Being single or otherwise on your own during the pandemic can be challenging, but it doesn't have to be awful or without benefit to you. There are probably lots of things you can do right now to help yourself cope and make the most of this time. Here are seven ideas to get you started.
Being single or otherwise on your own during the pandemic can for sure be challenging, but it doesn’t have to be awful or without benefit to you. There are probably lots of things you can do right now to help yourself cope and make the most of this time. Here are seven ideas to get you started.
Go Wilderness CampingHead out into the wilds if you can and find yourself a place to fall in love with nature. Camping by yourself can be a gateway to wonder. Opportunities for serene communing with the out of doors may lead to deep revelations, or just some sweet rest and relaxation. No matter what your goal, be ready for some quiet times that become an auditory tapestry of birdsong, frog croaks, and cricket calls as you drop in and listen. During the time of COVID-19, boondocking or wildland camping might be what’s safer (fewer folks in the area and therefore less chance of exposure) and more available (fewer restrictions on camping on federal lands). It is likely to be remote and rugged, so make sure you bring water, a camping shovel, a strong flashlight, and a camp stove at bare minimum – in addition to the obvious. (A tent or sleepable vehicle, sleeping mat, sleeping bag.) Bring a book or two if you like to read. Bring a musical instrument if you like to play, or art supplies if you like to create art. Find a quiet place to sit and commune and create and play! If you don’t own camping gear perhaps you can source some on a local buy-nothing group, or borrow some from a friend. If you’re urban and not able to access the wilderness, perhaps you can make a day trip of it to the biggest local park you can locate. While it’s not the same as wilderness camping, even a few hours of submersion in nature can be a healing experience.
Cat Around – Online!While being in a relationship doesn’t mean you can’t play the field (hello, open relationships!), there’s nothing quite like the freedom of being single as far as exploring your individual sexuality goes. You’re single; you can still play the field if you want! Just because you can’t meet up with people in person doesn’t mean you can’t engage with your sexuality or romantic interests. You can take this time to explore your sensual and sexual identity, desires, quirks, or kinks. During COVID-19, for the sake of everyone’s safety, this activity should be restricted to online fun – but that doesn’t need to infringe on your explorations. A few ways to stretch your sexual and sensual edges while sheltering in place are:
- Masturbating alone
- Masturbating with a friend while sexting, or over a video platform (if that’s safe and within the law for you to do)
- Exploring erotica or porn and seeing what you like or don’t like
- Meeting new friends virtually on dating apps, and playing with them over text or video chat
- Negotiating play scenes with lovers for after isolation is no longer needed
Build Solid FriendshipsJust because we’re sheltering in place doesn’t mean that we can’t work on building our interpersonal connections. Your friendships are going to get you through thick and thin. There are many ways to build and nurture community and connection while in isolation. Some simple ways to build your connections while practicing safety include:
- Zoom or FaceTime coffee dates
- Take a walk and talk with a friend over the phone: enjoy a phone chat while you get outside and get some movement in
- Dance parties with your besties on an electronic platform
- Find or create a specific online support group for yourself and those with similar concerns, interests, or cares as yours
- Accountability buddy agreements: these may be about any kind of self care (exercise, eating, taking a shower), work goals, or creative goals, and can be conducted by phone or text or chat. Choose a buddy and agree to an accountability check-in schedule. Whether daily or weekly these simple arrangements can really increase traction for sticking to your goals and commitments
- You are hiring them. Interview your prospective therapist. Have a list of questions that are important to you and see how they respond. (Is it important to you that your therpist is anti-racist and intersectional? That they are gender literate? That they understand the concept of solo-polyamory or relationship anarchy?)
- You don’t need to work with someone you don’t like. And you don’t need to have a reason to move on to a new therapist. If the fit is not good, there are others out there.
- Different therapists have different strengths. Figure out what modalities you might want to try, and what your goals are, and take it from there.
- You can decide the pace for your therapy, and if you need to go deeper or stay more surface, it’s up to you. It’s your process.
- Therapy may stir things up for you, but what better time to invest in some deep healing than when you are sheltering in place? For many of us, things are stirred up anyway at the moment. Prior traumas may be activated, or even just the stress and anxiety of dealing with the unknowns of coronavirus may be destabilizing. There’s no reason not to reach out for support.