If you are reading this blog, it’s likely that you have moved to or are thinking about moving to Los Angeles, and you want to know what to expect before making the journey. First, if this is your first time reading, welcome. 😉 I am so happy that this blog piqued your interest. To my loyal subscribers, thank you for coming back again and again to discover more about yourself. I am so happy to be one of the many supporters that you have in this journey.
You may have heard from other residents, or creators, that moving to LA is lonely, but because you are as determined as I am to accomplish your goals and live your dream life, you disregard it. You might push the thought aside because, in reality, you don’t feel like you really need any more friends; Or maybe, you plan to live here and only focus on your career.
Well, I might be the first, or the first of many to say this, but I am going to cut to the chase.
Loneliness truly changes everything.
I came to LA with the notion that I would be able to accomplish anything without a community, and that I would just make friends along the way. I was so wrong about that. You would think that moving, being broke, finding a job etc. would be the most difficult part of this cross-country journey, but no. The hardest part has been adjusting to loneliness. My first week, I began applying for jobs, looking for events, and joining meetup groups. I felt productive and confident in the results that my work would produce. As I entered the second week, things began to change. I was no longer motivated to do anything. I was always tired, and I began to lose interest in the things that had once brought me joy. I began to undergo the signs of depression. What was it that got me so low? Why was I feeling so productive one week, and so lazy the next?
Loneliness isn’t your lack of friends, it’s the lack of the connection you have, or in other words, the feeling of connection. When you get here, you start to notice that everyone is doing their own thing. They seem to be so sure of themselves, so confident that they hardly even notice you’re there. There were times when I would talk to people, and it felt as if they were looking through me. The feeling is dehumanizing. You begin to believe that no matter how hard you try, nothing really matters. It’s unfortunate but true. When going through this phase, it may begin to seem that you are the only one experiencing this. The reality is that everyone has to go through this. It’s like your “Los Angeles Initiation Phase”.
How to Adjust to Loneliness in LA
Although I’ve only been here for a short while, I have already begun to compile a list of things that will give my body what it needs to endure through the phases of loneliness.
- Educate yourself.
Recently, I have found that educating myself is not only a good distraction, but an excellent way to focus on self-improvement. Trust me, I know that when you’re feeling mentally exhausted and depressed, the last thing on your mind is getting up to work on yourself. It’s like our bodies are programmed to want to crawl in bed, stare at the ceiling, and feel sorry for ourselves. That is a little thing we like to call “our comfort zone.” It was in the third week when I finally decided to stop feeling sorry for myself, and to head to the local library. There, I borrowed three books. One book I read for self-improvement, one book for recreation, and one book to learn a new skill. All you need is three. If you want to know more about the books that are currently changing my perspective, click here.
Look bestie, I know it sounds difficult now, but when you stop looking for results, and take that first baby step, everything will change. It is time to get out of your comfort zone. But how? How can you push yourself to get out of that warm bed?
2. Find sources of support.
No, I don’t mean friends. Although if you have a support group of friends out here in LA, that is great! You are already one step ahead, but for those of us that moved out here without knowing a soul, this step is vital. Find new podcasts to listen to, workshops and community events to attend, or even watch more YouTube videos. I have found that watching and listening to successful entrepreneurs and creatives has strengthened my emotional state and wellbeing. I always start my day by listening to Jay Shetty’s podcast for daily motivation and self-development. I even watch youtubers like Makayla Lysiak, Tyra the Creative, Jenn Im, Nischa, Will Westwater, or Bria Jones for tips on living in LA, career, wellness, or financial advice. Now more than ever, you’ll want to find ways to connect with uplifting people that want to help you! When I listen or watch these creators, I feel empowered to make a change, be productive, establish a routine etc. Our minds are so impressionable; They feed off of whatever we give them, and our bodies adjust to our habits. So feed your mind with discipline, motivation, productivity and goal making. There will be so much positivity going on that you won’t have room for loneliness!
**No Mindless Scrolling! This is the worst enemy to productivity, especially during this difficult time where connection is what your mind is missing. You might find yourself connecting to something that won’t actually benefit you, like TikTok videos or Instagram. This isn’t to say that these platforms are bad for you! However, too much of this entertainment, paired with negativity will result in self-comparison. Self-comparison is counterproductive and will lead to jealousy, self-criticism, and other negative feelings that you want to avoid. **
3. Find community events and workshops.
When I first got here, the first thing that I did was join Meetup and Bumble. I wanted to connect with like-minded individuals with similar hobbies. I found friends that enjoy hiking, baking, attending live music events and even acting! Now, my ultimate goal is to help you, who like me, might not have travelled here with a lot of money in savings or even a job planned out. (Huge regret of mine btw lol) I promise you, you do not have to spend money to connect with these people! The events that I attend are all free. I might spend a few dollars here and there if I get hungry, but mostly, I try to stick to forms of recreation that require no funds at all. This might even help you get a bit more creative with your new friends!
This last step just might be the most difficult, but important one.
4. Get Active.
I know you might hear this a lot, but I cannot STRESS enough how important this is to your emotional wellbeing. When I started feeling depressed and lonely, the only thing I would want to do is sit around. I told myself little lies like: “My body needs this right now.” ” I have no energy. I should stay here and rest.” etc. Sometimes, our bodies do actually need rest, but this, is not the time! I guarantee you. Sitting inside will only make this negative feeling grow. If you stay couped up inside, your body will never adjust to the loneliness. In effect, it won’t begin to seek outlets for creativity and opportunity.
My husband, Casey, told me again and again, “You should really go for a walk.” Did I listen? No! The feelings kept getting worse and worse until I finally did. Here is why.
THE COUNTER-PRODUCTIVITY CYCLE
There is a cycle! My negativity was causing me to stay inside! As a result, I gained weight, my self-confidence decreased, and I became more and more negative! Even though I would go the gym almost every day, I still felt angry, and never felt the results. Let me tell you, the moment I decided to go for a walk, everything changed. Our bodies need walks, just as much as our minds crave stimulation. Dogs aren’t the only ones who need exercise to stay happy lol. I say all of this to express this point: When you are feeling the effects of loneliness, please go outside. Walking will not only have amazing physical effects, but will give you clarity, peace of mind, and confidence.
Things will get better.
I know things are difficult now. Loneliness is never easy. The negative thoughts may feel very real to you, but these negative thoughts are not reality. They are the common results of lack of connection, exercise, mental stimulation and discipline. When you implement some of the strategies that I mentioned above, your body will not only adjust but thrive in this loneliness! Opportunities will open up for you. Your mind will have clarity. You will love yourself more. Most importantly, you will find other sources of connection that will change your perspective about this city. Los Angeles can be as hard or as easy as you make it. With time and effort, you will learn, grow, discover and thrive here.