The idea of being lonely can stir up many emotions for us as social beings. It can be challenging, embarrassing and something that we don’t know how to deal with. But being alone is okay. It is good to have time to yourself, but it is also good to be able to admit when you feel lonely.
Time alone. A daunting concept for some, an enticing idea for others. Fellow introverts will be able to appreciate the idea of being alone, but even for those who enjoy it, it can feel lonely. This is normal. For those who dread alone time, this is also normal. We live in a world that moves so fast and is social all of the time. Packing up the Google Calendar with different commitments and having your constantly chiming phone glued to your side, no wonder we find being alone lonely. We are simply not used to switching off from the outside world. It is definitely a positive thing for some people to spend that time alone and recharge, but if that is not your thing, it is okay as well.
Regardless of the social-centric world we live in, different times in our lives can enhance this feeling of loneliness. Even if we might not comprehend why we feel so isolated, it can be linked to events or changes in our lives. A perfect example of this, moving to college, or even starting college. You are leaving what is comfortable and going somewhere unfamiliar with new people and experiences. It can be overwhelming but it can also feel lonely. Any big changes or events in our lives can sometimes make us feel disconnected from others around us. Be it that we just do not know how to socialise at that moment in time and are still adjusting, or that we fear others may not understand how we feel, change can be a huge factor in feeling lonely. Talking through these things in our lives is one way to work on feeling more connected, but it is okay to take time to recalibrate.
After the hard times the entire world has faced, loneliness is on the rise. Around 1 in 4 people between the ages of 12-34 have said they feel lonely most, or all of the time according to the Central Statistics Office Ireland research. Feeling lonely is extremely common. Although we might not know it at the time, a lot of people experience this feeling multiple times throughout life, and that is okay. Moments of loneliness can be times to reflect and rest. To re-evaluate and regain insight with a clear mind. They can be hard and emotionally draining but they can also help you to come out the other side of feeling stronger.
Loneliness is okay. You do not need to have a reason to justify it, nor do you need to immediately work on coming out of it. You are allowed to feel as you do and take the time that you need. Just remember, no matter how lonely you feel, there are always people to talk to.