• Julia

Going Out for The Lonely

Being alone is a neutral state. It is a state of existence. As a matter of fact, being alone is a great opportunity for practising self-care, for doing activities that can’t be done with others (such as reading a book), and for relaxation. A large number of people are happy and comfortable to be on their own. However, feeling lonely is not a good thing. It is a state where someone feels the burden of loneliness and isolation. As Graham Norton once said on his radio show, loneliness is sufficient onto itself—meaning it is often hard to break through. This post is mainly intended to provide lonely individuals with ideas for activities that are less anxious to do without a friend by your side. Although the article can also be a source of inspiration for anyone looking for things to do and planning a nice day out.

1. Join Meetup

Meetup is a community-led website with loads of events and meetings on the offer. People can organise groups and advertise their events for free. There are groups who require a subscription fee to join (such as luxurious writers' retreats), but majority of groups are 100% free to join. From physical activities such as hiking, walking, dancing, to more celebratory events like pub crawling and drinking sesh, Meetup is virtually limitless in its catalogue of things to do. There are also adverts by people who want to go to places, such as cinemas, concerts, galleries, and simply need company.

2. Use Social Media

Social media is more than just a space for spammers, bots, and haters. If you use it correctly, and with the intention of forming lasting and meaningful relationships, the outcome will be completely different from what you would get by merely liking and retweeting and sharing the posts of people you will never know beyond their superficial Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram identities. I found one of my best friends via Twitter! Additionally, social media platforms are powerful search tools for finding out things to do around you. All venues and groups advertise their events on their social media accounts. For example, if you are looking for a jazz performance in Los Angeles, put in Jazz gig LA in Twitter’s search field and sieve through the endless results. Click on the ‘Latest’ tab to see the most recent posts.

3. Attend lectures

Most universities and institutions nowadays offer free lectures on myriad topics. The benefits are twofold: you educate yourself on a scientific or social topic, and at the same time, you get to meet people sharing the same interests with you. For the cherry on the top, some offer a wine reception at the end of each lecture! One way to find out about these lectures and seminars is through Eventbrite. Alternatively, you may have to recourse to Google Maps to locate these institutes, and then check their websites one by one for upcoming events.

4. Go to gigs

Not only are gigs cheap or free to attend, often you’ll meet energetic and sociable individuals there. Plus, you don’t need friends to go to a gig. You can just get there, grab a drink, and enjoy the music. The crowd often lightens the burden of isolation. Moreover, the new generation of emerging musicians are surprisingly talented! So there is a chance that you’ll discover your all-time favourite bands in these gigs! Use listing services such as Bandsintown or Dice (the latter mainly lists London gigs), or simply use your favourite search engine to find out about these gigs. Still, you’ll have a better chance of spotting these gigs on social media (esp Facebook and Twitter).

5. Participate in interest-based gatherings and activities

There are loads of cultural gatherings and courses going on in town: drawing lessons, open mics, Latino and ballroom dancing, poetry nights, book clubs, and so on. This category differs from the previous ones as their members meet up on a regular basis, often weekly or bi-weekly. They are a great place to be because they carry out activities in the spirit of community. After attending a few sessions, you’ll get to know other members of the group. You may even find new friends. But most importantly, eventually you will develop a sense of belonging to a community of artsy, open-minded and creative individuals.