How to Cope with Loneliness as a Teenager?

Loneliness is a common feeling among teenagers. With all the changes happening during the teen years, it’s normal to sometimes feel isolated and alone. While loneliness can be painful, there are many effective ways for teens to cope with these feelings and feel more connected.

Reach Out to Friends and Family

If you’re feeling lonely, try spending time with people you feel close to. Make plans to hang out with friends you enjoy and trust. Let them know you’ve been feeling down and could use their company. Family members often love to hear from teens too – give your parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts/uncles or cousins a call or text. Getting together with those you care about is a great salve for loneliness.

Meet New People

Making new social connections can also help beat loneliness. If you always eat lunch alone or are new to town, put yourself out there and strike up conversations with peers. Joining a club or afterschool activity is a natural way to make new friends with shared interests. Getting comfortable interacting with people you don’t know well will help grow your social circle. Consider that many of your classmates are likely feeling lonely too and would welcome someone new to talk to!

Connect Online

While online friendships can’t replace in-person relationships, platforms like social media, multiplayer games and forums let you safely engage with peers if you’re feeling isolated. Comment on friends’ posts, message old connections you’ve lost touch with, or join a gaming community or forum for one of your hobbies. The internet provides a space to interact without the pressure of face-to-face meetings.

Spend Time Doing Things You Enjoy

Hobbies and activities you’re passionate about are natural mood boosters and can help you get through periods of loneliness. Find comfort investing time in the things you love most – whether that’s drawing, playing sports, reading, coding or listening to music. When you’re engaged in an activity that excites you, loneliness can fade into the background. Consider challenging yourself to learn something new or find local groups or clubs that center around your interests.

Help Others

Volunteering and contributing to causes bigger than yourself creates meaningful connections and a sense of purpose. Help out family members or offer to babysit neighborhood kids. Sign up to assist at a senior center, homeless shelter, animal rescue or other community organization. Tutoring younger students is another way to feel valued and give back. Being generous with your time makes a difference in others’ lives and your own.

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help

If loneliness becomes severe or persistent, it’s important to reach out. Speaking with a school counselor, therapist or trusted adults like your family doctor can help. Create new habits and thought patterns to cope with difficult feelings productively. A professional can work with you to identify specific sources of your loneliness and establish strategies to overcome them.

Loneliness comes and goes for most teens. By reaching out to your support system, putting yourself out there, and engaging in fulfilling activities, you can get through the tough moments and feel socially connected. Stay positive, keep trying new things and know that you have so much to offer others.