Loneliness can happen to anyone at any time. It can be acerbated by special events or holidays. While many people experience it, most don’t acknowledge the feeling, so they don’t truly deal with it.

But there are ways that you can cope with loneliness in a nurturing way that’s based on self care. Try to determine what’s causing your loneliness, because sometimes you can be surrounded by people, but still lonely.

Knowing this can help you figure out what to do about it. Understand that just because you may feel lonely, it doesn’t mean that you’re alone. Recognize that loneliness can make you entertain thoughts that are false.

Sometimes the heaviness of the emotion can trick you into thinking that you’re alone in life or alone in whatever you’re going through. Loneliness can fool you into thinking that no cares about you or that you’re somehow defective, which is why you feel all alone.

It can make you feel like pulling away from other people. Feeling lonely can cause you to create scenarios in your mind that aren’t true – such as someone wasn’t able to spend time with you because they don’t like you or someone didn’t return a phone call or email because they don’t think you’re important.

This is imagining the worst, and it’s a side effect of your emotions as they’re processed. Pay attention when you have thoughts that are negative and make you feel like withdrawing, then take action.

What you have to do is refute the negative and reaffirm the positive – that you’re not alone and that you’re not defective. Have a self care plan in place so that when loneliness does strike, you can handle it.

Make yourself get out and go to activities and meet new people. Look for groups or classes that you can join where you have a common interest such as photography, scrapbooking, an exercise or art class, gardening, etc.

You’ll forge new relationships. Spend some time volunteering. When you’re helping people, it helps you. Doing something for others makes you feel better and it alleviates loneliness.

If it’s not possible for you to get out and about, then look for people or groups online that you can connect with. Another way to practice self care to help cope with loneliness is to adopt a pet.

Caring for a pet is known to alleviate loneliness. Many people report that caring for a pet makes them feel loved. Plus, having a pet offers many other benefits such as allowing you to meet and befriend other pet owners.