Staying busy and connected when you’re alone is so important, pandemic or not. However, now, more than ever, some people are finding themselves alone more often. And while being alone is not necessarily a bad thing, the feeling of disconnection and loneliness is. Whether you are an empty nester, single mom, recent retiree, far from family. or you don’t have any close friends right now, there are options to make you feel less alone and more connected. They will help, be assured of that.

Here are some ideas:

Volunteer. There are so many opportunities to volunteer both online and in person. Check with your church, your local community groups, shelters, and ask around. Volunteering is such a wonderful, enriching experience.

Take online courses at a local college. Since most colleges are online, taking some time to learn, or work toward a degree, will keep you busy. If the classes are live or by Zoom, you’ll feel more connected too.

Exercise. Go to in-person or Zoom yoga or fitness classes. Getting fit and meeting some new people is a win-win!

Find Facebook groups with people with similar interests. Whether it’s knitting, owning a certain breed of dog, having children of a certain age, being a crafter, or whatever … there is a Facebook group for just about everything!

Find local Facebook groups. As above, it can be a special interest group or simply a Mom group, but this is a fantastic way to “meet” local moms. Many will also post about local events so you can get out to some and meet more local women.

Call old friends and family you haven’t seen in a while. We all have a few on this list right? It’s a lovely gesture to reach out and you just never know if a relationship will re-kindle. Maybe they are lonely too!

Adopt a pet or spend more time with yours. One of the most satisfying, heart-warming ways to spend time is to be with animals. The unconditional love they give fills our hearts. Consider adopting a homeless pet if you don’t have any or are looking to open your home to another.

Look for a part-time job if you don’t work. Places are still hiring! You may not have realized, with the unemployment rates higher than usual, but a part-time job is not out of reach, especially now during fall season. You can also consider a gig job, like Uber Eats, Door Dash, Instacart, or any delivery service that is currently running.

Take this time to work on big projects. You have the time, so consider some home renovations now, doing what you can yourself, rather than hiring out.

Take this time to start a new hobby that keeps you busy and fulfilled. THIS. Yes, a new hobby, or maybe one you haven’t done in 2 decades! Art, crafts, music, writing … there are so many passions we have. If you have the time now, pick one up and run with it! It will be fulfilling and if you find a local group or class, such as an art class, you can meet new like-minded people as well.

Join and online book club. So many of us read, so joining a book club is a wonderful way to be able to discuss that book. Goodreads has online book clubs and check MeetUp for local ones.

Consider online therapy. If you are very isolated or feel down, therapy is a good help and you can do it without leaving your home nowadays too.

Connect more. Look into sites like MeetUp for local meet ups that will be either in person, (socially distanced), or virtual. Amava also has new circles that will help you learn, connect, and share.

How do you stay busy and connected when you are alone?