For high school students, school closures over the past year have meant more than adjusting to online learning or dealing with internet outages. It has also meant the loss of a key part of your social life, and at possibly the most difficult time in life for that to happen. If you’re experiencing feelings of loneliness, it’s important to know how to deal with those emotions and cope more healthfully.
Fresh air, sunlight, and exercise. Schools and many other social settings have been closed, but going outside is still allowed (and free). Grab your running shoes, skateboard, or beach gear and head outdoors. Whether exercising alone or attending an outdoor yoga class, simply getting outside can boost your mood in a major way.
Reach out to others. Quite often, interacting with others will help to heal your own wounds. Create care packages for military stationed overseas, video call an elderly relative or neighbor, or organize a diaper or clothing drive for disadvantaged children. There are plenty of ways to safely reach out to the rest of the world and you can encourage your friends to join you in the effort.
Go “sightseeing”. Grab a friend and head out to nearby tourist locations. Take pictures, go for a hike, and enjoy the area like a tourist would. There are ways to stay safe and socially distance yourself, even while you are with someone.
Personalize your communications. Most of us are adept social media users by now, but when is the last time you called someone on the phone or wrote a letter? Instead of broadcasting your ideas to the world, take the time to personally communicate one on one.
Schedule Netflix “watch parties”. Invite your crew to watch a movie or TV series together while Zoom conferencing. Reacting together and discussing the show afterward can provide fun and personal bonding time.
The above tips can work well for occasional loneliness or isolation. Of course, if at any time you feel excessively sad or hopeless, you should reach out to a parent or counselor. Depression is a serious matter and not something you should try to tackle alone. There are many ways for you to get assistance if you need it.