Amidst this COVID-19 crisis, you’ve been embracing your laziness by staying the fuck home in order to uh…”flatten the curve” with self-isolation.
Of course, as a procrastin8r, our lifestyle is quarantine, and all these “Stay at Home” protocols are quite frankly, easy to follow. After all, lounging around the house all day is not something that needs to really be asked of us, yet alone enforced on us.
However, cabin fever is a real thing. Being stuck indoors kinda sucks. I mean it’s not so much that we’d like to get up and go out, but we do miss at the very least, having the option to do so. Nonetheless, there are still plenty of options of activities to do while quarantantined and we can even be social while distancing, but most of the time you spend locked down in the comforts of your own home, you’re going to be alone and doing things alone.
You truly begin to feel well, for lack of a better term, isolated.
I mean unless of course you live with someone, but let’s face it, at this point, you probably are getting on each other’s nerves right now and would prefer to isolate from each other.
And minus the occasional Zoom meeting, most of the hours spent during this isolation is going to be alone time.
This may make you feel a bit...uneasy. After all, you’re only human and we’re all social creatures. We crave social interaction to some extent.
But just because you are all alone does NOT mean you have to be lonely. Relax man and enjoy your own company. Be your own best friend.
Being alone is a state of being. Loneliness is a feeling.
Sometimes, like when there’s a global pandemic, you just went through a major break up, or both, you're going to have to be alone. It’s just a matter of circumstance. As with all aspects in life, you may not be able to control what happens, but you can control your reaction to it.
Make no mistake. There’s also value in choosing to be alone as well. The goal during this quarantine,is to not just tolerate being alone, but to totally kick ass at it, thrive at it, embrace it as well as you do with your laziness.
It is only when you master the art of being alone can you master the art of relationships and friendships. In other words self mastery is the pathway to genuine connections. You must love yourself to truly love others.
In today’s article, we’re going to explore the intricacies of being alone and how you can use this isolation time away from others to your advantage. Without further ado, let’s dive right into it.
Solitude vs. Loneliness
Being alone is simply that. It means you are on your own, with no one else.
Now the question becomes: How do you handle that?
If you handle it with poise and grace, congratulations! That’s solitude baby. And solitude is the heart of confidence. For if you’re comfortable being alone, then you are comfortable around other people. Fact.
Solitude is an abundance mindset and you feel fulfilled. You focus on what you have plenty of, rather than what you lack.
Loneliness, on the other hand, while may feel like abandonment from others is actually nothing but self abandonment -- abandoning your own feelings and relying on distractions, addictions, or someone else to take responsibility for them.
Loneliness stems from the need for company, attention, and validation. You place your own self worth on the opinions and availability of others and this leaves you feeling empty when others are not there to give you the approval in which you seek. Loneliness is formed from co-dependent behavior. You rely on others to basically say “oh yeah, your existence is real and valuable.”
You want to be able to feel like your existence is both real and valuable without bullshit approval from others. Besides, anyone that doesn’t think you’re awesome, flaws n’ all, is wrong -- and that’s the attitude you need to take.
Unlike solitude, loneliness is a scarcity mindset and you are only focused on that in which you lack. You feel you don’t have enough love, validation, encouragement “on your own” and need someone else to fill the void. You believe that these resources are very limited and must be collected externally, rather than produced within.
Love, validation, encouragement, fulfillment, happiness, and anything you could ever want can be produced within (while alone) as we’ll get into.
Extreme neediness is a turn off for both genders.No one wants a partner, or even a friend for that matter, that needs constant reassurance. So cut that shit out and stop feeling sorry for yourself when no one else is around.Feel relief instead like “Ah, I ain’t gotta deal with other people and their drama right now.”
Anyway, those are the main differences between Solitude and Loneliness. It’s a Confident versus Needy mindset, at the end of the day.
As you can see, being alone is no big deal, unless you make it out to be. It’s only as stressful as you believe it is. You may not control being isolated, but you do control what a lack of company really means.
Is it that? A lack in something? Or is it an opportunity for growth and leisure?
