A little of solitude is refreshing. Getting away from people around you in order to focus on yourself is very healthy. When solitude becomes starts to seem unending or imposed, it gets unbearable. You’re at the point where it seems you have had time with yourself long enough and you would love to socialize for a change.
The reason why most people get tired of too much solitude is because at a point, a line is crossed within them. They cross over from being satisfied with how much time they’ve had for themselves to feeling uncomfortable with just being with themselves and having nothing else to do because they’ve exhausted all the options of fun or useful things to do alone. They cross over from meditating about the things they felt they had to ponder on to being brought to face the thoughts and worries that they’ve always brushed aside.
A lot of people feel they must be occupied all the time either with their hobbies or with something more serious. Whenever they’re alone and lack things to do, they get uncomfortable. They view solitude as a painful imprisonment that they must get away from. Most people feel tied down whenever they experience solitude so they keep having this mental battle on how they can escape to find freedom. Most people feel that in order to have a fun day, someone has to be there with them. They feel more excited when someone is there to share their space with them. Whenever it seems like their present sphere has only them in it, they get anxious. They feel like there is nothing left. They feel isolated and empty. Some people crave the presence of a type of person (which they are not) to compensate for the pain of being alone. For example, if you’re always bored, you may crave the company of someone you think is fun to be with.
Another reason why most people hate solitude is because of their environment. If you’re in a toxic environment (usually due to the kind of people around you), you will hate solitude because it forces to stay with them especially during this season of pandemic where there has been imposed lockdown orders.
Solitude forces people to face things they have been trying to escape or issues they have been unwilling to address. They are tempted to think of their past mistakes, past traumatic events, the secret worries they have about the future, and their present condition. These thoughts were probably hidden away because there were distracted by social activities and the daily activities in their lives but now they’re forced to deal with those thoughts and worries.
If you’re someone that finds imposed solitude unbearable, you can actually bring yourself to enjoy solitude by changing your mindset and taking a few steps.
- Address the root of your fear and annoyance: Why are you annoyed about the imposed solitude that this global pandemic has brought us? Why are you afraid of solitude? Sometimes these feelings are signs of a deeper issue that you don’t want to face or may have failed to address properly. You cannot keep trying to escape the reality of whatever is going on. Analyze the situations or thoughts that are weighing you down today and start to address them. If you need advice from a friend, they’re just a call or chat away. Start to deal with those issues you’ve been trying to run away from.
- Befriend yourself: You don’t need someone else to be with you before you can have an amazing time. Do things you enjoy. If you have run out of fun things to do, create fun. Pamper yourself. When your mind is occupied, you won’t get bored easily. Try out new fun things that you never imagined you would try out.
- Take your time: The primary reason why most people are left with so much time on their hands but nothing to do is because they hurried through the previous things they were doing. They still have the mentality that they’re living the normal hectic and busy life they were used to living and so they still have the “hurry-up syndrome”. You have all the time to yourself so take your time. If you are watching a movie and you feel like taking a pause to stretch a little or let your mind wonder, fine! Do whatever you feel like doing, take your time, and before you blink, the day is gone.
- Do something productive: Imposed solitude has a way of making you feel wasted and unproductive. This can actually cause depression especially after the day is over. You may even have trouble sleeping because sleeping after an unproductive makes you feel guilty. It’s good to have fun but set goals for yourself and do something productive that will boost your self-confidence. Depression and solitude makes a terrible combination. Try your best to maintain your mental health.
- Open your eyes to the beauty in simplicity: Before being isolated, you probably never cared to observe nature or focus on your loved ones. You probably never took time to listen to birds chirping or the wind blowing. The reason is because you were so occupied with your daily activities that seemed more important at the moment. During this season of solitude, you don’t have to be thinking of what you would be doing if you weren’t at home. Rather, focus on the simple things around you. You may feel that focusing on nature, spending time with your loved ones, or thinking about simple things like your childhood is unimportant or a waste of time but the fact remains that focusing your mind on all these increases your sense of gratitude and boosts positive thought patterns.
- Invest quality time and positive energy into your relationships: Cherish every moment with your loved ones. Have you been too busy to call your grandmother due to tight work schedules? This is the time to call her. Focus on your loved ones. Do something to make them smile everyday. This is the time to address the issues you’ve been having in your relationship and make decisions about the people you want to keep as friends. This is the time to cook that wonderful breakfast you’ve been wanting to cook for your mom or write that book you’ve always wanted to write. This is also the time to evaluate your life and make important decisions because you have all the time now.
Imposed solitude may have put a pause to some great plans you have but you must learn to let go of the things you cannot control and take responsibility for the things you can handle. The way you make use of time spent in isolation can bring greater rewards that you never planned for and open your eyes to opportunities you never had the time to realize or appreciate. Begin to view imposed solitude as a gift and stop fighting it. Allow solitude to be your companion. Make good use of the unexpected circumstance that life has brought before you.