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I'm Feeling Intense Loneliness & Isolation In My City/Urban Area

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  • I'm Feeling Intense Loneliness & Isolation In My City/Urban Area

    Big cities and urban areas can be exciting and great places to live, but can also be accompanied by deep feelings of loneliness and isolation as you try to find your way around.

    I experienced this first-hand when I moved to San Francisco. What about you?

    If you've moved to a city or urban area and are feeling isolated and alone, this is where you can talk about it. I'd love to hear about your experience and what you are doing to cope.

    For some background – if you are dealing with feeling alone in a new city, making new friends or just being isolated in a city you've always lived in – I wrote an article to that deals directly with the 5 unique ways that I coped and made the loneliness more bearable:

    https://www.womens-health.com/alone-in-new-city

    Additionally, I discovered that there are 6 major factors that contribute to urban loneliness and isolation, and while common, make a big city feel like a rather lonely place:

    https://www.womens-health.com/urban-...ness-isolation

    So, how’s life in your city? Do you experience loneliness or have you found your people?

    Perhaps there is something unique to your city that helps you connect? Or maybe you have some great advice for new urbanites that I didn’t include on my list of tips.

    Either way, we want to hear from you! Share your frustrations and triumphs and connect meaningfully with others in similar situations.
    Editor’s Note: This forum post is part of our ongoing series The Roots Of Loneliness Project: Unearthing Why We Feel Alone, the first-of-its-kind directory that comprehensively explores the phenomenon of loneliness and 80+ types that we might experience over the course of our lives.

    Click the link to find resources and information on virtually any form of loneliness you may be personally experiencing.
    Last edited by Ashlee T.; 04-20-2020, 07:54 AM.

  • I guess I've never had deep feelings of loneliness in an urban area. I used to go deep into the mountains for a few days to get away from uban anything and was pretty much happy. In fact, if I had a steady source of supplies, I could have done that for weeks on end. I have always been a self starter on such things.
    I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience.
    ...
    Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot?

    From a speech by Patrick Henry on March 23, 1775 at St. John's Church, Richmond, Virginia

    Comment


    • jns You've got the right idea here! I think that one of the best ways to alleviate urban loneliness is to get the hell out of the concrete jungle and reconnect with nature on a regular basis. I was lucky to live in San Francisco since it had such close proximity to both the forest and the ocean, along with lots of green space within the city itself. As I mentioned in the article, staying close to nature has profoundly positive effects on mental health. And some cities are definitely better for this than others.

      Comment


      • I can relate in many ways! I lived in a big city once -- during college for 4 years -- and it was a miserable experience despite experiencing it on what was a beautiful college campus in the middle of the city.

        I never felt quite comfortable in cities, but living in one for 4 years REALLY brought home my distaste for urban life...

        To this day, I do my very best to stay away from large cities, buildings and places where it's only concrete, steel, and people...

        When folks say "I love living in the city!" I really am confused by the statement?

        Not to be negative, but what do you like? The lack of nature? The people, noise and overcrowding? The dirty and loud streets filled with human and dog feces? The lack of sunlight? The lack of connection to nature, self, and people?

        Hey, I know we each have our own likes and desires, and amen to that, but for me, the city was indeed a lonely, cold and desolate place I don't ever need to experience in a long-term fashion ever again...

        Comment


        • As an adult, I’ve lived in a few different cities (Las Vegas, metro Detroit, San Jose) and didn’t struggle with much in the way of city loneliness, aside from San Jose. Then again, I was a mom to two kids under the age of 5, living in a subdivision where you literally did not see anyone’s front doors — there was a garage door, and a solid gate to walled-in “yards” – the door was off of the private yard.

          So you never really had a chance to talk to your neighbors or even get to know them unless you walked down the road and hoped to happen upon one. It was a very odd little neighborhood. But the people were nice — at the store, out and about, it was all very friendly. I just didn't really bond with anyone while I lived there.

          What’s funny is now that I live in a rural area… good gods, I know everyone. Everyone. I can’t even run into the local Dollar General without greeting at least two people I know. (I’m not a fan of DG but there’s one six miles from my house, and it’s half the distance than anyplace else when I need something in a pinch.)

          I have met and gotten to know more people in my tiny township of 2,000 people than I ever did in any of the large cities I’ve lived in. That says something.

          Although I do miss the city sometimes. I miss the food. I miss only having to drive 1/2 a mile to go to the grocery store. I miss being able to WALK to a store at all. I miss the ocean.

          And 20 years later I still miss the lights of the Las Vegas strip. From my apartment balcony in Spring Valley, they looked like Christmas lights and I loved it.

