With “social distancing” replacing “socializing” and governments around the world urging (or even requiring) people to just stay home, current events have extroverts in a total panic. “Stay home? Stay home??? But it’s so boring! How will we keep from going mad??” If thoughts like those are running through your head, you’ll want to stick around. We’re going to talk about some simple ways to embrace being alone and discover the positive side of all this “social distancing.”
How to Embrace Being Alone and Make the Most of Social Distancing
First, take a deep cleansing breath. Seriously, do it. Don’t just tell me you did! It’s going to be okay. You will get through this. We will all get through this together…well, just not too close together! As introverts around the world will tell you, being alone is NOT a bad thing. Staying in alone or with your family can actually have many fantastic benefits! So, let’s see how we can make the most of it.
Use this time to really bond with your kids (or yourself!)
Between work, school, after-school activities, play-dates, and just the general sense of urgency that comes with modern life, we rarely have enough time left over to just bond with our kids. Well, now we have nothing but time, so make the most of it! Eat dinner together every night (you have no excuse not to, now). Play board games together. Start a new family movie night tradition. Kids grow up so fast, so use this time to just revel in these amazing little beings that you created.
Even if you live alone, you’re not immune to the madness of modern life. When was the last time you really sat down and got to know one of the most important people in your life- yourself? Use this time to dig deep into the recess of your brain and dig out those passions that you put away because there was never any time for them. Start a self-discovery journal. Ask yourself those tough questions you’ve been avoiding, like, “Am I really happy with my job?” and “What do I truly want out of life.” Get in touch with your inner dreamer. She’s tired of hanging out in the back of your mind. Let her come out and play!
Tackle projects you’ve been putting off
From spring cleaning to all of those crafts you’ve saved on Pinterest for a rainy day to finally mastering the art of the meal plan, we all have projects that we say we’ll do “someday.” Well, my friend, “someday” has arrived!
Whether you tackle them as a family or on your own, starting and actually finishing a new project or reaching a new goal won’t just help you make the best of social distancing and embrace being alone, it’ll give you such a wonderful sense of accomplishment! That alone can help boost your morale and self-esteem.
For those who live alone, I have some more good news for you! A study found that you’re more likely to stick to your goal when you don’t have a supportive partner. Why? Well, turns out that a supportive spouse makes you more likely to procrastinate. Strange, but true! So, dig out that “to do someday” list and start tackling all those projects.
Tackle your “to be read” pile
Speaking of tackle monumental projects, I bet you have a pretty long “to be read” list loaded with “someday” books. If you don’t, then go ahead and make one! Think about all those reading challenges you’ve always wanted to try but never quite had time for.
Read your way around the world in 80 books, share your favorite childhood classics with your kids, start a family (or virtual) book club and create new themes every week. With all the panic-buying and madness happening right now, I recommend starting with books that teach kindness. We all need a little reminder to be good to each other, especially in a time where so many have an “I take care of me and mine” mentality.
One last tiny recommendation, though: give yourself permission to read “mindless entertainment” books, too. Sure, you’ve always wanted to tackle War and Peace or Anna Karenina just so you can say you read them but if your mind needs a break from all the seriousness of the world’s situation right now, go ahead and read that cheesy romance novel you’ve secretly been eyeing on your virtual bookshelf.
Challenge yourself (or your family)
I can’t even tell you how many of those “30 Day Challenges” I’ve seen and thought about how much fun they looked…if only I had the time to do them. Once again, you have nothing but time now. So, go for it! While you (obviously) can’t do the challenges that require you to leave your house, there are plenty of fun ones that will help you totally embrace being alone.
Write down something that you’re grateful for every day. Try a fun challenge where you photograph something you love in your home daily. Start a “30 days of new recipes” challenge. Hey, considering that there’s very little left in the grocery stores right now, that one may be a necessity, so might as well make it fun! My Passion Projects has a huge list of ideas, most of which you can do at home.
Write it down for future generations
I saw this on Facebook or Twitter (sorry, I can’t recall which) a few days ago and thought it was such a neat idea. Keep a journal about the events so that future generations can understand what it was like for the average person and maybe even learn something from us. You don’t have to write long entries about it, just jot down some thoughts and feelings. You’ll feel better getting them out of your head and onto a page.
If you have children, ask them to do the same. In their case, it’s not just beneficial for future generations, but for their sake, too. Kids may be worrying about things that we wouldn’t even consider. It’ll give you a better idea of what you need to talk to them about and which fears need easing.
Bottom line, it’s not hard to embrace being alone and find ways to make the best of a scary situation. You just have to be willing to do it. If you’re spending every moment thinking about what you’re missing out on or what could happen, you’ll drive yourself mad. Remember, like all things, this will pass. Stay healthy, stay positive, stay sane.