The moment you panic because you realize you’re alone.
And then the moment right afterward, when you feel alive.
*Ping* Your Facebook is talking to you. And there goes Netflix and Email…and Instagram. And Snapchat.
And Candy Crush?! I thought I deleted that.
We do everything we can to distract ourselves from potential loneliness or boredom. We make ourselves always busy and push the quiet aside. When we are around others, we stuff it into our purse or closet to hide from it, because loneliness and Depression are simply things we don’t talk about. Still!
Depression sucks, and is a real danger.
I don’t want to minimize that, but there is a value in loneliness and the ability to be alone with yourself. In fact, by understanding how alone-ness affects your mental health, you can cope better with Depression in the long run.
We surround ourselves with distractions in case we do end up alone, and we fill our days and homes and lives with the people we love, to ward off the fear of being alone…but it is just so overwhelming.
Imagine for a moment what it’s like to have people in your home: music playing, smells from the kitchen, laughter, the hustle and bustle.
All of that is great until it’s too much. It becomes overwhelming and you….. just…..need…to.. be..alone (cut to me, slowly backing out of the room, into my haven).
Do you have a haven? A space that is entirely your own? A space where you can play the music you like and be creative: a space where you don’t have to ask permission to organize it the way you want – or more importantly, not organize it at all.
Most people don’t have a dedicated space all to themselves, where they can shut the door and have ‘me’ time, and I am not saying that you need a whole room (with a door), or that it even needs to physically be in your house. But creating that space is vital to your health.
Your haven is the space you go when you are choosing to be alone.
It isn’t the space you go into to distract yourself from loneliness, with Netflix, Instagram or Facebook. It’s your lonely haven. Being alone is usually associated with loneliness or being antisocial but, when the space is *truly* yours, and you shake off the fear of the aloneness it becomes a haven.
A lovely, lonely, haven.
Being alone in nature can be empowering, energizing, relaxing and freeing, but – just like that moment you realize that your me time at home is really just you…it can be slightly terrifying.
Panic at the thought that you are totally alone with your mind, feelings and body can (if you are patient with yourself and willing to face down that fear) be followed by the satisfaction and realization that balancing between alone and lonely is exactly what you were craving at the very same time that you were putting off (or hiding from it, under a pile of blankets).
That moment itself, is a lonely haven.
Your haven isn’t always a space with four walls. It can be made up of the solitary moments you’ve carved out of your day with no phone or distractions – or it can be the wide expanse of the outdoor world around you when you get outside alone.
If you want to create a mini adventure to carve those moments outside for your own lonely haven, you can join me in this 7-day challenge to make one – simply and without panic.
See you next time,