How to Master the Art of Being Alone
From what I’ve gathered, many of us have a hard time learning how to be by ourselves
In a time where self-isolation and social-distancing is not only recommended, but required by health officials, I figured that there isn’t a more appropriate opportunity to write about the peculiarity of being alone. Given the disheartening consequences that we’re currently facing around the globe due to the COVID-19 outbreak, it’s left the majority of us locked indoors, mulling over our fears and discomfort.
Aside from the obstacle itself of learning how to be alone, we also have to be alone amongst the widespread panic that is constantly popping up on our news feeds and filling our screens by the second — but, it doesn’t have to be as hard and scary as it is. We don’t have to be as terrified as we are and we don’t have to as terrified of being alone as we are either.
Being alone is not always a bad thing. It can be a blessing in disguise as well. We just have to find the silver lining in our current situation, as we do in any dark moment that we encounter.
First off, step away from technology for a bit.
It became very apparent to me that this whole social distancing thing has significantly impacted the amount of time that I spend on my phone (thanks for the heads up, Apple). I was pretty disturbed by this realization.
So, as ridiculous or seemingly impossible as it may seem, breaking away from the constant notifications for a little while will only help you. Step away from your phones, from your tablets, your laptops, your television screens and take some time to get out of everyone else’s heads and get into yours.
Scrolling through social media, constantly refreshing for articles online, and keeping your eyes locked on the television news only fills your head with more paranoia than you probably had to begin with. Other people will ultimately influence our thoughts, propel our fears, and only feed the flame of obsession with what’s currently going on (I know that it did for me, at least).
If we take the time to remove ourselves from what’s going on with other people’s lives, maybe we’ll spend less time feeling insecure or having the fear that we’re missing out on something. Plus, there are other things, better things, more productive things to do than to troll every inch of the dark hole that we know to be the internet.
Invest in a hobby — or do literally anything else that brings you joy
The one thing that I surprisingly tend to avoid the most whenever I have downtime or time to myself is writing. If there’s one thing that I assume I’d be doing more of in a time like this, it’s writing. And yes, I have been writing a bit, but it’s been very forced — like I’m yanking the words out of my brain just to say that I wrote something down.
And there is much debate as to whether or not we should force ourselves to write, but the truth is, it doesn’t hurt to at least try — even if it’s an unfinished piece of work. And if writing is not for you, then maybe it’s reading, or exercising, or crocheting, or making music, or whatever it is that you do that makes you happy.
I don’t mean to steal Maria Kondo’s advice, but we really should ask ourselves what brings us joy, especially in a time when we’re alone and have the opportunity to make joy happen on our own. You’d be surprised at how much or how little you need in life to make yourself happy.
Spend more time outside
This may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but you have to get up, go outside, and get moving during times of isolation. A bit of fresh air will only do you good. It also doesn’t hurt to wake up your muscles and stretch them out.
One of the things that we often become the most susceptible to during times of being alone is staying at home, plopping on our couch, and laying around all day long (I mean, that’s pretty much what I did all weekend). This of course snowballs into the downward spiral of being hooked on our phones and attaching ourselves to technology.
We forget that movement is a privilege that we are lucky to have. If you’re healthy and able, you should take advantage of that because not everyone else is as fortunate.
Being alone isn’t as daunting and horrible as some of us may perceive it to be. I find it rather odd when people don’t know how to handle the reality of being alone. This often causes many of us to seek out vices (many of which end up being negative ones) such as dating, alcohol, drugs, and so on.
We need to explore the factors that cause us to struggle with being alone and we need to learn how to fix it. If not, we’ll just continue to look to other things, to other people, in order to quench an unquenchable thirst. If we learn how to be alone, we’ll learn a lot about ourselves. We shouldn’t have to fill the void if we search deep enough to find out what’s missing.
Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed this article, check out “Breaking Through the “Always On” Mentality”