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Sunday, 10 May 2020

Why Loneliness is Just a State of Mind (And How to Change It)

By Dr Becky Spelman
Why Loneliness is Just a State of Mind | Private Therapy Clinic

Loneliness is a circumstance that’s relative to the amount of social contact we believe is necessary for our health. It’s a variable, and as such, how it’s perceived is going to be different for everyone. Some people are going to have a much higher tolerance for being alone. Right now, the lockdown that’s in place is an introvert’s dream and extrovert worst nightmare. However, no matter how self-sufficient we may be, loneliness does strike at the heart of us all, eventually. There’s only so long we can go without human contact. We need interaction for the sake our mental health and emotional wellbeing.

When you’re lonely, you’re in a state of distress. It’s not the same as feeling alone. There is a difference. You can acknowledge you’re alone without feeling lonely. It really is all the mind. Loneliness comes from a need that is perceived to be unfulfilled. There is an emotional response that comes from interacting with others. But you can find alternative ways of creating these emotions by keeping an active mind and engaging in other pursuits.

The first thing you can do for yourself – and this has been said many times already – is limit your exposure to any form of media that’s going to reinforce your situation. The news is along with social media are the prime culprits responsible for reminding us of our loneliness. The pandemic is currently the only story in the world being reported. And the more you hear the words quarantine, lockdown, self-isolation, the more chance you have of slipping into a depressive state.

However, you’ll need to find something meaningful to fill the hours you have alone – to make them feel less lonely. Any form of creative pursuit such as art, writing and music are an ideal source of entertainment because they represent a skill that takes many years to master. But there are all kinds of pursuits that fall within this bracket. You could journal, start a blog, write poetry short stories, follow along with drawing tutorials online and even use an adult colouring book if you don’t feel confident enough to create your own work.

Your primary motivation is to keep yourself active and engaged. If you allow yourself to fall into a slump and while away the hours doing nothing of note, it will only remind you of what you’re missing. At present, of course, it is still possible to go outside and exercise. Although we still need to practice social distancing, you can still see other people, which can lessen the effect of feeling so isolated.

If you simply can’t go outside because you’ve displayed symptoms or in one of the high-risk groups of people, the best thing you can do for yourself is to practice as much self-care as you can. Do something that makes you happy. Watch a comedy, cook something hearty, take a bath. Whatever being good to yourself means to you, do that. Your loneliness is just a state of mind. Now is time to become your own greatest companion.

About the author:

Dr Becky Spelman is a leading UK Psychologist who’s had great success helping her clients manage and overcome a multitude of mental illnesses.

***If you’re struggling with the loneliness because of the COVID-19 outbreak and think you might benefit from speaking to someone, we offer a FREE 15-MINUTE CONSULTATION with one of our specialists to help you find the best way to move forward. You can book yours here.


Psychology Today. (25th Mar 2020) Combating the Loneliness of Self-Isolation. Retrieved on 21st April, 2020 from,

Mind. (Jul 2019) Loneliness. Retrieved on 21st April, 2020 from,

Very Well Mind. (Jul 2019) How to Cope With Loneliness During the Coronavirus Pandemic. Retrieved on 21st April, 2020 from,

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