** Please be aware that this is a very honest and open thought process for me, it’s not advice plucked out of nowhere, this is based on my own feelings and experiences – I hope it helps just one person to realise they are not alone **
When you have a bad day, it’s easy to feel lost, worried, scared or upset that with all the “friends” in your life, why do you feel so alone?
I’ve recently realised that this thought process can be an unnecessary feeling.
I’ve recently thought about it this way and it’s helped me to overcome some of my own personal lows. I guess it’s normal to feel low/anxious/depressed and I, like many others, feel these lows, but have never been open so publicly about them before. I just want people out there reading this to know, it’s normal, everybody is going through this feeling at some point in their life/lives.
Personally, I’ve had strong feelings of being “pushed out” in various elements of my life, which has been tough and draining, something I’ve found extremely hard to cope with and move on from.
In a world where everybody has hundreds, even thousands of “friends” on social media, it seems to be questioned as to how many of these people are indeed your friends.
Social media does make it easy to become a “social” butterfly (or anti-social in most instances) with the likes of Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, etc at our fingertips.
I’ve been sat in a room full of people many times over the last few weeks/months and everybody has been sat on their phones staring at their screens instead of treasuring the rare moments we have of being physically together. I’ve done it myself over the years, I’m guilty of having done this too, I’m no angel.
But I’m starting to notice it more, which in turn, is making me want to switch off more.
So many people tell me that they can’t stand sitting in a bar or a restaurant waiting for somebody and not looking at their phone to ‘busy’ themselves.
It’s no wonder when I hear of more and more people who have become anxious or depressed, possibly down to how lonely they feel, even when seemingly surrounded by friends.
Do me a favour, take a look through your social media friends lists and tell me, honestly, how many do you see physically, spend ‘real’ time with and actually ‘know’?
For me, well… let’s see.
Facebook. I currently have 385 friends.
In reality, how many of these 365 people do I actually call my true friends? Or do I see and properly know closely in “real” life?
Family Members – 29
Colleagues – 14
Real Friends – 6
Wow. This really took me back.
Six people in my life I can call on when I need to see somebody physically, grab a hug, try a new restaurant with or indulge any other social fancies I may have.
That leaves me with 316 random people, who (don’t get me wrong), I like and have met in person one way or another along the way, but I don’t ever really see or communicate with.
Now I can start to see why I feel physically lonely sometimes, the reason I question why, with all the people ‘in my life’ do I feel so depressed or lonely from time to time?
It’s because these people aren’t in my life… not really.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my day job, I have an awesome boyfriend who I’m about to celebrate being with for 3 amazing years and I have some close friends who are there when I need them… and hopefully vice versa when they need me. I’m generally happy.
And I mean that. But, I felt very low last week and one of my best friends I could ever ask for made it better by firstly sending an unprompted (she didn’t even know I was feeling crap at the time) card through the post from her and her little girl that simply said “Jo is Brilliant” and it brightened up my day a million times more than she will ever know! She also met me for a day of walking around Cambridge, taking geeky photos, eating good food and catching up – it was the. best. medicine.
My “online friends” can be just as useful as my real friends, so don’t ever push them aside because they have their uses too – I learn so much from my social media buddies. They entertain me when I need to lighten my mood, they inspire me with their own posts and when I recently admitted on my Instagram account that I was feeling very low, they helped with ideas to perk myself up. And their advice worked, I actioned so many of their tips and it helped me get through a crappy few days sat at my desk feeling ill, not being able to physically be with the “real” people in my life.
Then I booked myself a glamping break with some of my favourite people and enjoyed an impromptu weekend escape to the coast for some serious relaxing, it was perfect and just what I needed.
These online people can be just as important as our “real” friends, we just need to realise that not every one of these people will be there physically to drink wine with you or give you a hug when you need it… and that’s ok.
My favourite time of day? When I can go home to my kind, supportive and loving boyfriend. He’s my best friend (as cheesy as it may sound) and I have the most fun, best discussions and feel my most relaxed self in his company. This is what I live for, as well as spending time with our close friends together to unwind. That’s what gets me through the week and makes me want to put down my phone and give the attention this time deserves.
We just need to realise, that the more we sit on our phones/ipads/laptops, the more lonely we are making ourselves.
And do you know what? It’s no bad thing to learn how to enjoy your own company. You can’t let yourself down on plans, you can go anywhere or eat whatever you like when you are spending time with yourself, you can enjoy whatever genre of film takes yourself at the cinema. Find out what you love and have some “go to” plans when you are starting to feel that you can’t do the things you love without others… you can, you just need to learn how to feel comfortable in your own company and stop relying on others. Again, it may be cheesy to some, but I started doing this a few years ago and it worked miracles for me whilst I was single – I still do it now too, I love doing things alone sometimes, it’s great fun!
Do you agree? Do you have the same feelings on the subject?
I’d love to hear from you.
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Please note – I am in no means obliged to blog or write about this topic, but I simply choose to share my thoughts with my readers.
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