How to Cope with Isolation


It is hard to understand how, in a world that seems to be exploding with people, modern Western society creates so much isolation. But many of us experience feelings of lone­liness and isolation even within our family structure. There are many reasons why people have become isolated:

  • Economic migration. Living as we used to in small towns and villages, everyone knew everyone else, and families lived alongside each other. This is not to say that the old social structure didn’t have its own stresses and strains, but at least you knew your neighbours and you probably worked with them too. People looked out for each other, and this is very important when you are old, ill, or a lonely young mother stuck at home all day with a grizzling baby.

Cope with Isolation

  • Economic independence can, perversely, be another isolating factor. The number of people, particularly women, living alone has soared in the last twenty years, and one of the reasons is that they can afford to do so. This is not to say that living alone causes depression, it doesn’t, but if you are prone to depression, being alone too much can exacer­bate any tendency to introversion and low mood, and also separate you from avenues of help.
  • Divorce — for both the parents and the children. Children, particularly in stepfamilies, often suffer real isolation if they don’t fit into the new family structure.
  • Children leaving home.
  • Spiritual isolation is on the increase. We live in a secular society, with only 3 per cent of Britons attending church regularly, and this can leave us feeling as if there is no larger context to our lives, no purpose beyond the pursuit of material comforts. Lack of faith also means that if we are feeling down about something, we have no spiritual coun­sellor to whom we can turn for help and guidance.

Being alone is not the same as being lonely. You need time on your own, when you can wind down and not have to think about others, but enforced isolation can be mentally wearing. If you do feel isolated, remember that there are many others out there who feel the same way, and there­fore many avenues for improving your life so that you do not feel so alone. Nowadays dating agencies have lost their stigma, with the Internet providing an easy way of contacting others, but if you are not ready to meet new people on a one-to-one basis, why not join a class, such as an exercise, dance, art, cooking, writing or gardening class. You don’t even have to say anything at first, but being with people who are enjoying the same thing as you will automatically create a bond.

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About the Author: Alan Kennon lives a very happy life with two kids and a lovely wife. He likes to share his life time experiences with others about how they can improve their lifestyle and personality.

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