Connecting to ourselves during the dark months of winter.
Being alone and lonely is not easy, and the cold dark of winter does not help. The northern hemisphere is preparing for these cold dark days, we are faced with being alone with our loneliness. Although winter is portrayed in movies as a time of beauty, family gatherings, and holidays, in reality, it is one of the most difficult times for a lot of people struggling with loneliness. In the summer, we can go out with friends, family, and travel in nature. Life feels more carefree. Winter often leaves us cooped up inside our houses, and we are often alone.
Growing up we learn the importance of being together with family, friends, and other relationships as a very central part of our lives. Even Genesis reminds us: “Man cannot be alone, therefore I will make him a helper” – God knows that humans need relationships. Being alone with loneliness seems like the worst thing.
In this three-part series, I hope to give you as many tools as possible to cope with loneliness (written from personal experience).
Step one is confronting the fear we have of being alone. We spend a lot of time thinking about scary things and imagining what will happen to us when no one else is around. We surround ourselves with countless distractions to avoid these feelings. Binge-watching Netflix, listening to loud music, calling people, and doing anything just not to feel alone.
Often, it’s more difficult to deal with the fear of being alone than being alone. It’s possible to be alone without fear.
A good practice each day is to exercise your ability to be alone. Set up a timer and, on the first day, take three minutes to sit with yourself, on the second day five minutes, and so on… Just like working out, being alone requires training. Sit on a bench in a public park or on your couch at home. As you practice your time alone, you will become more comfortable with it.
In the next part of the series, we will discuss our perception of happiness.