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5 Actionable Approaches to Gain the Upper Hand Over Loneliness

By Michelle Hill December 23, 2023 Mindset

As part of humanity, we all experience loneliness occasionally. I know I have. When I was first divorced in 2000 and found myself spending major holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas alone for the first time, I didn’t know what to do with myself. I remember the first time I set up my own little Christmas tree in my first apartment at 43 and lifted ornaments from a box with my children’s pictures from years gone by, I cried. My daughter was wayward by that time, and my son was living with his father and his father’s mother – the perfect storm.

I turned on myself.

Thoughts of what did I do to deserve this, and I just wasn’t good enough to keep things together, danced their dirty dance in my brain. They taunted me. They poured fuel on the fire of self-blame and disgust.

The sense of loneliness was almost overwhelming, and I wanted to throw a lavish pity party complete with party favors crafted to look like guilt and shame. But I found that I was the only one attending and it was no fun at all.

Understanding Why We Might Feel Lonely

Loneliness is more than just the absence of company; it’s a complex emotional state that can have detrimental effects on our physical and mental health. Whether our feelings of loneliness stem from retirement, an empty nest, divorce, death of family and/or friends, or simply overwhelming feelings of isolation and feeling invisible, the impact of loneliness can wreak havoc in a variety of ways.

I’m here to tell you that you can triumph over loneliness! Sometimes it involves winning an internal fight, sometimes it’s sweeping out the cobwebs of resentment, and sometimes it’s a gentle movement of emotions.

Here Are My Favorite Five Approaches to Gain the Upper Hand Over Loneliness

1. Find Your Happy Place

I look back on my early days of aloneness, wondering why I allowed myself to wallow instead of taking intentional action. What I do now during holidays or other trigger times is engage in “happy place” activities like cooking 5-star meals for myself and actively involve myself in things that bring me joy like going to the gym or reading my favorite personal development books, or binge watching The Office, Andy Griffith, or I Love Lucy.

These are my happy places, and I’m guessing you have activities that move you into your happy place, too. Perhaps it’s being out in your garden tending to your plants or vegetables. Or maybe you love to go for long nature walks or paint or create something on an online platform like Canva.

2. Join Community Groups

Embracing community involvement can be a powerful antidote to loneliness. We can explore local clubs for women over 60 or engage in volunteer opportunities where we can connect with like-minded individuals. This not only provides a chance to make new friends but also fosters a sense of purpose and belonging. We are often the wisdom in the room!

3. Embrace Technology… or Not

In the digital age, technology offers incredible opportunities for staying connected. Women can join online communities, participate in virtual classes, or engage in video calls with friends and family. Platforms like Zoom and social media can bridge the gap, allowing for meaningful connections irrespective of physical distances.

I’ve enjoyed many Zooms with my Nigerian pastor friend living in the UK, although I must confess that it messes with my ears to hear his Nigerian accent and then he’ll include his grown children who have very pronounced British accents. I love that in today’s digital climate we can literally talk and “see” people from around the globe.

Conversely, we may need a time-out from technology. After all, we are bombarded by tweets, buzzes, dings, and dongs on our phone. It may seem counterintuitive to cut yourself off from the online world when you’re experiencing loneliness, but quiet nature walks or finding a swinging park bench to swing like a kid while you collect your thoughts can be wildly helpful in connecting you to Someone larger than yourself.

4. Explore New Hobbies

Nothing combats loneliness like exploring new hobbies and interests with others who like those same things. Sites like and or even provide opportunities to explore events for people with mutual interests. Engaging in activities that bring joy not only fills time but also opens avenues to meet new people. Whether it’s learning a musical instrument, joining a book club, or taking up a creative pursuit, these endeavors can be fulfilling and socially enriching.

5. Cultivate Meaningful Relationships

Quality over quantity is essential when combating loneliness. It’s emotionally healthy for women over 60 to invest time and energy in nurturing existing relationships and building new, meaningful connections. This could involve reaching out to old friends, attending social events, reunions, or participating in group activities that align with personal interests.

Create a Fulfilling, Enriching Life You Love

By adopting these five approaches, you can create a fulfilling and enriching life that you love. Finding your happy place, joining community groups, embracing technology, exploring new hobbies, and cultivating meaningful relationships are powerful tools to gain the upper hand on loneliness.

Let’s Have a Conversation:

In what ways have you personally experienced loneliness, and what approaches have you found effective in combating it? Reflecting on your relationships, how have you cultivated meaningful connections, and what advice would you give to others seeking to do the same?

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Joyce Matwiyiw

Hi: just wanted to say it has been very hard with the estrangement of
my adult daughter after she had a breakdown last year. She is in her
40’s and is now living at a lodge. I worry about her all the time as she
lived with me. My son lives in a city not far from me and i see him
when he drops over, usually every 2 weeks. I was very traumatized
by the events that took place last Good Friday of all times and by
living alone I have been very nervous, anxious, forlorn, sad and every
other emotion you can think of. I only contact I have with my daughter
who still refuses to get help, is our Labrador dog which she loves.
Every week, I take him to see her and her friends for 3 hours and then
pick him up and go home.

