How to Overcome Feeling Isolated and Alone

woman facing backward sits beside lake feeling isolated
by Vance Larson

Blame it on the shorter days, colder weather or maybe it’s the holidays. I have been seeing an increasing number of clients and friends feeling dejected and misplaced. I expect to see that in my clients with mental health issues. And I certainly see that in my terminal clients. So what’s the deal? 

Boxed in. That’s what I have always called it. Many people when depressed isolate. They’re not as outgoing as they used to be. They avoid eye contact and we rarely see them anymore. It is a gradual process until one day, they just disappear. No more text or calls, they are boxed in. 
Be it a health or mental health issue, never under estimate the value of getting out of the house. Especially during sunlight hours. There are so many health benefits to getting some sun. Without it you could develop clinical depression called Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD. There are many well know benefits to getting sunlight. Add a few supportive people, and you will find (in most cases) your anxiety and negative feelings dissipate. And for the best case scenario, throw in some exercise and healthy eating choices and you will literally feel the change. 
But what happens if you’re already doing all of those things and you still feel boxed in? At this point, I strongly encourage you to see a doctor. There maybe some organic reasons as to why you are struggling. Your doctor will run some test and may refer you out to a specialist. Take their help. And if they suggest medication or therapy, take them too. Depression is very serious and is something you don’t want to leave untreated. 
I am a huge advocate of spending time alone. I believe this is where we really get to know ourselves. But for most of us, too much time alone can be counterproductive. Especially if we are making a choice to avoid a problem. It would be better to up our skill-set and meet the problem head on. By doing this, it will help build confidence and also take an annoyance off of our plate. Being boxed in is fear based. It doesn’t lead to anything good. 
So as we enter into the winter months, and should we find ourselves struggling, reach out. It’s okay to ask your family or friends to check on you from time to time. It’s one thing to avoid the mall for example, because you just don’t want to deal with that mess. It’s another thing to forgo the mall because you are paralyzed by fear. Know the difference and have an honest conversations with yourself. Just because you’re box in, that doesn’t mean your buried. Because it is possible to dig yourself out. But first you must know that you are dug in. 
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