Have you struggled with lockdown anxiety and loneliness?
With more people living alone, social isolation has impacted our lives in numerous ways this year. Current research has indicated that isolation and loneliness can impair our quality of life and well-being. What medical science cannot tell us is why some people are affected more than others. Perhaps you have been doing ok until the seasons changed. The shorter days, less sunlight and Christmas soon approaching, might increase your struggle with loneliness or the causes may be related to the pandemic and related life events. An important task is that you focus on what you are able to deal with right now and not become deflated because of your situation.
Recent findings from a leading UK charity has underlined some startling statistics.
- Over 40% of adults have experienced more loneliness since lockdown began.
- More than 30% of adults have no one to turn to.
- Approximately 25% of adults worry that something could happen to them and this will be undetected.
Most of the behaviours we present are linked to our perspective, which is why this could be a great time to select strategies as an opportunity to enjoy your own company and knock down loneliness.
You will be spending the rest of your life with you
In our normal lives we are able to connect with people at the press of a button, until Covid-19 arrived and erased that advantage. Sometimes these effortless technological advancements make us forget how it feels to be alone.
Our validation and appreciation should not come from the number of likes on Instagram or the constant interactions we need from others, but from who God has made us to be. To recognise that your value isn’t derived from others and the longing for someone else to complete your worth will spur you to like who you are in your God-given identity today and every day.
You cannot escape the excuses of not working on the relationship with yourself
We have believed that being alone means there could be something wrong with ourselves. Instead of running from that moment where you find yourself alone. Learn to not be deterred by panic or fear and cling to bad, toxic or abusive friendships and relationships for the sake of not being alone. By becoming your own best friend, you will realise how to cultivate time to care for your personal growth and well-being in a well balanced way.
You must love yourself first, before you expect others to love you
Insecurity, neediness and dependency all spiral form being unhappy, starting with the person you look at everyday in the mirror – you. If you run a mile from that person who sucks your time and energy. Or shriek at the thought of another crushing moment where you feel emotionally drained. Then it’s time to evaluate if you would talk to someone else the way you talk to yourself. And change the tone from disapproving to appreciative and motivating.
This thought can be intimidating, but could reveal all the ways you have allowed the bustle of busy living to bury neglected ambitions, hopes and interests in loving who you are as the unique woman God created you to be and become content in who you want to be.
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3 Practical Tips To Learn How To Enjoy Your Own Company
Loneliness is a complex and unique emotion and a state of mind that could be potentially damaging. At a given moment you can feel empty, unwanted and long for contact with others. And at another become clingy to the point where you may end up deterring people rather than attracting them. Situations are the biggest cause of lonely emotions. From dealing with surmounting change to coping with new environments such as working remotely or in isolation. Including significant alterations in life for instance the loss of a spouse, divorce and rejection all play a huge part.
- Solitude can impact our self-esteem and confidence leaving us with a sense of unworthiness, questioning the regard others may have of us. Worsening our isolation and exacerbating this secluded feeling.
- Isolation could have negative impacts on our lifestyle and health where we resort to additions such as alcohol, due to increased stress. But in turn this can cause anti-social behaviour, poor decision making and lead to mental health problems.
Set out a plan for how you will deal with your lonely feelings
Write out what you can and will do. invite a friend to partner with and find responses to basic questions like who to turn to for moral support. Even if it means this might be a time of waiting, invest in yourself and focus on how to enjoy your own company by recommitting your introspective goals to personal growth. In this space permit yourself to explore how your life could be well lived and perceived by others.
Learning how to enjoy your own company means listing your likes and dislikes, fear and hopes, desires and dreams, triggers and behaviours. Unplugging from the way things are and figuring how you want things to be. Journaling helps you discover who you are together with uncovering those qualities you want to improve and develop. Then note your thinking patterns and channel them into your goals with creativity.
Recognise the triggers and put in place counteractive responses
In an ideal world, being optimistic about connecting with friends and loved ones can help reduce loneliness. If you are unable to be in a work environment during this pandemic, find practical virtual ways to keep in touch with colleagues. But don’t view this solitude as an adverse outcome. Initiate an understanding of the real you. You can connect with your authentic self, incorporate how your beliefs and morals influence who you are. Working closely on where your own negative thoughts and attitudes stem from. Then choose to become so positive everyone will want what you have.
