Skip to main content
SFU Health and Counselling Services
Health Peer Educators

empty
Person wearing a raincoat sitting above an empty road
Credit
Courtesy of Justin Luebke on Unsplash
Allow yourself to feel any emotions and feelings you may have.

Almost everyone struggles with loneliness at some point in their lives. Just know that if you are experiencing loneliness, you are not alone. Below are a few strategies that may help you cope with loneliness: 

Connect with Others
Volunteer

There are many opportunities to volunteer! A simple online search will divulge opportunities that are close to you and that align with your values and passions. Volunteering allows you to make a difference while also meeting new people. Additionally, it can be a topic of conversation, which may be helpful for those who are timid in approaching people and creating conversation.  

Join a Class or Club

There are clubs, classes, and meetup groups for almost everything - from knitting to sports to books! Similar to volunteering, you can do a quick search online to see what is available and close to you. If you have a goal of learning something new or want to enhance a skill, this is a great way to both reach your goal while meeting new people that share a common interest with you. You can also make plans to meet outside of the session to practice the skill together or do any homework that is assigned!

Self-Compassion and Self-Care
Feel your emotions

Allow yourself to feel any emotions and feelings you may have, whether they are pleasant or unpleasant. Try to acknowledge them by chatting with someone who may be in a similar position or experience as you or by self-reflecting to let these emotions out instead of suppressing them.

Be a friend to yourself

Imagine your friend is currently feeling lonely and you know your friend loves watching action movies and eating their favourite cuisine. To help them feel better,  you may take them out to enjoy all those activities. Likewise, take yourself out and treat yourself like you are the best friend you ever had. You know yourself the best. You know what you like, enjoy, and what makes you feel the most joy, so take some time to intentionally create pleasant experiences. 

Enhancing Solitude
Remind Yourself That You Are Not Alone

Often, people feel lonely from seeing others having social connections and company that they feel they lack. We often forget that many others feel lonely too and that it is completely normal to feel this way from time to time.

Being Present 

If you are feeling overwhelmed, you can use your senses to redirect your thoughts to the present moment by focusing on what you can see, touch, hear, smell, and/or taste. For example, if I was eating at a Ramen shop alone and I saw a large group of friends making my thoughts race about being alone, I would shift my attention to the smell of the heavenly pork broth and the sound of the bells ringing each time a customer opens the doors. 

Embrace with Nature

Unplug from the digital world! With the warmer months coming up, enjoy a tasteful picnic at a park to observe trees, listen to birds chirp, and/or feel the sun shining on you. 

Journaling

Feelings of loneliness may be worsened due to social media. It is easy to compare your situation to others you see on social media that are posting pictures with their loved ones. Try taking some time off social media and engage in journaling. If you cannot see your loved ones, make a list of them to remind yourself that there are people in your life you care about even if you cannot be with them.

Another journaling activity is to make a list of things you hope to accomplish in the short-term or long-term and write down a plan as to how you will achieve them. Doing so can bring about excitement for the future and give you something positive to look forward to. 

Participants and Contributors
Christabel Leung
Author
Balpreet Bhagtana
Author
Writing Mentor
SFU Health and Counselling Services
Health Peer Educators
Health Peer Educators work with the Health Promotion team at SFU Health & Counselling Services to support student health and well-being on campus.

You Might Like These... Co-operative Education, Communication, Equity, Diversity + Inclusion, International, Student Success, Personal + Professional Development, Life + Health

Save the Planet
Saving the Planet

Neil Nunn, a third year Geography student specializing in environmental studies is is passionate about environmental, developmental and social justice issues. In this article, the second of a series, Neil discusses the issue of deforestation and shares his co-op adventures at a community school in Ghana.

twins smiling; one presenting as an introvert, the other as an extrovert
You're Not An Introvert (And You're Not An Extrovert Either)

When it comes to personality, typology seems an intuitive fit. We like to think of ourselves as defined by neat and tidy categories, like introversion and extroversion. But, while there's definite value in having insight about your own and others' personality, our obsession with putting people into boxes can lead to unhelpful assumptions. Read Dave's blog exploring Ambiversion; the middle ground between Introverts and Extroverts.

a bunch of cars stuck in traffic
Feeling Stuck? Put A Halt On It!

You know the feeling of being stuck. Whether in your personal, interpersonal, professional, or any other life, the sense of having fallen out of the groove is always similarly and markedly unpleasant. You're spinning your tires, expending lots of effort with seemingly no forward motion to thank for it. So how do you get out of this funk? Here's a simple strategy for getting "unstuck"

You Might Like These... Co-op Reflections

Author and her young male student smiling at the camera and holding up tennis balls in both hands.The picture is set in a field with trees in the background.
Making a Difference: My Co-op Experience as a Child Life Specialist

Emily, a Health Sciences Co-op student, worked for Western Society for Children (WSFC) as a Child Life Specialist. This allowed Emily to see the ability within disability, and realize that anyone has the power to make a difference. Read Emily's article to find out more about WSFC, and how good intentions lead to meaningful impacts!

Statue of deities
Durga Puja 2011

Unlike just any festival, Durga Puja is likened to "Disneyland, the Olympics, Christmas and an art gallery all in one." Join Martyna, Silvia, Lindsay and Christine in their celebration of Durga Puja, an annual Hindu festival in Kolkata. As they weave through busy streets and celebrate festivities, the girls share their exciting experience with us in this blog entry. 

Boat on the sea
My Industrial Revolution

Do you ever think there are limitations to what you could do with your degree? I did. SFU co-op has allowed me to experience my major in action in a non-conventional way and it has forever changed the way that I look at my kinesiology degree.