February 6, 2023

Blog @ Munaf Sheikh

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Living My Authentic Self – Day 3 of 7: Loneliness

Yesterday afternoon I felt very lonely. It struck me as how common the feeling must be during this COVID times, especially for people who are recently divorced, like me, going through a break-up, experiencing the death of a loved one, or just be isolated in this pandemic.

Photo by Samuel Austin on Unsplash

My state of mind is that I’ve become quite aware of my thoughts. I prefer not to distract myself with television or radio, podcasts or even social media. Many of the answers are within, and so sitting in silence with my journal has become a means to extract and process thoughts. Then I can explore them and correct them where necessary.

The answers are within you. Look deep inside, during periods of stillness.

A video came to mind, which inspired me to reflect on the number of attempts I’ve made to connect people.

Of course we can’t simply dismiss away feelings of loneliness to “well, did you ask anyone to hang out?” But in many cases there probably is someone you could call. In my case, I called my children. It was great to have a whatsapp call with them both. But thinking about it further, I could have called any of a number of people just to catch-up, or at least schedule a catch-up, either via zoom or whatsapp, or even physically. Some of these people include: my parents, various friends, various other family members, etc.

If there really is noone to check in with, a brief google search has ideas for coping with loneliness. Here are some from verywellmind

  • Volunteer – I’ve now enquired about volunteering as a firefighter, and the disaster relief support, as well as at a soup kitchen. There seems to be an application process for City of Cape Town volunteer services. Stay tuned.
  • Talk to strangers – If you don’t do this often, it takes a bit of practice and some getting used to. Be wary of coming across “creepy”
  • Adopt a pet – I have 2 birds – red finches. They don’t talk much. They tweet a lot, to each other. They seem happy. I suppose they’ll tell me if they’re not.
  • Strengthen existing relationships – sound familiar?
  • Join a class or a club – I’ve got some classes to do on domestika. I could do those.
  • Blog – if for noone else, for yourself.
  • Try some meditation techniques on Youtube – I tried a few. One was very interesting. I may share more about it when I have time.

There are many more ideas. Have a Google for them.

In the end, you are your own best friend. Embrace the comfort of your own head. Perhaps it requires some maintenance. Tidying up for spring.