Are you lonely?
Loneliness is suffering. Loneliness is on the increase and it is not the preserve of the isolated elderly.
Covid 19 has brought this into focus more and more. If you have a solitary profession, many creatives like writers, designers, engineers, or people providing therapies from psychotherapy to podiatry. Informal carers are particularly at risk of loneliness because their roles can seem inescapable and few people can appreciate the challenges.
It can be quite isolating and if there are other aspects of your life to bring that into balance it can be manageable. If you are then alone at home and at work and left with your own thoughts it can feel desperate, sad and difficult.
Being alone with our thoughts can be a wonderful thing, if it is a choice. It can also be a dangerous place where, if our thoughts go unchecked by others they can become more extreme discomforting and sometimes bizarre, especially in a world where we are being presented with terrifying prospect of invisible threats. In the last eighteen months I have found that even the most introverted people have begun to suffer. We are social animals who have been denied touch and reassurance.
Social media whilst a very real world for many can also be a distorted view of the world, it can be especially isolating if you don’t have what others have or say they have. If you are single and everyone else seems to be in relationships, if you are gay and all your friends are straight? If you are struggling to pay the bills when your pals are spending money like it’s going out of fashion. It is also easy to forget that what we see is mediated by what others want to show of themselves and does not show what they want to hide and many people are ashamed to say that they feel lonely.
But what to do when we are so restricted. You might want to exercise some self-care, reflect on what it is you need in your life and how you are going to get it. Give yourself small goals.
I was so impressed by a woman who lost her partner recently, she was unable to go to any of her normal social events. She lives in a rural area, and did not work. Aware that she needed to have more human interaction she placed a water bowl for dogs outside her house and would stop and chat to the dog walkers. She then began to share her plants and seeds with passers by too and it has helped, not just her but the community.
Be active everyday, even if you can’t get out you might dance in your chair or listen to music and imagine dancing. Go out into the garden or park and really look at what is around you. Do some colouring.
Make meaningful connections, support groups, voluntary work, all sort of things.
Find an activity to do which is requires concentration, colouring, painting, writing, pottery.
Eat well and drink less.
If you are struggling with the feelings or struggle to stop your thoughts this might be time to try to access a therapist. One who has a calm and expansive presence, this will help you to feel calmer and connect to your inner wisdom.