of these causes can be addressed and remedied with the right amount of self-awareness and effort.
Embrace who you are. If you don’t like certain flaws, take steps to work on those flaws, and understand that people are flawed. We’re human. It’s impossible to be perfect, and, in fact, being flawed is what makes each one of us so unique. Stop comparing yourself to others and take a look at what you’ve accomplished and what you plan to do in the future.
Balance Work and Personal Life
Where most people begin to feel isolated is in a persistent imbalance between work and personal life. Working too much and not taking enough time for yourself can leave you feeling alone, like all of your time is being spent at work and you’re missing out on what life has to offer.
The Guardian published an article last year that discusses how the overworking can seriously affect your health, with long hours and reduced personal time due to job commitments becoming a great concern for America’s workforce. Burnout is a real condition that comes from working too hard for too long, and it’s no surprise that we’re seeing more and more of it as wages stagnate and jobs develop more stringent requirements.
It’s important to make a reasonable allowance for personal time and get out and do something other than work. If you work long hours, try to maintain a consistent eat and sleep schedule to reduce the feeling of burnout and exhaustion that could be preventing you from leaving the house and creating a sense of isolation.
Mental Health Resources
If your feelings of isolation are rooted in depression or other mental illness, it’s important to seek out the appropriate mental health resources to assist you in overcoming and managing your condition(s). Isolation can be dangerous to mental and physical health, and if you’re already suffering from mental illness, staying indoors all the time can actually worsen your already impactful condition. Check with your community to see if there are group therapy sessions you can attend, or schedule an appointment with a therapist to begin working through your condition and towards better mental health.
Isolation can be caused by many things, but luckily, each of those things has a solution. If you’re feeling isolated, start by identifying what’s making you feel that way. From there, you’ll be able to address the issues and take steps towards reversing those feelings.