How to Relearn the Joy of Being Alone
When you’re quarantining with other people, it’s easy to forget how to do things solo
I was halfway down the pasta aisle when it hit me: In quarantine, without realizing it, I’d become afraid of doing things alone.
My husband was next to me, as he had been for every grocery run since we went into lockdown. By this point in the pandemic, though, I knew how to stock up for an indefinite quarantine. I didn’t need him there to weigh in on how many boxes of fettuccine we should grab; I just wanted him, because I’d gotten so used to the company over the last four months. Come to think of it, I couldn’t remember the last time I’d ventured out for anything by myself.
While loneliness may be baked into the quarantine experience, for people who are isolating with others, this time has also been defined by a profound lack of solitude. And with all the careful coordination that now goes into every formerly low-stakes activity, many of us are forgetting what it was like to do things independently, without consulting or planning with someone else.
But being alone is a skill like any other. It may be rusty now, but with practice, you can get yourself back into it. And with the pandemic stretching out ahead of us with no clear end, it’s a skill that can help you hold on to a clear sense of self as you weather it. Here’s how.
Catalog moments when you’re alone and happy
If you haven’t been away from your partner or roommate in months, you might not even remember what you enjoy doing independently, not to mention what you really like about yourself in those solo moments.
Why Some People Don’t Feel Lonely
Feeling socially connected is a need all of us share, but human interaction isn’t the only way to get it
The professional development coach Danielle Adams recommends using a time log to get reacquainted with these aspects of yourself. It sounds a lot more involved than it is: Next time you’re alone — even if it’s just for a few minutes as you take a shower or step out for some fresh air — make a mental note about how…