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Lockdown loneliness

Is living alone, something you once loved or even bragged about, starting to feel less and less manageable, and more and more lonely?

1. Get honest about your loneliness.
Loneliness can come with a shadow called shame. Even reading this article you might be thinking, nah, this isn’t really me, I’m not that lonely. It doesn’t make you a ‘loser’ to feel lonely. And until you get honest with yourself on the size of the problem, you can’t really solve it.
Admitting you are lonely to others is the next step. Others might be so use to you being independent they assumed you wanted a lot of space, or were in touch with many other people. And sometimes just saying it out loud to someone else we trust can be a great relief.

2. Avoid rash decisions.
Deciding to go live with someone you met on an internet dating site and only talked to a few times over Zoom, all in the name of avoiding another lockdown alone? Giving up your beloved apartment to live in a commune? Or rushing out and getting a puppy when you know nothing about animals? Maybe not.

3. Consider the ways you are connected to others.
When we are physically alone it can be easy to forget that connection isn’t just about being physically around people. We can just as easily feel lonely in a crowd as with others. Think of all the people you have shared things with over the last year.

4. Don’t blame being alone on being single.
This is an easy trap to fall into, but it immobilises us. We become so convinced we’ll never stop feeling lonely unless we meet a partner we close down our mind to things that could help or other options.
Remember that many people in couples feel very alone, too. Or those who live with a big family. Loneliness is nothing to do with being one person, and everything to do with being a disconnected person.

5. Take time daily to do one thing you couldn’t if you weren’t living alone.
Dance around in your underwear playing air guitar. Drink milk from the carton. Eat with your fingers. Sleep in a horizontal way that takes up the entire bed. Whatever it is, revel in the fact that you live alone as much as you can, to remind yourself that for every negative, there is a positive.