That is up to you. This COVID-19 isolation is outside of your direct control, but your attitude towards it is entirely your decision. You decide to embrace solitude or loneliness.
You decide to either remain cool, calm, and laid back in solitude. Or get “worked up” and anxious about what other people are thinking or doing and when or if you’ll ever get to see them again in loneliness.
One of these paths is lazier than the other. Choose wisely.
Be your own best company. Love your lazy self
The Advantages of Being Alone
So how can one feel comfortable about being alone? All this talk about feeling solitude, okay. But how do you even get over the anxiety that comes about from being alone? How do you avoid feeling lonely while alone and instead feel satisfied in solitude?
Well, here are some clear cut benefits to being alone
Fewer demands of your time
You don’t have to set up dates or meetings with anyone. You meet up on your terms, if you actually feel like it (and want to get out your hazmat suit). You are your own boss and in control of your own schedule. You do things that make you happy, without expecting or needing any sort of company from anyone. You can procrastinate and move slow like a sloth. Take your time, man. No need to rush for anybody.
No compromises or asking permission
You don’t have to take into account what other people like or dislike. No arguments over whether or not pineapple goes on pizza. That’s for you to decide. You can take up as much room on the bed as you want, sing as out of tune as you want to any type of musical genre you like, all without pissing somebody else off.
Do what you want, when you want
Sleep ‘til noon. No one’s yelling at you to wake up any earlier. Leave your room a mess. No one’s bitching and moaning about you being a slob. Play video games all day. No one’s nagging about “your stupid hobby”. You have complete authority over what you do during your day, without getting judged by anyone else.
There’s no one else to judge you, besides yourself.
All your actions and behaviors are done by yourself, for yourself. There’s no one in the room to judge you. If you feel judged or guilty about something you’re doing, then that’s on you! You’re being harsh and critical of yourself for no reason. You don’t have to impress anyone else. Just express yourself. It’s okay if you do something stupid and make a mistake; you can even criticize yourself a little bit, but mistakes are meh. Learn from it and move on. Don’t beat yourself up over it.
You don’t have to worry about saying or doing “the right thing” to impress anybody
You’re on your own and get to live a life based on expression rather than impression. You’re after whatever makes you happy, rather than what makes others happy. You are no longer tempted to people please, but to please yourself. Indulge a little.
The dishes in the sink aren’t somebody’s else's
Okay, so obviously the flip side to this is that someone else won’t do *your* dishes, but at least there won’t be any arguments over who’s turn it is to do them or who owns the dragon mug or Barney the Dinosaur spoon. You can just look at it and be like “Yep, that porcelain Jenga over there is my masterpiece.”
You don’t have to wait for the bathroom or laundry
One of the downsides of having a roommate or living with a partner is that you have to share appliances. That leads to brutal arguments full of spite, especially if you’ve just ordered Taco Bell off Uber Eats and the other is in the shower with the door locked. Not a problem if you are alone. You ain’t gotta wait for your roomie’s underwear to dry or for your girlfriend to finish taking her shit. You can just go when it’s convenient for you, without any delay or potential conflict.
No one eats your food
If you’ve ever lived with….anyone, you’ve no doubt experienced your food getting stolen.
“Who ate my [blank]?” is often a common phrase shouted among roommates, followed by a half-assed reply of “Oh, that was yours? My bad.” or just utter silence as you begin to play a game of “Who stole the cookie from the cookie jar?”
Or worse, if you live with a partner, they’ll tell you “Babe, we’re building a life together. We ought to share.”
We can share a lot of things. But we do NOT share my leftover Pepperoni Jalapeno pizza, damnit!
You don’t need anyone else to affirm your own existence or worthiness
You feel worthy and are worthy. Yeah, you’re lazy as shit but still worthy. You don’t need someone to recognize you or praise you or tell you that you’re awesome. Bad assery is just something you do and something you are. You don’t need the constant reminder that someone else cares for you in order to feel like a total bad ass.
