How to be Alone
By: Dev Elizabeth
At the beginning of the year, I was asked what I do and where I go when I’m alone. “Travel the interweb via social media,” I thought. I have always done my best to make sure I’m never alone. Either I’ve has friends physically around, or I’d call/ Facetime them in an attempt to not feel alone. As an extrovert, someone who replenishes their energy by being around other people, I didn’t see the need for me to ever be alone.
By March, states were going into lockdowns, enforcing curfews, and forcing us to stay inside. Now, I had no choice, but to be alone. I was already depressed and struggling after a long winter, and by this point, therapists were no longer accepting new clients, so I made the decision that if I wanted to be happy, I would have to figure out how alone.
The first step was to find something out about myself. Study, learn and understand who I was deep inside. Who was I, more than just my body, more than just my mind. The thing about it is that in order to answer this question, one must first set aside their norms, what they learned. The conditioning of our early lives creates a barrier that we often do our best to embrace, the ego. We often mask this by calling it confidence. But, one can’t become aware of anything within thyself without seeing it outside of the self.
To be alone comfortably, you should at least be able to HONESTLY assess your strengths and, more importantly, your weaknesses. Be honest that you’re not perfect, nobody is. Once you come to terms with the fact that we all have things to work on, and it’s best that we do it alone most of the time, the stress and anxiety of being alone diminishes. Make a list and analyze your weaknesses, but also your strengths. The most important thing is, to be honest with yourself about your personality and habits.
Next, decide what activities you would enjoy alone to help you. Activities that stimulate your inner child bring out the youthfulness in you. They may sound silly, but coloring, blowing bubbles, or even playing with Play-Doh help. Going for walks, sitting in nature, journaling, are some other suggestions. Find what is the meditation for you, cooking, running, creating, swimming, etc., are all forms of meditation because essentially, the goal is to silence the ego, the anxiety, the negative thoughts.
Writing is a very beneficial tool and activity to help on this journey. Find some specific prompts online to help stimulate you and get you started to write. Or even, write out your short term and long term goals and how you plan on achieving them. Find activities that best fit your time frame for your alone time. Don’t be afraid either to find new hobbies and discover new interests. Try new things with this time that you have dedicated to yourself.
Taking time to be alone doesn’t have to be time-consuming, even just fifteen minutes a day, once you wake up or before bed, can make a difference in your life. The goal is to disconnect from the world to connect with the self.
We’re less than 100% ourselves when other people are sound, or we have outside influences. Being alone helps you get that 100% most authentic version of yourself. Turn off your phone, separate yourself from social media and anything that distracts you, or makes you feel less like your self. Your alone time can be used to accomplish anything you want, but the objective is to not run away from the time that we do get alone.