The current pandemic has us facing one of our biggest fears: staying alone, dealing with our own emotions and thoughts. However, this situation has also a great deal of advantages. While in self-isolation, we can use this time to improve ourselves by discovering new hobbies or just developing skills we have already gathered, cultivating our mind through reading. In fewer words, we finally have the time to learn how to deal with ourselves. And this is always a good thing.
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Being alone and, therefore, forced to face our own thoughts, can prove rather disturbing. People need other people to feel well: being sociable is not anymore just a skill to develop, it is a mere condition of our existence. However, learning how to feel well while being alone is another skill at least as important.
As difficult as it may seem, self-isolation has its benefits. When spending your time alone, the key to handle this situation is to find a purpose in your suffering. In other words, focus on why your suffering is doing good to others as well as to yourself. Furthermore, the fact that you stick to a certain routine or that
everybody is doing the same thing provides you not only with a meaning, but also with a sense of belonging.
Solitude enables you to reconnect to and develop yourself. This is one truth nobody can deny. However, for individuals who have many issues to be yet solved, solitude might not be the proper solution. Instead, seeking professional help in order to learn how to deal with yourself can be life-saving in this particular case.
One way people have always dealt with loneliness is through creativity. By metamorphosing their reality into art, lonely people throughout history have managed to interchange the sense of community relationships could foster with their creative outputs.
The artist Edward Hopper (1882–1967) is known for his paintings of American cityscapes inhabited by closed-off figures who seem to embody a vision of modern loneliness.
We think of solitude in terms of remote cabins or mountain tops. But the real key to solitude is to step away from reacting to the output of other minds: be it listening to a podcast, scanning social media, reading a book, watching TV or holding an actual conversation.