Practice writing in a journal each day
Take up hand lettering or calligraphy
Start a daily blog journaling your experiences for others to read
Write poetry or Haiku
Write short stories or start the novel you've always wanted to write
Complete a paint-by-number project
Start a needlework, knitting, or crochet project
Compile a photo album that you can share later with others
Work on an adult coloring book
Take up a new hobby like jewelry making
Take up origami
Choose a space in your home and start an organizing project
Choose a room in your home and redecorate by moving things around or moving things from other rooms
If you're having trouble coming up with projects, focus on the ones that you can do with what you already have on hand. Most of us will have a notebook, paper, printer, and access to the Internet.
Using those few basic tools, you're sure to find something online to get you started. You could even focus on culinary arts and focus on cooking or baking projects.
Another way to boost your mental health is to find healthy distractions. This might come in the form of reading, watching shows, listening to music, or finding other activities that interest you. Below are some ideas to help.
Go back and re-read some of your favorite childhood books
Join an online book club like the ones at Goodreads
Give yourself a reading challenge by choosing a list of books you've always wanted to read or a list based on a theme (e.g., books all set in places you've always wanted to visit)
Read books of poetry if you find it too hard to concentrate on longer books
Read magazines on topics that interest you
Listen to audiobooks through services like Audible or Scribd if you struggle to read or have vision problems
Watch TV / Movies
Watch TED talks on Youtube about topics that interest you
Watch a series of movies on a theme (comedy movies will help to ease your stress)
Watch a television series on Netflix
Watch documentaries on topics you've wanted to catch up on
Listen to podcasts on topics you like
Create or Listen to Music
Go back and listen to your favorite songs from when you were a teenager
Create a playlist of happy songs and listen to those
Plan an instrument such as the piano or guitar
Other Fun Ideas
Take a virtual tour: Many museums offer digital access to their collections including the Louvre and Guggenheim
Play games that engage your mind such as Sudoku, crossword puzzles, solitaire, or online chess.
Plan for the future
While it might feel like this loneliness will last forever, there will come a time that you'll be back to your usual routines. One way to feel less alone now is to make plans for the future or do things that help you to focus on the future. Below are some ideas.
Make a "future list" of all the things you want to do
Order online and plant some spring bulbs
Plan a fun event for when you are out of isolation
Make a bucket list of things to do in your lifetime
Make a "goals" list for some area of your life
Practice Self Compassion
Most importantly, practice self-compassion during this difficult time. If you find yourself saying things like "I shouldn't be feeling this way" or pushing away difficult emotions, this will only make your loneliness persist.
Instead of resisting your feelings, instead, find ways to be accepting of them as coming and going. This helps to take away their power and ease your unhappiness.
Remember that your feelings will change. If you are still struggling, try practicing guided meditation following a Youtube video.
Show Compassion to Others
It might seem counterintuitive, but if you are struggling yourself, sometimes offering help to others who are feeling lonely can make you feel less lonely yourself. Make a phone call, send a text, send a letter, or comment on someone's social media posts. Be supportive and offer words of encouragement.
The Health Consequences of Loneliness
Coping as an Older Adult
Older adults (aged 65+) may be particularly susceptible to loneliness during coronavirus. This group is most likely to self-isolate due to fear of infection, while also potentially having fewer supports in place to feel less lonely. The Baby Boomers, in particular, may be the most affected by this pandemic. Older adults can stave off loneliness during this time in the following ways:
Make phone calls to relatives on a regular schedule, so that they can check in with you and learn about your needs.
Ask for help from family members when you need it and be specific about how they can help.