Loneliness is hard. We’ve all experienced the depressing, isolating feeling that comes from believing that we have no connections to other people, despite our desire for them. The important thing to remember here is that feelings are not facts. Sometimes we may feel disconnected during a day spent alone, but this doesn’t mean we actually are. Especially since we always have the option of connecting with ourselves. We can use our relationship with ourselves, as well as our relationship with the world around us, to fight against loneliness. Throughout this month, I’ll be exploring and sharing ways to enjoy being alone, starting with the suggestions listed below:
- Identify alone time activities
Are there things you love to do that you can’t do with others? Take advantage of private time to binge watch a show that you love but none of your friends can stand, learn all the lyrics to that catchy song that won’t get out of your head and belt it loud, take a long bath with candles lit and mood music on. Keep a list of these types of solo activities and refer to it when needed.
- Learn something new
Master a hobby you have been wanting to try. Take guitar lessons via YouTube or finish that scarf you’ve been knitting for 2 years. It’s difficult to teach ourselves things if we’re distracted by other people around us, so alone time is the perfect time to learn a new skill.
Moving our bodies is a great way to center ourselves and drag our focus away from our perceived loneliness and into the present moment, in which we have the ability to choose contentment. This physical self care is important for showing ourselves what we are capable of. Hop on the treadmill or go for a long walk as a reminder that you have the power to care for yourself
- Get out of the house
Go to a coffee shop with a favorite book or walk around a museum at your own pace. Identify places that feel sacred to you (a hole-in-the-wall bookstore, a sunny cafe, a community garden, etc.) and only visit them when you are by yourself. This will keep them feeling special and allow you to look forward to alone time.
- Connect with nature
When there aren’t any other humans around, it’s the perfect opportunity to connect with the natural world. Spend time enjoying the beauty of a frozen river, admire the elaborate ritual of birds in flight, or sit under a knotted tree pondering this quote from Henry David Thoreau’s Walden:
What kinds of self care do you use to combat loneliness? Do you ever look forward to alone time?
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