CN: Loneliness, depression, exercise,
The company of others can be a beautiful thing. But equally, alone time is important. Being alone allows us to be introspective, to feel independent, and competent. Sometimes harnessing the power of being alone, without being lonely, can be hard. Here are the team’s top tips on making the most of it.
“I generally prefer to be alone, it’s something I love. But for those less comfortable, I’d say start by going for a walk, but no phones or music. Look for the birds you can hear, and watch the leaves and clouds moving. Just be aware of the world you’re in and how you experience it as an individual unit. Not as someone’s friend, child, or partner etc., but just you, and everything you are.”
“I love video games and painting! Two polar opposites, but super engaging, and there’s no shame in playing the trash games we all love.”
“I’m generally terrible at being alone, but I’m trying to be better! What helps is pursuing a hobby or something I can only do when I’m alone – for me that’s playing the piano, swimming and yoga. Every now and again I’ll draw too.
A tip I guess I’d have for someone who is quite extroverted, or hates being alone is remembering a time when I’d been around people for a while and just wanted to get away and have some time for myself.”
“When I’m alone I love to do Yoga! Especially Yoga With Adriene on YouTube — she makes it so clear that this is time for you, and that you are in control of your own well-being and happiness…I love it. It’s been so good for my depression and anxiety too.”
“‘Mastur-dating’: taking yourself out for dinner, to the cinema, to exhibitions. This is without the intention of necessarily ‘meeting people’ or ‘making friends’ – which people often cite as motivators to go out alone – but simply for yourself.
Also going on walks with headphones in and sunglasses on – as weird as that sounds. Due to anxiousness I sometimes find that when I’m out and about it’s hard to switch off from thinking about how other people are perceiving me – but when my eyes and ears are covered I truly feel like I’m in my own bubble and find it easier to relax out in public. It’s like my own little invisibility cloak.”
“I like to re-read beautiful and devastating poems. Ocean Vuong’s Someday I’ll Love Ocean Vuong is great: “& remember, loneliness is still time spent with the world”. Also Mary Oliver’s Wild Geese, which reminds me that whatever melancholy I feel is nothing that others haven’t gone through before.”
“Go on holiday by yourself. You can do absolutely whatever the hell you want to do while you’re there and you get the chance to form your own relationship with a new place, which is really cool.”