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Alone versus lonely

June 12, 2020

You may find this helpful to think about how you are doing at this stage in the lockdown.


Some coping tips
By now you will be well acquainted with your own company, like it or not, it’s not an easy adjustment for some. Does the thought of doing absolutely nothing unsettle you?

How long has it been since you allowed yourself to ‘just be’?

We are adjusting to living with a life of less freedom and choices. As we come into the next two weeks and beyond, maybe it’s a time to see how our mental health is tracking. Tenacity, endurance and not being complacent will be the tasks ahead.



Middle-aged man having a restful moment relaxing in sofa

Carve out a time to let your mind wander

Now let’s try something that may be new. Experiment by setting a timer for 5mins, with no:

– TV                    – Podcasts
– Music               – Books
– Internet

Find a comfortable place to sit, close your eyes in a dark room or sit staring out the window. If that is too sedentary try a repetitive task like knitting or doing the dishes.

Now let your mind wander, truly wander, see where it takes you, don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t take you anywhere to start with. With time and practice your mind will get used to a new freedom.

What did that feel like?

Try keeping a diary to track your progress

Here are some activities you can try to just be with yourself...


Spend time with nature

We know that if we spend 30mins/a week with nature it can assist alleviate feelings of depression and decrease blood pressure.

This is an experience where you can use your senses.

Draw a picture of a flower/pot plant/piece of fruit/something out the window, watch birds, feel the sun. Have a shower and really allow yourself to experience/feel the water, be in the wind.


Large tree on a road through farmfields and rolling hills in Antietam National Battlefield, Maryland.


Have a self-date

This is a powerful tool for learning how to be alone and happy.

Imagine you are trying to impress an actual date and show them a good time.

Chances are you can look out your window and see other people doing things on their own.

So dress up, put on your best look, make a cuppa, put on your makeup do your nails or guys shave and look smart. Then watch a movie, have a game of solitaire, do some gentle exercise or draw a picture.

Welcome the peaks of being alone

Take up all the space

  • Spend a day taking all the kitchen space cook a tasty meal you can munch on for a few days.
  • Try getting back to an old hobby, spread all the materials out across the floor, maybe write a short story. If you need materials let someone know you need help.
  • Have a dance party with yourself? Put on your favourite music and dance like no-one is watching, they aren’t.
  • Volunteer to ring someone you don’t usually talk to. Think of possible acts of Kindness you can do within the restrictions.
  • Acknowledge things you are grateful for. research shows this boost feelings of happiness/hopefulness.
  • Think about small, simple things like your first morning cuppa, or a song you play over and over that calms your nerves or makes you feel good.
  • Make a list of mental or physical things you appreciate and get it out when you need to remind yourself of everything you have going for you.
  • Self-reflection is a good thing; harsh self-judgement is not. It eats self-confidence and happiness. When the negative self-critic comes to call, change it into the positive voice of your best friend that lives in your head.

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