For reference on what the EASE acronym stands for, see my last post. In the next few entries I’d like to look further into each of these steps and show examples of what I did in my personal experiences for each one. As I mentioned, in my experiences with loneliness, I’ve at times utilized the EASE method without even knowing about it.
The first letter in EASE is Extend. The primary way I’ve attempted to dip my toe in being social is through volunteering. I’ve volunteered at a lot of places over the years: soup kitchens, a non-profit store, tour groups, etc. Some of these things were one-off deals. I met a lot of different people, almost all of whom were friendly and approachable. I met a person or two whom I became actual friends with and still am to this day. Still, I found most of the attempts to be sorely lacking of what I hoped for.
Yet, the important thing is that I was making an attempt. I wouldn’t have even made friends with those few individuals I did meet if I hadn’t taken a chance to put myself out there. And the brief interactions through volunteering were opportunities to get out of my head, have some much needed social interaction, and feel less lonely for a little while.
Over the years, in my attempt to find friends through volunteering, I’ve often been frustrated due to not feeling like I fit in amongst these organizations or people. What I didn’t know about was the second step in the EASE method, creating an action plan. I’ll talk more about that in the next entry.
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