Isolation Part 1 – Solitude and its small pleasures

I love solitude and being alone. This means that I am having to be sensitive to those around me who are struggling with isolating, with the very idea of isolating  –  whether it’s with family or retreating into solitude. These are early days of the Covid virus, and it is strange and terrifying for some people. In this blog I am focusing on solitude and how we can – through really experiencing it –  develop more self love and resilience.

Not going to pubs, cafes and restaurants is easy for me because I just don’t do it very often. However, for some people the social contact and pleasure of these places will leave a big gap.

Regular contact at work, children to and from schools, going to classes such as yoga, sport and socializing are the touchstones of our lives and with without them we don’t have a routine and our life feels as if it’s on hold. We are facing unanticipated challenges as life is changing around us.

This blog is mainly about our inner well-being at this time because inner well-being means outer well-being. The ripples we create affect those around us, and they will thank us for taking care of ourselves.

The ideas might not suit you and your situation, however, I will be doing a series of blogs over the next few weeks on topics linked to social isolation. At the end of the blog there is a list of links, websites and organisations, with ideas and suggestions for families as well as for individuals.

I have to be alone very often. I’d be quite happy if I spent from Saturday night until Monday morning alone in my apartment. That’s how I refuel.  Audrey Hepburn

Ideas for inner well-being from someone who has learned to love solitude.

A cat sitting on the window seat
Contemplating. Staring at the world outside. All is well.

 Things to do – List 1

  • Stare out of the window.
  • Learn a new recipe.
  • Read – anything – magazines, poetry, novels, non-fiction … not the news!
  • Make your home pleasing – just little things – no perfectionism!
  • Walk around your local streets at night – if you live in the country, take a torch – Keep safe.
Starry sky - wolf howling at the moon
Stare at the night sky – howl if you must!
London bridge at night
Walk safely

Listen to Music – be healed and charmed by it

Listen to songs you loved long ago, or discover new music – either way, this is great way to pass the time. Choose calm music to soothe or rousing music if you feel like letting off steam. Sing and dance to it – conduct it – shake your head – shake your hips – enjoy. Music has healing and restorative powers, and it can move us and speak to us in a way that other art forms or other people can’t.

I had stopped listening to music during year of low energy. When I re-discovered it, it was as if someone had turned on a light in my heart. Why had I forgotten it?

Put music on in the background or blast it through the house. You can listen to it last thing at might as I often do, or first thing in the morning to start the day with a tune – with a song in your heart – just to be cheesy!

Elvis dancing. Joy
Dance like everybody is looking!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Be in Nature

It is OK to be outdoors as long as we are not in close proximity to others, therefore, make the most of it. In my blogs I often mention the importance of being in nature – our well-being depends on it. If you live in a city, walk in a park or near a river. Being near living green things helps us feel calm and connected just as being near water makes us feel good. There is science to back this up and we know it on a primal level.

In order to understand the world, one has to turn away from it on occasion.”  Albert Camus 

List 2

  • Get to know a tree or a few trees. Really look at a tree – it’s bark, leaves, the buds, the shape of the branches, the patterns they make, lichen. Just get up close with a tree.
  • Find out about trees and the hidden life of trees.
  • Stare at the sky for a while – best done while you are remaining still or sitting somewhere.
  • Close your eyes and listen.
  • Clean a patch somewhere. Whether it’s picking up dog poo – safely in a bag and disposing of it – or rubbish lying around.
  • Dance or skip – you won’t be arrested. .
Girl dancing in the countryside
Joy
And of course …

Solitude is fine but you need someone to tell that solitude is fine.  ― Honoré de Balza

 

Be open to connecting and connections.

Loneliness is not the same as solitude, and we know that you can be lonely in a crowd, with a partner, at any time, in any place. In solitude you can feel connected – to the universe to yourself and to humanity. 

The next blog will be about loneliness

A list of lists

An Exhaustive List Of 100 Things To Do In Self-Isolation

Bear Grylls – 100 activities with kids in the outdoors

Interesting things, advice and support

Green Parent – Things to do  – lockdown lifesavers

 

Education shouldn’t suffer during lockdown here is a list of free educational resources

Facebook group – helping parents and kinds during isolation

 

Mum shares list of child-friendly activities, to help self-isolating families

Activity ideas for kids during self isolation

How to emotionally prepare for coronavirus-quarantine – Families

Relationships – survival guide

Remaining calm – what stoicism can-teach us during the-coronavirus pandemic

For young people  – looking after your mental health while self-isolating

Online Coaching  – Free session

I am offering a free 40 minute session – phone, Skype, WhatsApp…. you choose.  Just email me – don’t suffer alone.

 

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