18 Jan Loneliness During These Times
Is Loneliness An Issue For You?
With the coronavirus pandemic dragging on, more people struggle with loneliness than ever. Humans are social animals. We need companionship, so the importance of physical distancing to slow the spread of illness presents loneliness challenges. On a positive note, because of the global nature of the pandemic, people are more willing to admit they’re lonely and look for solutions now.
Many people who I looks up to and admire are also struggling. Loneliness can affect all of us. I have even noticed some dark thoughts in my own mind over the past year of yoyoing in and out of lockdown. I have trained myself to have a brain/mind management strategy to keep me sane over the years. Today I would like to share some ideas you might be able to use to help you overcome some of the darker thoughts you might be entertaining.
View Being Alone As Something Enjoyable
Being alone doesn’t always mean being lonely. Instead of focusing on our negative feelings, we can practice being our own good company. Focusing on what we are doing and taking time to do things we enjoy and that matter to us can help us feel loneliness less acutely. When you find yourself sinking into negative self-talk, it’s helpful to have some positive things prepared to replace it. For example, instead of thinking, “I’m so lonely. I hate it,” you could tell yourself to stop, then say to yourself, “I’m lonely now, but I can use this time to do something I’ve been looking forward to.”
Being intentional and practicing awareness, in whatever interactions we do have, can help to reduce feelings of isolation. It can also increase feelings of connection. Something as simple as texting a loved one “good morning” each day, taking a moment to ask co-workers how they are (and really listening to the answer) in a work call, or smiling and waving when the delivery driver leaves your order on the step, can be the moment of connection to tide you over.
Focus On The Controllable & Let Go Of The Rest
Noticing when our loneliness is at its worst allows us to prepare and so ease our suffering a little. If the quiet evenings are particularly difficult or the weekends when you are accustomed to going out with friends feel extra stifling, planning self-care for those times could work for you. Simply making a schedule focused on what you are doing instead of missing what you can’t do, can help.
Being alone can teach us to appreciate connection with others and ourselves. Take a moment of reflection on happy times in the past or future times connecting with others. This can remind us to be grateful for the relationships we have shared, and see that isolation is temporary. We will be close to others again in the future. A little creativity and compassion for yourself can make the loneliness challenges less daunting.
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