Welcome to Geeks Vs Loneliness, our bit of the site where we hopefully come up with one or two things that can help those not having the best of times. As always, not all pieces in this series apply to all people, but hopefully – and there are links to more pieces at the bottom – we can touch on something that can help.
This week, we’re looking at how to keep going when sometimes, it’s the last thing you want to do.
One of the many tricky things about feeling lonely, unhappy or in some way isolated is finding the motivation to get up every morning and keep yourself going somehow. Maybe you’re feeling particularly unhappy, or battling depression. Maybe you have a job where nobody really has a nice word to say to you (albeit not necessarily a nasty one either), where you’ve got nothing but your own well of self-motivation to dig into. Or maybe you really are reaching the end of your tether.
How, then, can you keep yourself going? Well, as we regularly say, this article doesn’t have a magic wand or special elixir within it. Instead, we’ve just got a few ideas and tips that may hopefully help.
Firstly, try getting the basics of a routine in place. There’s a caveat to this, that we’ll come to in a bit. But know what time you need to get up. Know what time you need to go to bed. Get sleep, make sure you eat and drink. Have an idea of what you’re supposed to be doing in a day, and it may just help prevent your mind from wandering.
Beyond that, try setting yourself a longer term goal. Do you want to write a book? Run a marathon? Lose a stone? Learn to bake a cake? Maybe get a new job? Try and find something in the future to focus on when things are getting low. Know what all of what you’re going through is for, and if you’re really not sure, try and set yourself something, no matter how small it may be.
Try and keep a reminder or two of previous achievements, too. Everybody goes through peaks and troughs in life, accepting that some are much more pronounced than others, and they’re rarely shared out evenly. But was there something you did that you were particularly proud of? When you’re trying to find ways to keep going, it’s sometimes helpful to remind yourself that things have been better before, and likely can be again.
If you’re looking towards alcohol, drugs, artificial stimulants and/or the contents of a Red Bull factory, then it’s the kind of short term fix that, sadly, is almost guaranteed to have ramifications further down the line. It’s said, for instance, that too much caffeine basically fast forwards your body for a short while, and it catches up with you later in the day.
If possible, as always, try and talk to someone. Just let someone know – be it in person, by text, by email, even a comment on an article like this – that things aren’t quite right. We’ve found in the months we’ve been running this series that lots of human beings want to help, but they often can’t if they don’t know there’s a problem. Virtually all of us miss problems around us if we don’t know about them, and that’s just being a human in the modern world. So please: tell someone if you can.
Then, how about a leftfield suggestion: book a week off. Take a weekend away. Try something to knock yourself out of the normal routine for a short while. Financially, it’s not always possible to book a holiday, of course, although we’d take you all to Butlins with us if we could. But have a day that’s different. Sit in the park and read a book. Go swimming. Go for a walk somewhere you’ve not been before. Drive 20 miles, have a coffee, and come back. Just something you wouldn’t ordinarily do.
Very often, it’s a collection of little things that solve a problem rather than one big one. Do feel free to share your own thoughts, ideas and issues you’re facing in the comments below. And thanks, as always, for reading.