Loneliness seems to be a theme for this week; everyone I am meeting from new mums, elderly neighbours, dog walkers to self employed colleagues. Everyone is feeling lonely.
Maybe it’s the time of year? The quietness after Christmas? Trying to get back into a routine? I don’t know, but it seems everywhere.
What I find quite interesting though, is that we all feel it. New mums feel it being stuck at home with a new baby, self employed colleagues working long hours on their own and elderly not having things to do to pass the day.
It’s interesting to me that so many people from different walks of life all feel similar things. I personally think loneliness happens when we don’t connect with others at levels we need. When we don’t feel any resonance in others, when we don’t see anything of us reflected back when we look at others.
And in all these cases, these are new situations where people are trying to find a new set of connections because the others have gone or not the same; maternity leave, leaving work, retiring etc.
It takes time to set up new connections, so please be gentle with yourself but do know, it will happen. Maybe the first step is becoming comfortable being alone and being with the quietness of lack of others? Maybe we need to learn how to be when we are not with others; what would we do? What interests us? Excites us? We are pack animals but I believe we also need breathing space from others otherwise how do we know who we are? Especially when embarking on a new identity; New Mum for example.
I know I have talked about loneliness in super simplistic terms and appreciate there is so much complexity to it along with a host of emotions but hopefully this has brought Loneliness to the surface for you and will help you look at your own situation and reflect on it.
What are your experiences of loneliness? What are your thoughts on it and how to help yourself?