If I asked you to sum up the year 2020 in one word, what would you say? For me, I would say loneliness. I can’t be the only one that feels this way. Many of us find ourselves quarantined and isolated trying to protect ourselves and our loved ones responsibly from the Coronavirus. If you’re like me and find your face mask to be your closest friend, I’ve got some ideas that have helped me on ways to fight the lonesomeness and that can also help you use this time purposefully.
Keep a Schedule
I’ve realized that when I’m feeling down about my loneliness, it’s because I’ve had time to just sit and think about it. Instead, I plan out my day deciding on what I want to accomplish and how I can get it done. Just the other day I knew I would have the whole afternoon to myself, so I made a plan to clean out my summer clothes, do 30 minutes of a workout (I signed up for Daily Burn and love it), and book a Facetime call with a friend later in the day. When I finally laid my head down at night, I felt accomplished, heard, and proud which is way better than spending time feeling lonely.
Guard Your Downtime
In times of boredom, my first thought is to grab my phone or turn on the TV. The bad thing about this plan is that your then hit in the face with a 2×4 full of negativity. While it is important to stay informed, the problem is you have no one there to run stuff by and get a different perspective from. Yes, you can pray and ask God to heal our country and bring peace, but we also should use common sense and not plop ourselves down in front of a screen full of chaos.
Philippians 4:8 (NLT) says, “Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” I need this reminder because I can be prone to anxiety and I know that when anxiety hits, it’s because of put my focus on something other than Jesus. This brings me to my next point…
Don’t Skip Jesus Time
One positive thing that has come from having lots of alone time is getting the opportunity to dig into my relationship with God. When I’m feeling lonely, I tend to throw myself a pitty-party. I feel forgotten, unseen, and worthless. When I have these feelings, it’s like my soul is waving a big red flag. That’s when I know I need to make the time to sit with Jesus and read from His Word, pray, and journal.
Journaling helps me stay in the moment with God. I give myself permission to say whatever I want there and feel no shame. Even when I don’t feel like doing this one-on-one time, I do it anyway. That’s because when I do, I feel seen, valued, and cared for. I also feel more peace with myself as well as this whole 2020 situation.
Loneliness makes you focus on your own problems which distorts your priorities. The best way to get over this hurdle is by helping others! One day I sat down and wrote out a list of people that mean the world to me. It was made of friends and family that have walked through tough times with me and loved me through it all. First, it was a great reminder to me in showing just how much love God has placed in my life.
Second, it gave me the ability to see who I wanted to show my love to in a tangible way. What I mean by that is, I will send cards on days that matter, volunteer to watch their kids, cook them a meal when they feel under the weather, etc. I make sure they know I love them through my actions. When I do this, putting others ahead of myself, I set myself up to be used by God. I see how I’m not forgotten but instead valuable and needed. That sure helps my lonely heart feel more known and loved.
So, the next time you find yourself feeling alone, consider what’s going on around you. Get up and accomplish that task you’ve been putting off. Turn off that TV or put down that phone. Pick up your Bible or listen to a podcast by a group of believers you trust. Reach out to a friend. These are the things that have helped me through this season in life and I hope it’s something that can help you too.