I Am Learning To Be Happy In My Own Company, Doing My Own Thing In This Period Of Lockdown And It Feels Great
I believe if you haven’t spoken to someone in a long time, months or years, it’s quite possible that you can’t claim to know them. We change, we evolve, or at least that’s what I seek. How many of us look at people who have been really successful in their careers in awe? Because most of us have different kinds of goals – career, travel, fitness, etc. and we list growth in these sectors as achievements. But how many of us actually focus on our personal growth? How many of us think about evolving and achieving a higher level of emotional intelligence?
I may have not achieved my fitness goals from 2016 and my New Year resolutions from 2017 are still pleading to be actualised. Well, since 2020 has been cancelled none of those things are going to happen, not this year. However, if there’s one thing that I feel proud about is how seriously I take growing as a person. And one of the most essentials aspects of personal growth is your ability to be autonomous and be able to be happy in your own company.
Now that we are all forced to practice social distancing and are under lockdown, we don’t have access to privileges like going to work or out with friends. But I have been preparing for this for several years. It’s not easy, considering I am not a reticent introvert. I am an ambivert and I enjoy the company of others as much as I enjoy solitude. Yet, I feel incredibly happy that I have grown so much in this period of lockdown. And after over 40 days of self-quarantine, I can finally say I have learnt to be more self-reliant and comfortable with solitude.
It’s not an overnight journey and there’s always scope for more
Learning to enjoy solitude is a process that takes a while as you grow a little in each phase. When I was in college, a friend introduced me to visiting cafes alone, and to date, it’s my favourite detox activity. Back then, even that was awkward for me. But I have since then been on movie dates, breakfast dates, and long pleasurable walks all by myself. However, on other days, I gained my dopamine from social interaction and this is what this lockdown changed. I learnt that I could get happiness even without it, and I feel I have levelled up. So here’s to more experiences and more levels to unlock. We just gotta keep going.
Finding happiness in little things will make you less anxious
We’ve been pretty bommed about having to be away from our friends and a lot of us are feeling lonely and anxious. I know how depressed I was a couple of weeks ago. But I realised that when I train myself to feel gratitude about the things I am able to do, I feel happier. I find little joy in doing a workout after I get done with work. I watch light-hearted shows/movies to laugh because it’s not like we have friends around to crack jokes with us. I even felt really happy after I epilated my arm hair this weekend because hello I am hair-free even though salons are shut! Woohoo! I am counting my blessings and being really low-maintenance when it comes to happiness. Most importantly, I am training myself to be happy in doing things that don’t require social interaction, thus learning how to be more autonomous. That also includes orgasms!
But it’s also important to be comfortable when alone with your thoughts
Here’s the tricky part. Enjoying solitude by immersing yourself in one-person activities is just scratching the surface. Most of us find it difficult to be by ourselves because we are afraid to be left alone with our thoughts. Our mind wanders to places we no longer want access to and places that are born out of overthinking and anxiety. Initially, it was difficult for me because I couldn’t just lie down and do nothing. You know because I suddenly had ample of time to reflect on things. And I am glad I did. It was uncomfortable and upsetting but we can’t come to terms with things by brushing them under the carpet. Now, my thoughts too have found peace.
You have more quality social interaction
You will relate to this especially if you are a sensitive person and I don’t mean someone who gets butt hurt easily. I am talking about Sensory Processing Sensitivity which makes one quite sensitive to their environment and emotional experiences coming from it – positive or negative. Like when you’re around negative people you feel drained. Such individuals find periods of social isolation to be rejuvenating wherein they recharge their energy in order to give a more enthusiast version of themselves to their peers.
However, I do feel it is relevant to any other personality type and if put in the simplest form, we can say absence makes the heart grow fonder. However, it’s not just social deprivation that makes your interactions of more substance. When you learn to be happy alone, you don’t settle for indulging in conversations with people you don’t care about just for the heck of it. You feel evolved, more at peace, and in this lockdown, less likely to snap at others.
You find healthier ways to deal with grief
And texting your ex or that guy you know isn’t good for you isn’t one of them. You know you can be content with yourself and you don’t need to take these unhealthy, desperate measures to fill a void. You are already filling it up with self-love and self-generated happiness. This is why, when you are having bouts of loneliness or a mood swing, instead of calling up a toxic ex or drowning yourself in alcohol, you do things that are productive. I realised I don’t need alcohol, emotional eating or excessive socialising to get over negative feelings. I can handle negative emotions and lift my mood with healthier alternatives like dancing or cooking or watching a show.
ALSO READ: I Was Overworked, Under-Slept And Exhausted. Here Are The 5 Ways In Which This Lockdown Helped Me Love Myself
I am glad to have levelled up when it comes to being happy alone because we are going to have to learn to do that. This lockdown doesn’t look like its likely to be lifted anytime soon and even after that social distancing will prevail. This can be the perfect excuse and timing to develop a skill that will benefit you in several ways even later in life!