By Jenna DeRosa, LPCC
Finding comfort in loneliness. If there is anything that this past year has taught us is, that at the end of the day all we have is ourselves. We can be surrounded by people, movies, podcasts, music, tv and more. But when that all turns off we are left in our thoughts. For some, that place can be dark and scary. That place can also be extremely uncomfortable if you aren’t used to it.
What I would talk with clients about prior to COVID are the benefits of being alone and addressing the negative connotations and beliefs associated with loneliness. What I found was that loneliness wasn’t within a specific type of person, it touched everyone.
Everyone was running from this emotion or ashamed to admit that they felt it. Then this year came and forced individuals into a crash course that they did not ask for. Over a year later, I am still talking with clients on the deeper issues and discomfort with that emotion.
I urge everyone to challenge themselves by sitting with this. There are beneficial things that can come from it. Just like everything though, it is a balance. Making sure that you aren’t spending too much alone time or spending too much time surrounding yourself with others. Below are some benefits in spending time alone:
- Not having to answer to anyone else
- Prioritizing yourself and your self-care
- Doing something that YOU want to do
- Utilizing alone time for reflection
- Using that reflection for growth within therapy
After reflecting and then witnessing the urgency to surround ourselves with noise, I wanted to reiterate the benefits of being alone. I wanted to highlight the growth it allows so that individuals start prioritizing this when everything returns to ‘the new normal.’ Below will be some ideas and things to do when we find ourselves alone, so that the idea of that doesn’t seem so scary anymore.
- Starting a hobby that you’ve always wanted to do
- Sitting in silence
- Connect with nature
- Go to a place you’ve never been before
- Explore your city
- Move your body
- Go on a drive
- Plan a trip
“Remember: the time you feel lonely is the time you most need to be by yourself. Life’s cruelest irony.” ― Douglas Coupland, Shampoo Planet