11 Useful Antidotes For Loneliness, Grief & Being Generally Overwhelmed By Life

How to recharge your life.

Woman who is experiencing loneliness, grief, and is overwhelmed by life find out how to deal with it. Robert Kneschke | Canva

If you're withdrawing from your life or feel like giving up on the world in general — which certainly seems crazier and more chaotic than ever before — know that you are not alone. You may even be criticizing yourself for feeling lonely and unmotivated, whether or not you’ve suffered losses or downturns this past year. 

But your life is worth living — and living well. You are truly an original — no one else in the history of the world has been or will ever be like you! Since you’re reading this article, I trust you're actively seeking a way to short-circuit the overwhelm of grief, loss, or general life stress. This common emotional and mental downward spiral often leads to ongoing isolation or even clinical depression if left unchecked. If your overwhelmed feelings have been leading you to spend more time by yourself, give away things you used to love, or avoid people you used to enjoy, I invite you to try any or all of these simple — and fun — "antidotes." See which ones reignite your connection with your own life and hopefully the people in it as well. (If you need clinical help, however, please seek out therapists or other mental health professionals.)


RELATED: 11 Simple-Yet-Powerful Changes To Make That Help You Create A Truly Happy Life

Here are 11 useful antidotes for loneliness, grief & being generally overwhelmed by life:

1. Commit to a cause

This may seem impossible when you're feeling alone, but it's amazing how reaching out to someone you already know who could use a helping hand or sympathetic ear can change your focus and feelings quickly and powerfully. You could also volunteer with a charity or cause you support, especially one in your community like a local library, food bank, hospital, or senior center.

2. Go to a spa

You deserve care and pampering, especially when you feel exhausted or emotionally drained. Schedule a day, weekend, or at least an evening just for yourself to relax and recharge. You can go to a local spa or create one for yourself at home based on your budget, available time, and relaxation preferences. Be sure to do things that feel, smell, and even taste great. Cook yourself a delicious meal, get a facial, mani-pedi, or massage, or take a long hot bubble bath while your favorite music plays to soothe your soul.


11 Useful Antidotes For Loneliness, Grief & Being Generally Overwhelmed By Life Pexels / cottonbro studio

3. Write a letter to your life

Your life is your constant partner — it deserves some gratitude! Write your life a letter describing what you love about it. You might also write about what you would like to improve in your future together (not regrets from your past). Re-read this letter once a week and feel free to add to it ongoing.

4. Take your "vitamin fun"

Most people are deficient in what I call "Vitamin Fun." We work hard and take care of others, which drains our energy reserves. But there's no excuse for not taking time to replenish our energy as often as possible — then we'll have energy for ourselves and others. At least twice a month, make sure you get your dose of "Vitamin Fun" so you'll always have enough energy to be who you are and do what you do! Make a list of fun activities you can share with a friend, or join a Meetup where you can find other like-minded people who enjoy going to movies, art museums, new restaurants, sporting events, or just exploring your neighborhood or city. If you have time, go away for a weekend to a place you've always wanted to visit and check that off your bucket list.


RELATED: 10 Habits The Healthiest People Do Before 10 AM Every Single Day

5. Adopt a pet or plant

If you can have pets in your house or apartment, adopt one to be a companion for you. It could be a goldfish, turtle, bird, or small lizard if you can't live with a dog or a cat. You can also volunteer to walk dogs or play with pets awaiting adoption at a local shelter. If an animal friend doesn't fit within your space or budget, you can buy an orchid or another flowering plant to brighten and add more life to your home or office space. You can even name it as it's a living "companion" even if it stays in one place!

6. Organize your environment

A living or work environment that's overwhelming can't help but add to your sense of life overwhelm. If you're like most people, your home and office can probably use organizing and refreshing. Utilize whatever time you have available, even if it's just 15 minutes — set a timer and see how much you can get done. 

You can clean out or reorganize just one drawer or shelf — you don't have to tackle the whole mess at once! As you let go of what's old and make room for something new, it will shift your energy — one box or drawer at a time. You might test out Marie Kondo's "magic" method for tidying up by keeping only what "sparks joy" when you look at or hold it. Before you toss or give away anything that no longer fits, serves you, or is useful, thank it for its service — this helped me let go of lots of things I'd accumulated over 40 years while I was downsizing my home!


7. Learn new things

When you're a beginner at something, you can't be good at it so you can just have fun and experiment. Find a local class that teaches something you've been thinking about or just sounds like fun — cooking or knife skills, drawing or coloring, knitting or crocheting, coding or building an app, taking photos, or gardening. 

8. Appreciate people in your life

Think about the people who have helped or influenced you — both those who are known by you as well as those you don't personally know (you've seen them on TV or read their books). If possible, mail or email them "thank you" notes about why they inspire you and what you’ve learned from them. You can also write a testimonial for them to use on their website or blog. Write at least one "thank you note" each week and see how expressing your gratitude brings more things and people you can be grateful for into your life.

@melrobbins I bet you’re practicing gratitude all wrong. I realized I was once I started digging into the research. Today, instead of creating a generic list of things you’re thankful for, try going deeper. Start right now – write it down in the comments. Only then will you experience the true feeling of gratitude ❤️ Happy Thanksgiving to those who celebrate! #melrobbins #changeyourlife #mindset #createabetterlife #takecontrol #motivation #happythanksgiving #gratitude #grateful #thankful #gratitudepractice ♬ original sound - Mel Robbins

RELATED: The 4-Step Process For Building The Life You Actually Want


9. Change just one thing

Sometimes all you need to do is change one little thing to shake up your routine and lift your spirits. It can be as simple as getting up a bit earlier or later than usual, eating something for breakfast (or another meal) that you don’t usually eat, brushing your teeth with your non-dominant hand, rearranging some furniture or decorative items in your home or office, driving down a different street to work or somewhere you go frequently. When we get in a rut, our energy shrinks; when we stir things up by doing them differently, it expands.

10. Get spiritual

Doing anything that feels spiritual and connected to "life's big picture" puts our problems and feelings in a clearer perspective. Spiritual activities don't need to be religious, however. Anything that's positive and uplifting counts. But being spiritual gets strengthened by being "in the community." You can meditate or chant with a group, attend an inspiring Sunday or weeknight service, an uplifting talk or book signing, or find spiritually-focused Meetups where you can connect with others who want to live from a positive perspective too.

11. Start a blog

Your unique perspective and life story is the only one of its kind. Feel free to tell it, even if no one reads it — it is always therapeutic for you to write it! You can start by writing about the "antidotes" you’re trying out from the list above. Describe how experimenting with them makes you feel and what you’re learning. By sharing your experiences and insights, you are likely to inspire others as well as see the good in your life now!


If you or somebody that you know is experiencing a mental health crisis, there is a way to get help. Call SAMHSA’s National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357) or text "HELLO" to 741741 to be connected with the Crisis Text Line.

RELATED: 5 Ways To Be 10X Happier With Your Life, According To Research

Barbara Schiffman is an author, speaker, book editor, screenwriting coach, Life&Soul Synergy mentor, Hypnotherapist, and Akashic Records Advanced Teacher.