In the current reality which feels closer to a dream/nightmare, I’d like to discuss an important subject: loneliness. For one of the first times, we have absolutely no control in external circumstances – what we are currently experiencing COVID-19. The silver lining? We’re all in this together.
Loneliness can be masked ever so easily. In fact, 2019 research demonstrates that 47% of Americans feel alone or feel left out. I remember going to school with a confident, poised, seemingly content girl, who was, to my surprise, suffering from a deep depression. We humans might be skilled in masking, but perhaps we should do that less. Especially during this pandemic, we should not disregard any impact on mental health, however small or large. An indefinite knowledge of each other is impossible but making an extra effort to show understanding and compassion is not, especially to those who are lonely, which may very well be everyone of us at one point or another in our lives.
A character from Neon Genesis, named Kaworu Nagisa, puts it best:
“Are you afraid of other people? I know that by keeping others at a distance you avoid a betrayal of your trust, but you must endure the loneliness. Man can never completely erase this sadness, because all men are fundamentally alone.”
So how can we embrace loneliness during this pandemic? Here are five tips, which I hope will help you as much as they helped me.
- Embrace the feeling of being alone with Silence
Appreciate silence and enjoy each moment in solitude.
- Delve into your passions and interests
Understand what makes you tick and what you’re truly interested in
- Force yourself to grow spiritually
Find ways to challenge yourself emotionally and spiritually, whether that be in movement or speech.
- Learn how to value your own company
Learn that it’s OK to spend time with yourself to recharge, re-energize and reflect with yourself.
- Seek Help when you need it
When you feel like it’s just too much, call a loved one or seek help to talk to someone professional. This is not an act of weakness; it is an act of bravery.