We'll go ahead and say it — social distancing is hard. Yes, you're keeping yourself, your loved ones, and everybody else in the world safe by limiting the time you spend outside and taking appropriate precautions, but you also probably haven't seen your friends or family in a couple weeks and are struggling with being stuck in your apartment. It is not pleasant, and it's OK to feel isolated — especially if you're single and live alone. No matter what your view on relationships and your single status was before the pandemic, chances are you suddenly found yourself bothered by your lack of a significant other. Yes, it's confusing, but it's also pretty common.
"Many people in cohabiting relationships are undoubtedly feeling a sense of loneliness being isolated from friends, family, coworkers, and neighbors, but they do have the companionship of each other," Dr. Jill McDevitt, Resident Sexologist for CalExotics, told POPSUGAR. "This can be beneficial with comforting one another through the scary emotions, feeling supported during uncertain times, and just having someone to talk to and stave off boredom with. Folks who are single and living alone might feel especially isolated and lonely, and that's a perfectly normal feeling." If you're looking to disperse the single blues during self-isolation, here are some helpful tips.
Acknowledge That You're Lonely
The first step of getting over anything is admitting what you're feeling. Yes, it's not always easy to be honest about your emotions, but according to McDevitt, it's important to acknowledge that you're feeling lonely — and to know that it's OK. "Like many emotions, loneliness isn't one that's usually socially 'acceptable' to admit, especially for men, but things are different now. It's OK to feel this way," she said. "COVID-19 is a health crisis, but so is loneliness. I mean, solitary confinement in prisons is considered psychological torture for a reason!" So, go ahead, take a deep breath, and say it: "I'm lonely as heck, and it's OK to feel like this."
Get Some Sex Toys
Maybe you have a huge collection of sex toys, or maybe you've never owned one before, but trust us when we tell you there's no better time to buy one than right now. "Orgasms have shown to release feel-good chemicals, relieve migraines, and even anxiety," Gigi Engle, sexologist, sex educator, and Womanizer sex expert, told POPSUGAR. "In uncertain times like these, we need that! When you're alone, having sex with yourself is a huge and important part of staying centered. Every single woman and female-bodied (and male-bodied) person needs sex toys." After all, you're spending all this time with yourself, why not spice things up a bit?
Whether you were ready for a new relationship and quarantine spoiled your plans or you had no time for a partner, it's still a good time to try online dating. "If you think during the time of self-isolation that the dating game is done, you are wrong. The dating apps and sites have not slowed down, and in fact, [many people] are planning virtual dates in their sweats," Mary J. Gibson, a relationship and lifestyle blogger, and senior content strategist at DatingXP, told POPSUGAR. "Though it may seem unrealistic, you can try and see how it goes for you. To beat loneliness, you can actively date through the dating apps and have fun conversations with your dates." Even if you don't want to find a significant other, you can (and probably will) find other like-minded people who are self-isolating and looking for people to talk to. And who doesn't want new friends?
Declutter Your Home
"If only I had some time to clean up around my apartment . . ." — if this sounds like you, we can deeply relate. And according to Gibson, now is the perfect time to keep yourself busy with decluttering and cleaning. Dust your furniture, vacuum the whole house, reorganize your wardrobe — the possibilities are endless. It won't be easy, but you will feel incredible when you're done!
If you're feeling stressed or anxious, try to spend a few minutes every day just centering yourself. And you don't have to be a meditation expert to do it! "Meditation can help you clear negativity, energize your mind, and relieve anxiousness," Dr. Bradley Nelson, author of the bestselling book The Emotion Code, told POPSUGAR. "Think of it as hitting the reset button — allowing yourself a moment to disconnect from the world and tune out the negative. While you're meditating, focus on light, positivity, and gratitude."
You might be wondering what good a couple positive sentences can do for you in times like this. Well, you'd be surprised. "Simply taking a few minutes with positive affirmations every morning can drastically improve how things go for you. It's like giving yourself a quick pep talk in the mirror," said Nelson. "Even if it feels a little silly, look at yourself and say, 'It's going to be a great / happy / productive day.' You can then get more specific and tell yourself how you're going to perform the specific things you want to get done."
Maybe you love FaceTiming your friends, maybe you're someone who strictly prefers texting. No matter what your preferences are, this is the perfect time to video call your loved ones. "Download Zoom or Skype on your phone. These are superhelpful to connect with your loved ones," said Gibson. You can do things like game nights, themed parties, or happy hours!