Being alone, we are certainly doing that a lot more of that! Some of us struggle with this more than others. Being alone can be a beautiful thing, a gift to yourself. However, some associate solitude with loneliness, sadness, fear and worry.
Below are some tips to help you improve the way you are feeling when secluded.
1) Practice gratitude and meditation
A simple habit of thinking of 5 things you are grateful for each morning when you wake can start your day off right. Meditation has existed for thousands of years for a reason. A wide body of research backs up the countless benefits of meditation.
2) Try something new
We are limited with our pandemic options in some ways. Yet, there are emerging opportunities that never existed before. Sign up for a virtual crafts class with your kids, hike that trail you never ventured onto before, volunteer for a worthy cause you always wanted to support.
3) Go through old photos or journals
Take the deep dive into your personal treasure of history. Reminisce over the good times, reflect on the bad and celebrate those you have lost. My family pulled out the old VHS videos a couple of weeks ago and it brought endless laughs and smiles!
4) Become creative in connecting with others
While we may be distancing socially, we can still give each other support and love! Join some new Facebook groups, teach Grandma how to use Facetime or zoom, deliver a random care package at someone's front door. Really go back in time and mail a card or letter!
This is such a powerful tool for any wellness journey! Journaling helps us see our life through a different lens and helps us process difficult emotions and feelings. There are countless journals you can buy, you can also search online for journal prompts if you are not sure what to write.
6) Write a reflective letter to yourself
Write yourself a letter to give congratulations of your success big and small. Dive into the lessons you have learned and what it is in life you want to do better. How can you make an impact and fulfill your passion? What horrendous life experiences have you survived that has made you more resilient and strong?
7) Set new goals and create a plan
Dream big, think outside the box, challenge yourself and put a plan into action. Now is a great time to re-evaluate what is or is not working.
Sometimes best efforts to take care of ourselves are not enough and we need support.
When it is time to see a professional, it is time! Do not put it off, think things will magically get better or bury your feelings.
Any of the following could be red flags for worsening mental health conditions:
· minimal motivation
· feeling tired frequently
· crying excessively
· withdrawing from friends and family
· thoughts of harming yourself or wanting to die
· racing thoughts and heartbeat
· difficulty breathing
· freezing up
· decline in school or work performance
· strained or ended relationships
· increasing alcohol or substance consumption
· behaviors you are more frequently regretting
Paying attention to what you need during this time is critical. Mental health problems have been exacerbated with the pandemic, racial unrest and political tensions. Please, if needed reach out for support.