These past few months haven’t been easy for me. Maybe you’ve noticed. My blog has been on the back burner for a few weeks or maybe more – posts have been spotty, I feel like I’ve lost my voice, and I can’t seem to think of topics I’m passionate about writing. None of this really has to do with blogging, though. It’s more about what’s been going on in my personal life.
A few months ago, the company I worked for was merged with another company. I switched from working in an open office in Lehi to working in a cubicle in Salt Lake City. In the process, most of my coworkers, who I was really good friends with, moved on to other opportunities, had babies, or left for other reasons. It has been hard to become close with my new coworkers because of the office setup and the fact that we are all working on different projects, and some days, I leave work and realize I haven’t talked to another person at all that day.
At the same time, many of my other friends were moving on to new stages of life, whether that was having children, extended travel, or moving to a new place. My only good friend at church told me she was moving away, and a lot of my friends already lived in different cities or states. As most of you know, I also don’t see my husband much because of his work schedule as a chef being the opposite of mine.
All of these factors meshed together led to one thing: me feeling very, very lonely at times. If someone had told me two years ago that I would feel this lonely even when I’m married to my other half, live ten minutes away from my family, and have amazing friends, I wouldn’t have believed it. But my emotions took a plunge and it has been a deep hole that I’m still working on digging myself out of.
There have been a few things that have helped me a ton, so along with sharing my recent troubles and letting you in on the more personal side of my life, I wanted to share the things that have helped. I know that some of you are fellow chef wives, wives of husbands that work a lot, or maybe some of you feel the same way I do for other reasons. Just know that above all, even though you may feel lonely sometimes, you’re not alone.
Dealing with Loneliness: Strategies
Working out is the number one thing that helps me the most. After we took our trip to San Francisco and Portland in May, I stopped exercising for one reason or another. About a month ago is when I realized I had hit a very low point and something had to change, and I knew exercising again had to be the main part of it. I set very lofty goals for myself: to work out six days a week for the next three months (I started Kayla Itsines BBG again) and to meet my Fitbit goal of 10,000 steps six days a week. It has taken a lot of dedication and intentionally making time to work out, but I’ve noticed a huge change just by doing that alone.
Making the effort to be more social
As an introvert by nature (What? Introverts get lonely?), it can be hard for me to make the first move to talk to or hang out with someone. I decided to make more of a conscious effort, especially in situations where I wouldn’t normally. I made some small changes – going to the dog park and talking to a few people, G-chatting a coworker to see how her weekend was – and some bigger ones – going out to dinner with friends I had never met in real life, attending a concert by myself. It’s something I have to work on every day to bring myself out of my comfort zone, but it’s helping.
Spending less of my free time online
This has been one of the reasons my blog hasn’t been too consistent lately. I’ve tried to become more in tune to what my needs are emotionally, and sometimes that means not touching a computer for an entire weekend. It takes discipline to not check my phone every time I get a notification or not to spend hours scrolling through Instagram, but it’s contributed to my happiness in a big way. My goal going forward is to have structured and scheduled computer time that I can use to be creative, and not time that simply sucks my energy.
Very few other things bring me more happiness than being in nature, especially if it’s with my husband and puppy. I’ve set aside a lot of time over the past month to go out and do activities that I absolutely love and that I know will refuel my passion for life: hiking, stargazing, paddle boarding, playing soccer, fishing, and even river rafting on one occasion. Sometimes the promise of a good adventure is all that keeps me going through the week, and I think that’s okay if it’s what I need.
Creating an intentional morning routine
This one is probably the hardest for me, but it’s amazing how much better my days go when my mornings are good. I’ve been experimenting with different things, but there are a few things I’ve found that make a huge difference for me: drinking a glass of water – I try to drink warm water with lemon, but sometimes a certain chef-husband uses all the lemons; doing a few sun salutations – my body is so tight in the morning, so this can be a little painful, but feels so good; dry brushing – I finally stopped being skeptical and actually tried this and wow; and eating a healthy breakfast – smoothies are my go-to, and sometimes eggs if I get sick of liquids. I also love going for a short run around the block in the morning if I can actually get myself out of bed and out the door, but it usually doesn’t happen.
If you get anything from this post, I hope it’s this: loneliness happens, and it sucks, but it doesn’t mean you’re alone. Being alone and being lonely are two separate things, and I can promise you, if you feel lonely, you’re definitely not alone. There’s no quick fix, but you can always change how you react to things, and you can always change your circumstances. I am still fighting this uphill battle and I don’t plan on quitting.
Have you ever felt deeply lonely? How did you deal with it?
PS. Huge shoutout to my friend Melissa of Melissa K Photography for taking and editing these photos. It was a perfect day at Albion Basin. Check her out if you’re in Utah.