Self, Heartbreak

How To Shake The Loneliness When Your Friends Leave For The Summer

Photo: Marcko Duarte on Unsplash
feeling lonely summer break when friends leave for summer vacation

Loneliness isn’t for the fainthearted. If you’ve ever been lonely, then you know how painful it can truly be when you’re sitting there, alone, and realize that everyone you love or want to be with suddenly isn’t around.

This feeling of loneliness is accentuated during the summer, when all your school friends move away, leave for vacation or just become too busy with their summer jobs to hang out. 

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Whether you’re a student in college, high school or otherwise, friends seem to become scarce once school ends, everyone graduates and June sets in. They go to camp, begin internships and start jobs that can leave you feeling abandoned and lonely.

If you’ve ever felt lonely after all your friends leave for the summer, read these 10 tips on how to shake summer loneliness for good.

1. Try not to think about it.

I know this seems like an odd suggestion, but I’m not recommending that you suppress your feelings. Instead, just try not to dwell on the fact that you’re lonely.

It’s easy to let your loneliness consume you, but you can’t let that happen. Focus on what you can do to occupy yourself.

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2. Make sure others don’t feel lonely.              

Helping others feel less alone or sad can enable you feel less lonely by default. Investing in the well-being of other people not only benefits them but also you, and you will most likely make a new friend in the process. If you know how loneliness feels, then you might be inclined to help others alleviate that feeling.

3. Find a pet to hug.

Animals relieve stress and negative emotions, especially loneliness. Petting an animal like a dog or a cat releases endorphins throughout your body, telling you that things are going to be OK.

There’s a whole science to it. All you need to know is that being near an animal makes you feel better. Trust me.

4. Get out of the house.

The worst thing you can do when you’re lonely is perpetuate your loneliness by secluding yourself in your home. Staying away from people isn’t the way to combat loneliness, so get out of the house and get involved in an activity.

Try volunteering or simply visiting your local library to be around people. Even if you don’t talk to the people, it’s healthy to be surrounded by other people. Humans are social creatures, after all.

5. Create a healthy routine.

Finding a solid routine that you can stick to will help you feel less lonely and give your life some purpose. If you’re stuck thinking about how lonely you are with nothing to do, then you’re not going to improve.

Whether it’s work, going out for a walk at the same time or anything else, be consistent. It might take some time for you to feel “normal” again.

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6. Learn about loneliness.

What you may believe to be loneliness may actually be a case of boredom or isolation. Take a second to do a quick Google search for loneliness and what it's like to actually feel lonely, and check to see if you may be suffering from something more serious than a case of summer loneliness.

Maybe you’re intentionally secluding yourself from people or dealing with incredibly low self-esteem that makes you think no one wants to be your friend. It’s really common to mislabel something else as loneliness.

7. Take a break from social media.

Breathe. You might be feeling lonely because you’re used to near-constant interaction with your friends from school. I know I almost went insane going from the social environment of college back to my quiet hometown the first summer. It’ll take some time to adjust to the different settings, but it’s important to remind yourself that both the social atmosphere of school and the quietness of home are necessary.

8. Go on an adventure to visit with your friends.

If you really can’t handle being away from your friends for the entire summer (I definitely couldn’t), you should consider scheduling a trip to visit them. Or, just schedule a trip to go somewhere you’ve always wanted to visit. If your friends are busy doing different things this summer, why can’t you be?

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9. Talk to your friends and family on a regular basis.

Remember to keep in contact with your friends and family over the summer, no matter where you are. Texting apps and video chats are invaluable and can make you feel like you are right back in school with everyone. Planning regular Skype dates or phone calls is recommended. You won’t feel as lonely knowing everyone is just a call away.

10. Seek professional help.

Sometimes, you might need to talk to a counselor or psychiatrist to begin to recognize and rationalize your loneliness. They can prescribe medication and teach you how to think differently about your situation. You can find more information about mental health professionals and determine how to find a suitable one for you on this website.

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Meaghan Summers is a writer who covers astrology, pop culture and relationship topics.