Identify what triggers your feelings of loneliness and push you towards fear holding you back from accomplishing your goals. Change them by creating new habits, learn life skills like how to manage your time, create a schedule, build a healthier lifestyle and make choices to be happy.
Its ok to feel lonely, but don’t stay there
Start holding your head high, get a view of yourself that is labelled ‘high standards’. Be your own best friend. Instead of fighting against who you want to be. Believe it or not when you become friendly and positive towards yourself you certainly won’t tolerate people who patronise or criticise you.
I like to think that if you are an option to anyone – friend or relationship. Why not make their task easier, by removing yourself from their life altogether? Especially when they are always unavailable, never try, have no understanding or appreciation or contribution to your viewpoint or outlook. Knocking loneliness means you won’t allow anything to stifle your dreams or pursuits in reaching higher levels of personal growth. When you enjoy your own company first you won’t stop when you know you should walk away from people or situations that hold no worth or value to where you want to go. Don’t view your living arrangements as an impediment that no one cares (if you live alone) or the opposite feeling overcrowded and needing space (if you never able to get a moment to yourself). Extending out to help others, setting a plan and being creative will and can help you get through this tough time. Studies may indicate loneliness affects more people in toxic relationships, living alone or without a social network. But you can rise above any adversity – there is a solution.
Every decision you make will improve each area one by one as you prompt yourself towards becoming the best version of yourself.
10 Actionable Approaches To Get Back In Touch With Your Aims
- Try new things from online courses to listening to inspirational videos and podcasts. Travel and explore even if the first excursion is in your local area. Learn a new sport or start an interesting hobby. Begin that exercise class.
- Challenge yourself to do 1 new thing every day, the more you do this you are carving a path towards finding your passions. Comfort zones were meant to be stepped out of and opportunities only knock once so be sure to open the door.
- Never let not good enough or not enough time be the hurdles or barriers in running towards a new direction in life.
- Deciding to make radical choices does not mean you are selfish, more exactly taking action to enjoy your own company encourages you to follow your dreams.
- Never lose who you are by trying to hold on to someone you shouldn’t. Or giving up your sense of meaning and worth at the cost of someone who may not care as much. Validation of your actions based on the approval of others is like handing the keys to someone else to drive your life. It could end up much like chasing the wind where you lose your identity in the process.
- Build your identity and worth in who God says you are. By founding your self-esteem and confidence on God’s truth. Create a deeply satisfying connection with your faith in Go through prayer and spend time studying God’s word.
- Draft your ideal life. List your goals and ambitions for the next year. What you want, where you want to be, what you want to do and how you want to get there. All while juggling that pivotal scale of balance.
- Get smarter and more efficient in working with the resources you have – your time, effort, talents and investment to form your ideal career and life.
- Gaining knowledge will lead you out of the loneliness loop. By fuelling your creativity, you will create something even if it’s small beginnings – it’s a start.
- With practiced steps you will be the friend you hope to meet because you chose to become interesting, inquisitive and invite value into your life. Not subtract from someone else’s worth.
- Change the way you look at every situation. Choosing to be positive, focus on fixing the situation, contributing to your community and recognising you don’t want these repercussions are all solutions to prevent loneliness.
Related post: How To Not Get Stressed This Christmas
Struggling with anxiety and loneliness will be reduced with these strategies, practical ideas and actionable approaches to enjoy your own company. Loneliness is a normal emotion that can be linked to us at any point in our lives. It isn’t about wishfully longing for a relationship (if you single) or to have more alone time (if you are in a relationship). But about reframing the situation. Every transformation will create a happier, healthier and more positive you. Even though the darker days and colder weather may draw us in. Connect with organisations and charities who can offer you support. None of us need to experience loneliness. This is temporary and no matter what you believe the pandemic is doing, it cannot take away your value to pursue personal growth even in the middle of an unparalleled lockdown.
Share your thoughts…
What ways have you learned to love your own company and knocking loneliness down?