That is my one connection to see her, bring needed supplies and give
food donations to the lodge whenever I shop.

The second connection is a lady that has a Husky dog that my daughter
actually introduced me to just before she left. This lady also is a
personal support worker at a hospice. In fact, she decided to come
over this morning for a few hours so our dogs could wrestle. She also
comes over about 4 or 5 times a month. This is wonderful and she is
my daughter’s age.

The next connection is a lady that just 6 months ago came over when
I called her as she walks a lot. She is a senior and always told my
daughter that she liked the rock painting I was doing but never got
one. After covide in 2021 I painted over 150 penguins, bees, santas
just name it and now I give some of them away. She has now been
a new best friend and comes to see me every week and does not
live far, just a few blocks.

Also I made contact with a lady that I took computer classes with
30 years ago and she visits me about 2 or 3 times a month since
all my troubles and has been a great source of comfort for me.

Also, my 2 senior neighbours who I have known for 50 years, cal
me every other day considering they have poor health. They support
me by calling and talking outside to me in our yards. They know
everything that happened to me that awful day and actually called
911, but still have acted as if they are my guardians.

So as you can see Reaching Out to people from all walks of life
are the best forms of help when you are troubled or life takes a
turn for the worse. I love meeting people and some are very
approachable , others are not. But so far these connections are
the best for me along with a call every 2 weeks from Wellwood
Canada, a free govt. sponsored therapy call. I can reach them
any time.

Hope this comment may help someone else. Meeting and connecting
with others is even better than knitting, watching TV, etc.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity onChristmas Day to connect
with you!

Joyce Matwiyiw

Michelle Hill

Thank you for sharing your journey, Joyce! Sounds like even though you’ve experienced some loneliness-producing events, you are surrounded by people who genuinely care about your well-being and that must make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

I’m sure your example of reaching out to others serves as inspiration to those who find themselves in a lonely spot. I’m also positive that you’ve found in your act of reaching out that it starts momentum to where others start “finding” you out of nowhere.


And if you have the money, travel.

Michelle Hill

Amen to that, Gerry! Even if a person doesn’t have money, there are local historical places that one can go to meet new people and discover new things.

Barbara McLaughlin

Boy, did I need to read this. Even though I am involved in a couple of the suggested activities, it really gave me some things to ponder in my present situation.
After 40 years, I am currently in divorce proceedings from my unhealthy and toxic marriage.
Thanks so much for all the sage advice on navigating my soon to be solo life.

Carol Anne Cole

I think it’s so brave to leave a marriage. To venture out into the unknown. Especially when older. When you are young you are so much more adventurous, I think, and unafraid. Now I worry about my next meal, etc.

Michelle Hill

I applaud you, Barbara, for your daring decision to leave your unhealthy and toxic marriage. I know after 40 years that you don’t take it lightly. We come from an era that told us to stay no matter what…you say I do until you die…there were no other options.

What I can tell you is this: you will discover the most fabulous, interesting, vibrant person in the world after all the dust settles: YOU!

I know it’s scary but your best days are ahead! After my husband left after 23 years of marriage, I took salsa dancing classes, enrolled in junior college to take a course in something I was really interested in, and traveled.

During an annual physical two years ago, the doctor cracked up when I told him the two best things that ever happened to me were my husband leaving and my hysterectomy.

Carol Anne Cole

These are all really great ideas. I’ve always wanted to give socks to the homeless at Christmas and I think if I were alone I would do that. You can be lonely in a crowd though.

Michelle Hill

Thank you so much, Carol! I’m glad the ideas were helpful. You are right that we can feel lonely in a crowd. I felt that very thing recently but quickly recognized it as a trap to keep me stuck. That’s where some strong self-talk comes in, “Thank you thought for coming to visit, but I fully reject you and you can move on now!”

Eileen Johnson

I definitely jump into crafting, cooking , gardening or walking in nature when I am lonely. I focus on that activity so my mind doesn’t go to the “lonely place”. It gets easier the more you do it. Use your time doing things you enjoy and maybe you can find a friend to join you!


Hey Ellen I am interested in the same things would you like to correspond

Michelle Hill

You hit it on the nail, Eileen! The “jumping into…” is a muscle that gets stronger as you exercise it more.

The Author

Michelle Hill is a Relationship Deception Recovery Mentor specializing in helping women reach healing and wholeness after relationship deception. She is also the author of 5 books, including The Heart Swindler-Reclaim Your Heart and Stop Falling for Liars, Losers, and Lunatics, and two award-winning children’s books.

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