Dealing with Loneliness in Isolation
by Taylor Slattery | June 2, 2020
Times like these are a crucible for change, but before the storm passes, lessons must be learned, and right now, the world over is learning a lot about itself. How we behave during a time of crisis reveals a lot about our character. Nations, cities, and individuals, COVID-19 has touched all of our lives. As the weight of the situation presses down upon us, new cracks form from the pressure, and those that were previously there deepen and become impossible to ignore.
For those suddenly spending more time than they’re accustomed to with significant others, family, or roommates, COVID-19 is putting a strain on these relationships. For those living alone, separated from family and friends, it’s easy for loneliness to creep in. Loneliness is different for everyone. Given identical circumstances, two different people will respond in different ways. For some, spending time alone is torture, while for others there is comfort in solitude. While some feel most at home in large groups, others may feel most lonely when surrounded by others.
Due to our present circumstances, many people may be finding themselves face to face with feelings of loneliness for the first time. It may take the form of lethargy, a haziness, or numbness. Humans are social animals and having lost the ability to connect with one another in a meaningful way, it’s no wonder many are feeling lonely right now.
As creatives, many of us are accustomed to a certain degree of what you might call loneliness. For many disciplines, work means entire days spent alone, concentrating deeply on the task at hand. While to others, this might appear as a lonely existence, the thought may never even occur to you. Loneliness is a state of mind, after all. When you’re focused and doing something you enjoy, you allow the task to fully consume you. There’s no room for loneliness.
The rate at which the situation improves is largely out of our hands, but what we do in the meantime is not. Fortunately for us, as creatives, we happen to be experts on the matter. Even if you don’t have any paid work you can do right now, don’t allow yourself to fall into bad habits that will be tough to break once this is over:
- Stay focused. Create a schedule and keep yourself busy. Exactly what you do doesn’t matter, just make sure it’s productive and focused.
- Schedule calls with friends or family. Strengthen your relationships or spend time developing new ones. Makes friends online.
- Exercise. Meditate. Read books. When your mind is idle, it’s easy for it to wander and land on less than helpful thoughts or feed into negative emotions. Don’t let them take root.
- Be conscious of your thoughts and of your time. Focus on the positives. This is easier said than done, but right now it’s absolutely necessary.
Peace to all NOD readers, we hope you are safe and healthy.
Taylor is the Managing Editor of Notes on Design. Taylor is a graphic designer, illustrator, and Design Lead at Weirdsleep.