With the announcement of another lockdown, many of us are having to once again come face to face with the reality of being alone. This reality is different for each one of us. Some of us flourish in the silence of solitude, while others dread the isolation. Based on all this, I thought this would be a good time to talk about how to be alone. To start this off, it might be a useful exercise to throwback to Christmas 2020 where I had the pleasure of spending Christmas alone. And by the way, I’m not trying to be sarcastic by suggesting that being alone on a day that is usually spent with family was pleasurable. I would have preferred to be with family, but things didn't work out that way so I made the best of it and I had a wonderful day.
Obviously not everyone will feel this way and as a disclaimer, it’s worth mentioning that I'm not that big on Christmas. I know it's weird for a Christian to say that, but honestly I don't see how the act of decorating my house with tinsel, putting up a tree in the corner and buying all the presents is central to the working out of my faith. God has always been very specific in what He calls us to celebrate. We see this in the Old Testament, but also in the New Testament where we are told to remember the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ through the Holy Communion. Anyways, the purpose of this blog post isn't to discuss the theological basis for Christmas. I was just saying I'm not that big on Christmas.
To move on from that controversial note, let me also say that I still do enjoy Christmas things. I watch Christmas movies and sing carols all year round. And yes, I’m aware that I'm contradicting myself, but as much as we aren't commanded to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, I love the fact that a majority of the world takes the time to acknowledge His miraculous birth and His life. I love hearing the world sing worship songs in the form of carols. And from a personal point of view, I love spending the day with my family and just hanging out even without the tree, presents and overeating.
This year, I had to miss out on spending the day with my family. As those of you that follow me on Instagram will know, I hadn’t been feeling well in the weeks leading up to Christmas and in light of everything we had experienced in the year that was 2020, I decided the best thing to do would be to stay at home alone on Christmas Day. Now don't worry, that sentence reads a lot worse than it sounds.
Remember, I'm not that into Christmas so I wasn't exactly heartbroken. It was just a shame to not spend the day with family...in person. But here is where technology comes in. I spent the day with them virtually. We spoke all day and we probably spoke more than we would have done if we were in the same location. If we were in the same room, we probably would have been watching TV or something that wasn’t focused on speaking to each other.
You might be wondering what the point of this Christmas throwback is and if you haven’t guessed it yet, the reason I told you this story is because of perspective. I know this is easier said than done, but alone doesn’t necessarily mean lonely. If you find yourself alone in this lockdown, my first tip to help you be alone well is to:
- Change your perspective. Be grateful that you live in a world where you can zoom or facetime. Or if your internet is spotty, there’s always a good old phone call. There’s even social media. As a YouTuber I truly embrace the social aspect of social media. So when I interact with you on instagram or filming a vlog, I don’t feel alone. I feel like I’m reaching out to the world and spending time with the friends I’ll make along the way. Also changing your perspective means learning that being alone is not a bad thing, when you’re alone you can rest. You can read a book, you can dance around your room like no one’s watching. You can find out who you are when no one’s around. You can be alone. For example, foer me Christmas day was an opportunity to enjoy my isolation. It was a day to recuperate, to reflect and to rest.
The second tip, I have to help you be alone well is to:
- Be proactive. In order to do this well, you need to complete the first step of changing your perspective, because when you embrace the fact that your solitude is not the worst thing in the world your mind can easily think of ways to step out of your solitude as and when you need it. So when you’re done with that book, or with your world class dance routine, then you can easily reach out to friends for a virtual coffee hangout. Or a group of you can get together and do a quiz on cahoot or you can jump in your car, drive to your local supermarket and sit in the car park and chat to your family member while they sit in their car. When you change your perspective, all the energy your brain was spending on being sad and feeling lonely, you free that up so your brain can get creative about how to be proactive in interacting with the people in your life.
And the third tip is:
- Pray. The bible says that God will never leave us or forsake us. So if you’re a christian, even when you’re alone, you’re never really alone. The Holy Spirit is always with you. So to be alone well is to use it as an opportunity to hangout with God by praying, by reading your bible and by worshipping, which takes us right back to dancing like nobody's watching.
I hope this blog post has helped you and I’d encourage you to also share your tips and thoughts in the comment section below. You can also watch the videos below to actually see how I spent Christmas Day 2020 home alone and how it went. Hopefully it's a reminder on how to be grateful and make the best of every situation.