No awkward cuddling or snoring
No matter how much you may be in love with someone or how “romantic” it can be to hold each other in your arms, there’s no doubt there’s a significant disadvantage to sleeping with someone else. First of all, cuddling. Sure, it may be cute, but no one talks about the numb static arm you get from someone else’s bodyweight laying on your dangling appendage for horus. Oh, and the amount of people who snore but don’t know they snore or don’t want to admit they snore is insane. Nothing is worse than waking up to someone you’re living with sawing word at 3 o’ clock in the goddamn morning. Plus, you aint’ gotta deal with someone who has a ridiculously different schedule than you do. I once had a roommate who was a morning bird. I’m a night owl. We did not get along.
Overall, being alone results in better sleep. Period.
Discover your own beliefs, tastes, desires, goals, and dreams
Since you’re not trying to impress anyone and can say, do, and behave however you want, you are left to discover the type of person you really are, without the pressure to conform or live up to others’ expectations. You are...you!
You get to look at What are you doing with your time? What are you thinking about? What do you want? This epiphany sets you down the path of creating the life you want to live, complete with as much laziness as you want.
If you don’t love yourself, you can’t expect anyone else to, nor can you truly love.
Until you can truly be alone and be happy, I can guarantee you that no matter how much you think you “love” one of your exes, you don’t.
You love the feeling they gave you. You love the idea of being in a relationship. You do not love them as a person.
With solitude comes self-understanding and it is only through self-understanding that you can begin to allow self-expression, and truly open up to being vulnerable.
Sharing your true self, being vulnerable, is the essence of genuine love.
Rejuvenate your mind
While being alone, you don’t have any social pressure. You are free to think the way you think, without being tied down to “group think”. You can simply relax and observe your thoughts as they come, removing any emotional attachments to regret or worry. You can be fully in the present with yourself and realize everything you could ever want is already here.
You don’t have anyone distracting you or hovering over your shoulder or asking what you want for dinner or how your day was or what you think about this covid situation or a million other questions. This allows you to fully focus on getting what you want done, slow n’ steady, one step at a time. You can level up your hobby, skills, or business without dealing with small talk or listening to someone else vent about their stressful day at work. You can completely engulf yourself in what you’re doing.
None of this fake bullcrap. None of this trying to make a good impression or “win” the person over. No. You’re just being yourself and accept other people in your life that allow you to be yourself. This opens the doors to creating loving, lasting, and fulfilling relationships. Relationships that are tied to one person “acting” a certain way instead of embracing their true self are bound to fail, as well as friendships too.
What to Do While Alone
Now that you know some of the benefits of embracing solitude in your humble little lazy abode during this quarantine, let’s look at what to actually do while you’re isolated in order to maximize your “xp” and become your “final form”.
Express yourself creatively
Having a creative outlet is awesome sauce. It allows you to put your true self and deep inner feelings to the outer world.
Draw, paint, write, record music, create a podcast, whatever man. Just get that shit out of your head and out into the open.
Create art as if you’re never going to share it. This eliminates the need or desire for “perfection”. Part of real art is allowing the flaws to express themselves. Part of real art is being vulnerable enough to creatively articulate complex feelings.
Being alone lets you tap into creative energy and transform thoughts into art.
Seeking validation leads to starvation. If you rely on others and their compliments to “feel good”, you’re going to feel empty without them. That’s why you have to be able to give yourself a pat on the back.
Not only will complimenting yourself boost your own self esteem, it can also help you learn how to genuinely compliment others.
A genuine compliment is one in which you take particular note in someone’s strength, without any attachment to the outcome in how they react. If you are able to compliment yourself, and really mean it, you can easily give genuine compliments to others without expecting anything in return.
You don’t get anything in return by complimenting yourself, except feeling good; the same principle applies in complimenting others -- you simply make them feel good. You begin to use compliments as a gift to make others feel good, with no ulterior motive or act of bribery.
[A good way to start complimenting yourself is to practice affirmations], by deliberately telling yourself positive things you believe about yourself or notice to be true. You’r e one awesome, sexy, motherfucker. Now say that to yourself.
