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Everyone experiences loneliness from time to time. Lots of people are currently battling it, especially younger people.The suicide rate amongst young people is at an all-time high. Loneliness is more prevalent than ever in the midst of this now year-long pandemic.I’ve struggled with loneliness throughout the pandemic. If you're still struggling with loneliness during the time of COVID, then check out these 9 tips. They have helped me and I hope they do the same for you.

1. Video chat with loved ones

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This includes Skype, FaceTime, and Zoom or any other form of video chatting. I’m old fashioned and prefer phone calls but everyone is different. Need a break from reality? Try out the ohyay app! It’s a video chat app where you can create your own space while chatting with someone but there are also pre-made virtual spaces too. From museums to music festivals, you create your themed space room at the tip of your fingers Ohyay. You want to be at a dive bar? Join the pre-made dive Lucy’s on the app. You can choose to be anywhere in the bar: pool table, snack table, the stools, taking shots, and even in the bathroom! What a more tranquil setting? Check out the Miami view. It’s palm trees and sapphire water will provide peace to your soul while chatting with someone. Alternatively, Houseparty is an app that allows you to talk to a ton of people at a time (ohyay has limits on how many people can be in each room). WhatsApp has more variety, with video calling, texting, and calling features. For those who have an iPod instead of a phone, this app works very much like having a phone. Seeing the faces of your loved ones and talking to them about anything, from how they’re doing to what’s going on in their life to common interests, can help in this difficult time.

2. Pick up the phone and call. 

According to Self, you should pick up the phone and call your family, friends, or anyone you care about when you’re thinking of them. Calling to catch up can make you and the other person feel better. Personally, I’m not one for video chatting, but I do call. Whenever I’m thinking of someone I love, I pick up the phone and dial their number. The conversation can last between minutes and hours. Regardless of how long the talk is, I cherish it and hang up with a smile on my face.. If you have family in nursing homes, here’s how to keep in touch, according to The Collins Law Firm.  Just hearing their voices can bring a smile to your face and comfort to your heart. Don't forget to remind your significant other, your family members,and your friends that you love them and don’t forget to remind yourself, either. We're all going through this and we must never forget to say that four letter word often. 

3. Strike up conversations with those around you. 

If you have a job, talk to your coworkers, on your lunch break or when it's not busy. It can be beneficial for the both of you and who knows, you might end up making a friend. When you’re helping a customer, strike up a short conversation. Ask them about how their day is going. If you’re in line at a store or fast-food joint, talk to someone in line (even just to make a comment about how the line is taking forever). More often than not, someone will respond positively. Engage in small talk with them and go from there. When I’m at a store, if a person makes a comment, I respond. From there, we have a short or long communication. I always feel better talking to others and hopefully, so does the other person. That’s how I realize that I, and others took for granted the small interactions we had prior to the pandemic. 

4. Put yourself out there by volunteering.

When you’re not working or in school, you can contribute to your community by volunteering. According to Very Well Mind, doing something meaningful can ease sadness. Humans yearn to be a part of something meaningful, and volunteering can help you find that meaning. You’re giving back to your community while interacting with others.Talk to the other volunteers and build friendships. I’ve volunteered before and it always feels good to give back. Being a part of something bigger while giving back is always a wonderful feeling.  Those who want to support survivors of domestic violence  can volunteer at International Voice of Domestic Violence. Volunteering for any cause allows you to  help yourself and your community while building your resume. Another organization, the National Organization for Women, focuses on educating women about reproductive health, safety, and accessibility of safe abortions. Rock and Roll Camps for Girls is a community built to empower girls and teach them how to use all kinds of instruments, including their voice.  

5. Want to feel better? Join a Facebook group. 

Facebook groups allow you to interact with people who share the same interests as you. Just always  be careful who you talk to online. If possible, read their profile and their comments, so you know who you’re reaching out to. Bitch and Ms. offer book clubs that help people come together and discuss feminist literature. I’m not very interested in joining a Facebook group, if that’s what you want to do, go for it. It can make you feel better.

