Are You Lonesome Tonight?
I used to think that this meant that there wasn't enough to do. Now I know that the person who makes the statement actually wants to be entertained or have someone else pay attention to them.
"I'm lonely" is a similar statement. People who claim that they are lonely often are sad that others do not visit or contact them.
Bored and lonely are dangerous conditions. They can bring sadness, vulnerability and lead to poor choices. Depression, addiction and entering inappropriate relationships can result.
If you are feeling bored or lonely consider the many options that you have.
- Don't expect your children or family members to meet all your needs. Actively seek out ways to keep interested and interesting. Look for individuals who have similar interests with whom you can form positive friendships.
- Find some who is lonelier than you. Consider those who are confined to nursing homes, for example. You might be surprised at how much a visit will stimulate both of you.
- Join a group that does community service. Activity kills boredom and fellowship with the members fills loneliness.
- Register in a course. Think of something that you have never done before and learn the skills to master it. Learn to speak another language, re-finish a piece of furniture or play a musical instrument. Perhaps you might even enter a diploma or degree program.
- Share a talent or skills you have gained through volunteer work. Teach someone to read, become a coach or Scout leader, knit items for the homeless, bake for a charity, shovel snow for a senior.
- Enjoy some of the treasures you have. Look at your photo albums, listen to a favourite CD, read the book you were given at Christmas.
- Visit interesting places in your community. Go to the library, walk to a park, check out the museum.
- Put your thoughts on paper. Write down memories for future generations, send a card and note to a friend, prepare a letter to the editor of your newspaper.
- Attack a project that you have been avoiding. Clean a drawer, delete emails, sort old magazines.
- Think back to your youth and do something that you used to enjoy then. Go for a swim, invite someone to play cards, adopt a pet, turn on the music and dance.
Boredom and loneliness are enemies that need to be attacked and destroyed with action. Hoping that someone will show up to entertain you or fill your loneliness is probably going to lead to disappointment. You see, if you are bored or lonely now, nothing is going to change unless you do something about it.
Oh, and be very careful about thinking that a romantic relationship will solve everything. What may look good at the beginning might end up causing more problems in the long run.
The key to contentment is to be your own best friend, know your needs and then use creativity to find ways to fill them.
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From Dr. Linda Hancock, Registered Psychologist and Registered Social Worker