Coping with loneliness while being alone during lockdown and beyond

Many of us have spent an awful amount of time alone during the last year and a half; and we each have a different way of coping with this alone-time.

As an organisation we have tried to ensure that our members have been able to interact with others, and remain part of our community while being alone.

There are ways to enjoy solitude instead of feeling lonely. When you notice loneliness creeping in, there are ways to transform it into a positive feeling, thus enabling you to enjoy your solitude and keep from feeling lonely. Feelings of loneliness have always been an issue. The pandemic has only magnified this as we continue having to keep our social distance, and so many communal areas remain shut down. Whether Covid continues or we go back to the new normal way of life, this is really a good time to learn ways to combat loneliness and to enjoy solitude.

Understanding the power of loneliness and being alone
Loneliness and being alone are not the same thing. There is a huge difference.

Loneliness is when we are sad because we long for interaction with others. Being alone is not having someone else physically near you. There is no feeling inherently associated with being alone — equating loneliness with being alone is a conscious or subconscious connection that we make.

Once we separate the physical state of being alone from the feeling of loneliness, it can instead be replaced with the peace and comfort of solitude.

Stop judging
There are many reasons to find yourself alone at times. Often, the pain of loneliness does not come from lacking interaction with other people but from the judgement we place on being alone. We imagine we are alone because we are not liked. Our thoughts can spiral making us feel that we are not good enough to have company. When we judge ourselves, this only brings about resentment and despair.

The acronym FOMO ‘Fear of Missing Out’ is a reality, especially during COVID — isolation heightens FOMO and because we really do not know when this is going to be over, it has become a real fear for many. However there are really ways to prevent FOMO:

Be your own best friend
You must love yourself to enjoy solitude. Loneliness is the poverty of self: solitude is richness of self. Treat yourself like you would a friend. You would not allow your friend to judge themselves badly so you should not allow your mind to abuse you. Tell yourself what you would tell a friend as this will make you stronger. Make plans to do things with yourself that you are enjoy — you are wonderful company and know exactly what you like and how you want things done. Make yourself feel loved and appreciated — watch a movie that you have wanted to watch for ever and enjoy yourself while you can.

Find and do what you love
Find what brings you true joy. Be honest with yourself. You cannot help but enjoy your solitude if you are doing something you love. If you don’t know what you love, now is the time to figure it out — write down what has brought you joy in the past and whatever your heart has been longing for. Start projects so that you can feel in control of your alone-time (it might even make you want more alone-time), thus eliminating that feeling of helplessness that often accompanies loneliness.

Rejuvenate for interaction
People do need solitude and alone-time to prepare and rejuvenate the soul for when they do interact with others. There can be much happiness in the solitude of planning for when you are not alone.

Schedule things to do with others. Relax and rest so that you have energy and positive attitude when you do mingle with people. Many individuals are surprised at how much more present, connected, and content they feel in company once they have taken time to rejuvenate in solitude.

Memories can hold powerful emotions for us. The stories we hold dear and keep alive can be good to journal while we are alone to prevent loneliness, and as a great way to preserve life stories for your family. Take this opportunity to do something positive so that once the pandemic is over, you have something positive on which to reflect.

Diana Sochen – Executive Director

Social and Personal
Even during the lockdown period, there have been numerous occasions to celebrate.
We welcome new member Edward Katz
Hymie and Rosebeth Becker – granddaughter
Welcome and mazaltov to the families celebrating births.
Phyllis Friedlander – great-grandson
Eve Joffe – great-grandson
Wilfrid Mirkin – great-granddaughter
Mazaltov to families celebrating bar and batmitzvahs
Avron and Haley Almelah – son
Marcel Almelah – grandson
Sam and Reeva Chait – grandson
Barbara J Khan – grand-nieces in Sydney and grandson in Israel
Hilda Wilk – grandson
Eileen and Cedric Braudo – granddaughter
Special birthday
Ann Stoller – 98 years
Wilfrid Mirkin – 85 years
Sam and Reeva Chait – 66 years
Ivan and Miriam Atlas – 60 years
Our sincere condolences to members and families of members who have recently passed away
Maureen Nates – sister, Pearl Levin
Natalie Goodman – husband, Reuben
Pat Josephson – wife, Urshula

Daily Zoom programmes
Please join us for our daily Zoom programme which is available on our Facebook page. Every day is special with a varied and exciting session. Extend yourself and learn something new every week.

CJSA Shabbat Wine
Available throughout the year for your Shabbat Meals and more. Please support us by buying a bottle for only R80.

Cape Jewish Seniors Association
Director: Diana Sochen, 021 434 9691,
Admin: Amanda, 021 434 9691,
CJSA on Facebook

Sea Point: 021 434 9691
Milnerton: Hajiera Safidien–Maloon 021 555 1736
S/Suburbs: Monique Nieuwenhuys 021 761 7960
W/Coast: Stacey Melmed 074 405 5186

• Published in the PDF edition of the July 2021 issue.

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