          Comment


          • I don't like the city: at all. And could never live in or near one. I prefer a less busy surburban life. I like having fields nearby and the suchlike. Having a park to walk in daily is essential. I LOVE the countryside. In fact - if I could - I'd live in rural Ireland. I've been to Ireland and love it there. My family lives over there, too.

            Cities I do NOT like. Market towns, I do. I simply could never live in or near London. It isn't home and never will be. Sure, it's great if you're shopping and just a tourist, but living there? No.

            Anyone feel the same about London?

            Comment


            • Originally posted by Alison H. View Post
              As an adult, I’ve lived in a few different cities (Las Vegas, metro Detroit, San Jose) and didn’t struggle with much in the way of city loneliness, aside from San Jose. Then again, I was a mom to two kids under the age of 5, living in a subdivision where you literally did not see anyone’s front doors — there was a garage door, and a solid gate to walled-in “yards” – the door was off of the private yard.

              So you never really had a chance to talk to your neighbors or even get to know them unless you walked down the road and hoped to happen upon one. It was a very odd little neighborhood. But the people were nice — at the store, out and about, it was all very friendly. I just didn't really bond with anyone while I lived there.

              What’s funny is now that I live in a rural area… good gods, I know everyone. Everyone. I can’t even run into the local Dollar General without greeting at least two people I know. (I’m not a fan of DG but there’s one six miles from my house, and it’s half the distance than anyplace else when I need something in a pinch.)

              I have met and gotten to know more people in my tiny township of 2,000 people than I ever did in any of the large cities I’ve lived in. That says something.

              Although I do miss the city sometimes. I miss the food. I miss only having to drive 1/2 a mile to go to the grocery store. I miss being able to WALK to a store at all. I miss the ocean.

              And 20 years later I still miss the lights of the Las Vegas strip. From my apartment balcony in Spring Valley, they looked like Christmas lights and I loved it.
              I grew up in a small town and have lived most of my adult life in cities. People in small town all know each other to some degree and the rumor mill works overtime. This can be upsetting to city folks who want to be anonymous in a small town. Saying hi to neighbors in a small town is a chance to gossip.
              I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience.
              ...
              Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot?

              From a speech by Patrick Henry on March 23, 1775 at St. John's Church, Richmond, Virginia

              Comment


              • Originally posted by jns View Post
                People in small town all know each other to some degree and the rumor mill works overtime. This can be upsetting to city folks who want to be anonymous in a small town. Saying hi to neighbors in a small town is a chance to gossip.
                Oh gods, it really is. Everybody knows what everybody else is doing. All the time. And they can't wait to tell you about it.

                It so was weird when we first moved here, though… people WAVE at you when you’re driving past. No one does that in the city! People here wave if they’re in the yard, wave if they’re taking a stroll down the road, wave from their four-wheelers or tractors. It was surreal until we got used to it.

                I wave at most people except for certain neighbors I don’t like.

                It was strange, too, having people just straight up ask you “Where you live at? I’m on Smith Road, the blue house right by Here’s-My-Social-Security-Number Avenue.”

                I was taken aback, this idea that you’d just tell people where you live. The most I’d ever tell anyone is the side of town I lived on; that was detail enough.

                But NOW, I am one of those people. “Oh yeah! I live on Jones Blvd, halfway between Come-Rob-Me Road and Route 666! It’s the big red house!” (And almost everyone knows who lived in my house before I did.)




                Comment


                • I can really relate Alison H. I grew up in a rural area that had that vibe. As an adult, I've lived in a mix of small towns and cities. I have maintained those tendencies to wave at the passersby on my street, though I usually try not to do it. Growing up that way, I think those characteristics are always going to be there. I never really shared that much info about specifically where I live. My parents were always a bit security-minded, as we had valuables in the house, and I've definitely carried that safety-minded, protective attitude with me.

                  I've lived "in town" for the past 8 years, and I'm not sure that I'll ever choose to live in the country again. It is definitely a different world in rural America, and I do miss the quiet, peaceful time there. My lifestyle has changed so dramatically. I can't imagine having to drive so far again, to work, or anything else I need.
                  It's funny just how different a few miles makes!

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by atskitty2 View Post
                    It's funny just how different a few miles makes!
                    It really does. My grocery store is a 12-mile drive away and my in-office work was 25 miles away, pre-quarantine (I work from home entirely now).

                    Back in the days before I lived where I do now, I don’t know that I drove 12 miles to get anywhere, unless I was going on a road trip.

                    Comment


                    • You and me are the same JonnyR. I much, much prefer the countryside. I couldn't live in a city: I just couldn't. I like a market town, though. Still, city life isn't for me either.

                      Comment


                      • Of course, I think that this is all because of quarantine .. If it weren’t for him, everything would be simpler.

                        Comment

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