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During the past year, many of us have learned what it means to feel isolated and alone. The Covid-19 pandemic has had us stuck at home away from our friends and family for longer than we are comfortable with. You may be alone, but you don’t necessarily have to be lonely. Although it can be a hard skill to master, it is beneficial to practice being content with only yourself as company.

Loneliness can manifest in different ways. Many people think of being lonely as being completely by yourself with no one else around you. It is also possible to feel lonely when surrounded by people, especially if you feel disconnected from them. In both of these scenarios, learning how to be satisfied by yourself can alleviate the stress and sadness that these situations may be causing you. The first step in this process is fully separating yourself from other people.

You can begin by taking a break from your phone. Phones and technology have prevented us from knowing what it means to be truly alone since we can always turn them on and text a friend or go on social media to see what other people are doing. When we are connected to our phones in this way, we are constantly comparing ourselves to others on social media, thinking about how others perceive us, and feeling a constant need to share our lives with others in order to feel validated. By putting your phone down and walking away from it, you are severing that connection. It may feel unnatural to disconnect, but it will give you time to figure out what activities you enjoy doing by yourself and time to think about who you are and who you want to be.

While going through this process, remember to be kind to yourself. It is alright to feel uncomfortable with the thought that you are alone. Try to start turning that feeling into excitement and freedom to do whatever you want to do. There is no pressure when you are hanging out with just yourself, since you get to decide what you want now that there is no one you need to please or do anything for other than yourself. Take yourself on a date to get coffee or food at a cafe, or go see that movie you were interested in but that none of your friends or family wanted to see with you. The possibilities are endless.

There are many other perks to being alone. By learning how to find comfort in solitude, you are more likely to increase your productivity, become a more creative individual, and learn who you are as a person when no one else is influencing you. Overall, spending time alone and learning how to tolerate being alone can help you manage stress better, have increased happiness levels, and experience less depression. So while you are stuck inside, away from your friends and family, take some time to disconnect from the rest of the world and, instead, to connect with yourself.

– Haidyn Emmerich
Nourish Your Mind Blog Contributor
Neuroscience & Psychology Student – Syracuse University
If your loneliness begins to feel like too much, we’re here for you. Start your therapeutic journey with us today. 
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