6. Join a club online or in person. 

According to Very Well Mind, joining a club is another way to form friendships and build your resume. Volunteering always felt good for me. Putting myself out there and helping those in need is honey for the soul. Search for any community clubs on Google or Facebook.  There are plenty of feminist clubs out there to join, like The International Alliance of Women, which helps women who have been victims of war and poverty. Emily’s List is another organization dedicated to finding financial resources for women in need In addition, here are feminist organizations to join immedietaly. Being apart of something--in person or virtual--can bring feelings of belonging.

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7.Exercise your body. 

You can go to the gym (if it’s open) or workout at home. Getting out of the house and exercising alleviates depression and loneliness. If you’re doing a home workout, buy some weights and search up “home workouts'' on YouTube or Instagram. You can look up Whitney Simmons, Heidy Espaillat, and Jessica-Diaz-Herrera on Instagram for workout videos. These certified female trainers provide workouts that can be done at home or at the gym.They provide all types of workouts: full-body, arms, legs, and abs. I enjoy watching Heidy’s videos because they’re simple and get my energy up. I use whichever workouts I want and implement them at the gym. After I workout, I feel a sense of accomplishment and proud of myself. Go outside and take a walk around the neighborhood, your local park, or even a grocery store. Whenever I feel cooped up, I take a walk around my apartment complex. It clears my mind and relaxes my soul while allowing my imagination to soar. If you want to join an organization that encourages walking for a good cause, join GirlTrek. This organization’s goal is to inspire healthy living for families. It is most notable for the Black History Bootcamp Walk, a 21-day walk geared toward exploration, freedom, and liberation for the Black community. If you can’t participate, you can listen to their new podcast they recently launched, which covers topics including Black history and meditations. If you decide to workout at a gym, interact with people around you (from a safe distance). Not up for being in a gym? Read BUST’s article about plus-size yoga! It provides different poses and techniques. Yoga provides a connection with your inner self while clearing your mind. The less we move our bodies, the worse depression becomes. Just getting out of the house and getting your body moving can release the sadness and clear your brain. 

8. Declutter your mind and house. 

Living in a dirty, disorganized environment only worsens depression. When you pick up after yourself and maintain an organized living space, you’re decluttering both your house and mind. While you clean, you can listen to Bust’s podcast Poptarts on Spotify to keep up on politics, pop culture, interviews, and so much more. Alternatively, create a playlist and listen to music or podcasts that motivate you. Living in a clean environment has brought me peace of mind. Whenever I clean, I blast Lana Del Rey or my favorite podcaster, Tim Pool into my apartment. After cleaning, I feel like a weight has been lifted off my chest and euphoria courses through my being. For tips on how to bring some magical intent into your cleaning, check out this BUST article. For tips on how to use different cleaning techniques sprinled with magical intent entended to attract prosperity, protection, and health by using different types of herbsthat bring about positive energy and repels the negative. 

9. Seek help if you need to. 

There is nothing wrong with asking for help. Self encourages people to seek help if you need to. There are certain things we can't handle or do ourselves. If you have the resources, make an appointment with a therapist, even for a Zoom appointment or phone session. Talking to a professional can help you release any of the sadness you have bottled up. Venting is very therapeutic and will alleviate any of the weights you have on your shoulders. I’ve been to a therapist in the past and it does help. Having a third-party’s perspective and listening with care feels better. You can talk about anything you desire and have a compassionate person listen with an open ear. You can contact your insurance and find therapists in your area, or visit the Talkspace website to find a suitable therapist.

We’re in a difficult time, but we will get through this. Due to this pandemic, the suicide rate is at an all-time high. If you or someone you know has suicidal thoughts or has attempted suicide, please call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline: (800) 273-8255. You’re not alone, you’re cherished, and we will get through this!

 

 

Top photo by M. via Unsplash

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