Friday, December 29, 2006

Don't Think You are Alone

- Published by Jyoti Roy September 7th, 2006 in Singles

For a variety of reasons, many people spend the majority of their time at home, isolated from social interaction. This includes seniors and stay-at-home parents, as well as people with debilitating injuries, diseases or disabilities and their caregivers.

Being homebound can be temporary. But for some people, staying at home all the time may be a permanent situation and constant isolation can result in feelings of loneliness and depression. These are some of the ways to beat loneliness. Being at home need not be an isolating experience that increases feelings of loneliness. There are many ways to share your-self and stay involved with others.

If loneliness is a problem for you, figuring out how to explore new opportunities could be an interesting and engaging activity that will lead to a better quality of life.

Working from Home:

It is the best way to avoid loneliness, as you are occupied mentally as well as physically in some creative or constructive work. Hence it makes a real sense to look out for relevant work, which can keep one self busy and one can enjoy doing the work. Many people have discovered that they can be very happy (and reduce loneliness) by working or volunteering from home.

Telecommuting, once reserved for only a few employees, is now common. People can work from almost anywhere, as long as they have access to a computer or a telephone. The work can vary and may easily involve conference calls, video conferencing and other ways for teams to work together from remote locations.

Some call centers extend their employee base to include homebound workers. Using call-forwarding technology, companies have discovered that using work-at-home employees has advantages over outsourcing to overseas facilities.

You can run your own business from home, creating a Web site to sell goods, services or information. Many entrepreneurs have successfully developed Internet businesses by becoming affiliates, a form of selling in which people get paid by connecting buyers with sellers. Inventory and office rent are not required just online and advertising savvy.

If being self-employed is interesting to you, think about the skills and knowledge you could offer. With some effort you might find an opportunity that is just right for you.

Volunteering to Meet New People:

Volunteering is another form of work, although unpaid. Some not-for-profit organizations need help with mailings, developing educational materials, or assembling toys. Here you come across a new set of people, whom you need to work with, and this helps to grow a social circle.

Projects that require telephoning are not limited to seeking donations. Some volunteer projects involve staying in touch with latch-key kids, coordinating food distribution, mentoring and other phone-intensive activities.

There are some charitable organizations that actually look out for volunteers, who are willing to take up projects and help these organizations to grow; they also sometimes require funds to be organized for their daily operations. These are real good work for people, who wants to get involved in activities for the needy and poor. It is a great social work, which not only gives an individual satisfaction, but also helps the society as a whole.
If you are considering a volunteer job, think about whether you would prefer a short-term project or one that is open-ended, and let the organization know which you prefer.

Interact and Build Your Community: Humans are social animals. We like having others around to talk to, even if we don’t always behave that way. There are community programs that provide outreach to specific groups, like seniors.

If you want to reduce your loneliness with more social interaction, there are some creative ways to reach each outside your home, stay in touch with others, be involved with your community and even meet new people. The community needs to be built with similar minded people, where you can share your thoughts and exchange others views etc.

Go On-line and Keep in Touch:

New social structures have evolved that can help you reduce your feelings of loneliness without having to leave your home. Internet is a great boon to the mankind, which has actually crossed all barriers of communication and with lightning speed, you can reach anywhere across the globe.

Enjoy one-on-one conversations through e-mail, instant messaging, and online phone calls combined with Web-cams. Pictures, short movies and live images can be shared easily, diminishing distances between family members and friends and reducing feelings of loneliness. Internet chat rooms have been the source of many new friendships among people with common interests. We’ve all read about couples who met online!

Discussion forums, blogs and newsgroups are sources for interesting group conversations.

Internet games that involve others provide an opportunity for social interaction. Special websites are devoted to poker, hearts and bridge, and these sites can foster the types of common chit-chat that often occur when people sit around a table playing cards. You can easily play with people of all ages, from kids to seniors, as well as people from other countries using these specialty websites. And many online games that involve characters and intricate stories are fully accessible from a home computer.

Online seminars are available from colleges, museums and libraries. Take travel tours, learn about sculpture, or discuss poetry or history without ever having to leave your home. This has a double benefit, you can reduce feelings of loneliness by meeting new classmates, and you’ll also get the benefits that lifelong learning provides.

Invite People to Your Home:

After school activities for children are being reduced by budget cuts, but at the same time working parents are looking for ways to avoid leaving their kids at home alone. While you may not want a house full of children, one or two might be just right. Once a week, share your favorite hobbies, tell stories, help with their homework or simply have a conversation over a glass of milk and cookies.

Do you have a hobby or skill that others might want to learn? Think about offering a small class once a week in your home. You may be surprised to know that adults might also enjoy basking in your company. Make your home the meeting place for book clubs, planning committees, etc. Ask people to bring snacks or refreshments to share, so that burden isn’t always on you.

Ready to get started? Check with your library for resources, or call local government agencies and schools. It may take some effort, but you may be pleasantly surprised at what you find.