Gain some self awareness (emotionally)
Become your own judgement-free “safe space” and allow yourself to freely express your emotions. Feel those emotions, really feel them. Allow yourself to dive deep into whatever sort of anger, sadness, or even joy and excitement you are feeling. Become aware of what the physical sensations of that particular emotions are; observe the reactions of your body.
More importantly, examine where these feelings are coming from, in terms of a mental space. Ask yourself why you feel the way you do. What are your feelings trying to tell you?
Emotions should never be the final decision-maker, and allowing them to take control of us is dangerous. Nearly every regret you have can likely be traced back to some dumb emoitionally impulsive decision. Nonetheless, emotions can help us understand where our true opinions and values lie.
If you feel sad about not being able to go outside, maybe you value the outdoors a lot more than you thought. If you feel angry about a stay at home order, even though you’d probably lie on the couch all day anyway, maybe you don’t like being told what to do.
Use your feelings to discover who you truly are and what you cherish most in life.
Level up (self-improvement)
Whether you decide to read books, listen to podcasts, or watch videos to expand your knowledgebase, take time to meditate and gain inner wisdom, or physically practice your talents, you can always use alone time to level up and become a better person today than you were yesterday. It’s a slow n’ steady grind to max level. Go Iron-Man mode and don’t rely on “trading with other players” to reach success. Be success yourself.
Own your fuck ups.
Rather than sitting in a pool of self pity, going over the could’ve, should’ve, would’ves in your life, take the time to accept what happened. Tell yourself that you made the best decision you could have at the time, given the knowledge you had and the feelings you felt at the time.
Mistakes are Meh. You live n’ learn. Don’t let your mistakes define you. Take them as lessons. You fucked up. That doesn’t make you a fuck up. When you are alone, you can fess up to any mistakes you made without worrying about the judging eyes of others.
Learn to forgive yourself. Own what you did and seek forgiveness from yourself, for yourself, rather than the other person you wronged. That person may never forgive you, yet alone see your changes, but you can and you will.
Avoid social media and “fomo”
One of the worst things you can do during isolation is browse social media.
Social media should be used as a tool to communicate with others, not as a replacement. (Of course, given the circumstances it pretty much *had* to become a replacement, at least temporarily).
But don’t spend so much time on social media that you begin comparing your life to others. Not only is it a reminder that you are all alone (and raise the anxious feelings associated with that if you haven’t truly mastered the art of being alone yet), but it just makes you feel like you aren’t doing enough in comparison to what *everybody else* is doing.
It traps you back in that “approval seeking” mindset, rather than the self-expression one you are trying to achieve.
Cut the crap and log off social media. Fully embrace isolation. At least for a while. You’ll feel a lot...healthier. Trust me.
In the times of our ancestors, being alone meant certain death. You needed a tribe to protect you.
Thus, this feeling of anxiety that comes from being alone, the loneliness, stems from a hardwired instinct to survive.
But it’s pretty easy to survive on your own nowadays. We’ve evolved past the need for a tribe to survive, culturally speaking, but mentally, our brains haven’t kept up. There was even a 2014 study from the University of Virginia where many people preferred an electric shock over spending a few minutes in isolation.(I can only imagine if they put them in quarantine like we are now. I can see people begging to be struck by lightning at this point.)
Basically, our brains are hardwired to trigger fear when it comes to being alone, to the point where we can prefer real physical pain over the emotional pain of loneliness.
Realize this and relax. You’re not going to die from being alone, and even if you did, death is nothing to fear. If anything, it’s an inspiration to live fully in the present, every single moment.
We are evolved procrastin8rs. Embrace your laziness in your lonesome.
Spend time with yourself and discover how awesome you really are, so that when the world opens back up, you are ready to share your best self. Use this isolation to level up your self-reliance game.
Take it easy,
And in case you are completely alone during quarantine, next week, we'll dive into how to cope with a roommate or partner. Subscribe to the newsletter below so you don't miss it!