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  • Writer's pictureRachelle Jervis

Day 250

Updated: Jun 26, 2019



Just because you’re feeling lonely now or you have felt lonely in the past doesn’t mean that is how you will always feel. Here are some tips that might help you.


Ways to Combat Loneliness over the Holidays

  • Call an old friend.

  • Go to a coffee shop or café and do some leisure reading. Too late for caffeine, treat yourself to hot chocolate.

  • Meet or say hi to your neighbors.

  • Offer to pet walk or sit for a friend.

  • Reach out to a friend who has been struggling to say hi. Let them know you’re there if they need someone.

  • See a matinee.

  • Send an email to someone working or volunteering for a nonprofit you support and thank them for their work.

  • Take a one-day workshop on something that interests you. An artist I admire is taking a free welding course to expand her mediums. Check out your alma mater or local community colleges for leads. I recently had a blast taking a pie-making class. When I put on my apron, a nun said, “That is a husband-attracting apron.” I quipped, “I assure you my cooking is a husband repellent.”

  • Try a group exercise class. Arrive early and say hi to the instructor and those around you. I adore Soul Cycle but you might like something else. You don’t know until you try.

  • Use event sites like Eventbrite to find fun community activities. Don’t worry about going alone. Someone else will be there alone and will appreciate you chatting with them.

  • Voluntarily help a mobility challenged or vacationing neighbor with their yard work by raking or shoveling for them.

  • Volunteer at a local community Thanksgiving event or Meals on Wheels

  • Write LinkedIn recommendations or “To Whom It May Concern” letters of recommendation for former colleagues whose work you appreciate or admire.

  • Write thank-you notes.


Ways to start a conversation with strangers:

  1. As a friendly reminder, don’t ask people how they are celebrating the holidays. Instead, ask if they have anything fun coming up. They might mention holiday plans or they might share something else.

  2. Ask non-intrusive questions. I like to ask cashiers what is the strangest combination of items they’ve ever seen people buy. The best answer was a woman in her nineties buying extra-large prophylactics and abnormally small green bananas. She paid in cash and used a coupon. I had many follow-up questions.

  3. Ask people their names and shake their hands.

  4. Ask them how they are doing today?

  5. Avoid politics, religion, inherited differences between people, and current events. Instead, talk weather, geography, favorite things to do, or places to eat in the area.

  6. Be quick to laugh and slow to scold. I was standing in line at a Walgreens waiting for the credit card reader when the pharmacist realized the card wasn’t pushed in all the way and so we had been waiting for nothing. She pushed it in the rest of the way for me and we both burst out in laughter. I teased, “I could have kept us here for the rest of our lives.”

  7. Give a sincere and nonsexual compliment. Focus on the things they are doing or have done, not the way they look.

  8. If you meet them at their workplace, ask them about their career or their gig.

  9. If you see someone upset, it is okay to say, “I see you’re upset and I am sorry about that. I don’t know what’s going on but would you like a hug?” I adore hugs. The best thing about my job is when I get a hug from a colleague or volunteer.

  10. Make eye contact, smile, and say please and thank you.

  11. Mention a thing you noticed about them that you have in common, such as the same brand of shoes or standing in the same long line.

  12. Share your mints or gum.

  13. Talk about your favorite vacation or trip.

  14. Tell a short funny story that somehow relates to the current situation or location.

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