Ask The Plant
By Maija Baroni
Q: How do I beat quarantine-imposed loneliness?
Hi Reader! Happy September!
Loneliness is something that virtually everyone has experienced to a certain degree—especially following this March—and despite certain restrictions being lifted, the feeling still lingers for many of us.
I think it’s important to keep in mind that we all have different ways of coping with loneliness, so some methods will be more effective for you than others! Here are some of my suggestions—do try all of them, even if they don’t seem like they’ll work for you—the results might surprise you!
What has helped a lot of the people I know is taking daily walks or spending time (even if it’s just a few minutes) outside. Screens and technology have taken up such a substantial chunk of our lives, even more than they used to, so taking time out of your day to fully disconnect and take a quick breath of fresh air is a must.
I also think that this method has succeeded for a significant number of people because of the sort of indescribable tranquility that comes with being submerged in nature. That feeling of universal connectedness can bring you peace of mind like nothing else. Even if you choose to walk by yourself, there’s just something about sharing a space with total strangers that provides perspective and helps us realize that we aren’t really alone.
And if you’re not an outdoorsy person, that’s fine! I get it!
Here’s a suggestion: maybe stay inside and call someone? Whether it be one person—or perhaps a whole group on Houseparty—talking to someone you trust and love, especially if you allow yourself to open up a little (yes, I know it can be scary!) brings immense relief. Getting thoughts out of your head, out into the open is therapeutic when there’s someone on the other end willing to connect with you.
But, if nature isn’t your thing, and communicating isn’t your thing, don’t worry!
What might actually help you feel less alone is being busy or productive!
I know it’s a little tacky—and frankly, easier said than done—but I think it’s worthwhile to dedicate time towards improving yourself in whatever way you desire. You are the only person you will always have, no matter what, and I believe that investing energy into getting to know yourself has heartening outcomes. Give yourself mini projects! Huge projects! Set small, daily goals! Set lifelong ones! Trust me: nothing compares to the sweet feeling of checking off something on your to-do list that has been sitting there for a while!
Finally, if all else fails: download TikTok. I refused to until March, but it’s now become one of my favourite apps to go on when I’m feeling isolated—it reminds me that everyone I see is going through the exact same thing too, like you!
Best of luck and much love,