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The 9 Different Types Of Loneliness And How To Deal With Each, According To Therapists

Transitional Loneliness

Major changes can create a sense of loneliness, even if they're positive. You might be leaving a job or starting a new job, ending a relationship or embarking on a new relationship, getting married, getting divorced, [or] starting a family.

When struggling with the adjustment period, it can help to acknowledge the feeling and also acknowledge that it's likely temporary.

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The 9 Different Types Of Loneliness And How To Deal With Each, According To Therapists

The 9 Different Types Of Loneliness And How To Deal With Each, According To Therapists

https://www.bustle.com/p/the-9-different-types-of-loneliness-how-to-deal-with-each-according-to-therapists-9637604

bustle.com

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Key Ideas

Post-Breakup Loneliness

The process of breaking up can sometimes be compared to the death of a loved one.

  • Remember that time will help ease the pain.
  • Keeping busy can help. 
  • Do not isolate yourself— even if you feel lower than low. Lean on family and friends.

Caregiver Loneliness

There's very specific loneliness that can creep in when you're responsible for the care of another person — be it an elderly parent, a sick sibling, a disabled partner, etc.

So even though it's a big job, it's important to not forget about yourself. Find a supportive friend to talk to without judgment, or attend a support group.

Loneliness Within Friendships

There are different kinds of friendships such as acquaintances versus confidantes. If one only has acquaintances and no one to whom they can truly confide or be authentic, they will often experience loneliness.

Work on establishing those deeper connections. By being authentic, getting out there, joining groups, and being friendly, you can find your people.

Lack Of Family Support

Not all people have strong family connections. This can produce loneliness, especially on holidays when ... gatherings are an emphasis.

 Seek organizations where [you] can gain a community. Or join a club, work on your friendships, or create a family of your own. Not all family ties are strong ones, but that doesn't mean you have to be lonely.

Loneliness Caused By Social Media

Social media can create a deep feeling of isolation.

Decrease your time on social media. Recognize it for what it may be, [which is] not necessarily reality. And work on creating bonds with friends, family, and partners.

Work Loneliness

... if you don't have any connections at your job.

If you spend a lot of time working and are feeling super lonely, it can help to try to find an organization that also supports your type of work. Corbett says. And, again, make sure you create meaningful connections outside of work.

Loneliness In A Relationship

... especially if you aren't making an effort to connect with your partner

Make the relationship a priority. This means setting boundaries with work, kids, and other obligations in order to focus on meeting each other’s needs.

New Baby Loneliness

While it can be an exciting and joyous time for some, others may feel very lonely and like they are going through this difficult transition all alone.

It's important for new parents to get out, or to have friends over so they can see other adults — and remember that they aren't alone. 

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The prevalence of loneliness

Loneliness is becoming an "epidemic" and is associated with illnesses like heart disease, dementia, depression, anxiety, and longevity.

  • One study revealed that 22% of Americans, 23% of Brits, and 9% of Japanese adults said they felt lonely all the time.
  • 40% of people aged 16 - 24 said they were often lonely, according to the BBC.
Coming together

Back in 1999, a support group called Bright Point was formed to fill the need of friends. But when people came together, no one talked. It was only after games were introduced as a catalyst that friendships started forming. Later, making meals and exercising was added successfully.

The program is not without challenges. Many lonely people may feel intimidated and won't attend. But designating a space for gathering and activities is a good step toward tackling loneliness. 

A public health problem

Most people consider loneliness a personal problem to be figured out by individuals. 

However, a paper published in the American Journal of Public Health identi...

Don’t blame social media

Among the theories on why there is more loneliness today is more time online and less time in front of people. 

However, levels of in-person interactions, physical and mental wellness and life balance are more likely to predict loneliness than social media usage.

Young and lonely

Generation Z (ages 18-22) had the highest loneliness scores, followed by the millennials (ages 23-37). The Greatest Generation (adults ages 72 and older) were the least lonely. 

Lonely people are less able to pick up on positive social stimuli, like others’ attention and commitment signals, so they withdraw prematurely – in many cases before they’re actually socially isolated.

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Loneliness

It isn’t defined by the number of people in your life; instead, it’s the distance between what you want out of your relationships and what you’re getting.

So it’s absolutely possible t...

Make small talk

Have quick, non-threatening conversations throughout the day: make small talk with your barista, the cashier at the grocery store, anyone you encounter who seems receptive.

Think of them as stretching a muscle: not the same as a full workout, but beneficial nonetheless. When you’re lonely, you go inward, and just stretching that little bit can kick-start a process that helps you feel better.

Find a state of flow

Do something you find totally engaging, to the point you lose track of time.

That activity doesn’t have to be mentally engaging or intellectually rigorous. Maybe it’s reading, running, or cleaning. If you’re truly immersed in what you’re doing, no matter what it is, you won’t have the mental space to be consumed by loneliness.

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