Living alone blues - Finally caught u... - Positive Wellbein...

Positive Wellbeing During Self-Isolation

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Living alone blues - Finally caught up with me.

nchunc profile image

I have posted this on the jogging forum.

I am having difficulty going back on the road in the past week. Is this joggers blues of sorts during the lockdown?

What I usually do?

I go out for nearly two hours on the road, 10k with lot of start and stops and for 3 times a week. I have been at it for the past few years and it was one constant in my life.

Working from home and living alone, I don't have to meet anyone for any reason. Even though I am living in one of the largest cities on the continent. Everything happens over email and Skype.

Maybe the depression has finally caught up with me and I am having difficulty going back on the road. I haven't run last week at all.

Has anyone experienced this? It is happening to me this week out of nowhere. I think I might just be having an anxiety attack because of new responsibilities and new ways of working.

I can't afford not to take my mind off things, by not going for a jog. I don't have any other entertainment.

I was hoping to get the driving licence and a vehicle this summer but there are no driving tests and it's been suspended with no end point in sight. I can't just jump on a car and get lost in the midlands somewhere.

Perhaps I could start reading again or start watching BBC iPlayer. Or maybe I just need more human interaction or perhaps find a friend? This is a lot difficult when one is older - and I can't find a way out even now at 33.

Sorry about the wall of text.

19 Replies
Hidden profile image

I also live alone and work from home, and I'm a lot older than 33 (I'm 59).

I don't jog, and never have done, even when I've been a healthy weight and in great shape. I can't now. Walking presents some difficulties, even indoors!

For me, depression is never more than a day away. I live with chronic pain and it has affected my overall health and wellbeing. I take active daily steps to strengthen my mental health, and cannot recommend meditation too highly. I do daily meditations at either 1300 or 1500 UK time via Zoom (you don't have to speak or be seen if you are shy) courtesy of the Center for Mindful Self-Compassion. These are free meditations and I credit them with making my mental health stronger than it has ever been. I would urge you to consider signing up for them. They will be continuing indefinitely and are led by senior teachers who guide you through it. Such a lovely experience and a really kind thing to do for yourself.

Why not sign up for one and see how that goes? They even have one weekly meditation for people of colour and for LGBT+ people (these meditations are for those who identify as those groups, rather than for allies).

And there is always a walking meditation... that would get you back outdoors and into nature. The Japanese do "forest bathing" for good mental health - even half an hour walking mindfully in a forest, absorbing smells and sights and sounds, has measurable effects on a person's wellbeing. There is so much you could do that is linked with jogging (in that they are both good for mental health, and have physical benefits too).

I would always recommend reading (there are Reading Rabbits threads on these forums!), or spending time with a pet. Do you/can you have a pet, if you would like one? I am all in favour of human interaction if you know where to find it. I have learned to be OK with just Zoom and online communication. As long as I can cuddle a cat, I can manage, and sometimes don't speak to another human being except the person who delivers my shopping in a week or more. If it weren't for my mother and needing to ring her, I wouldn't NEED to speak to people at all.

Have you heard of MeetUp? They're good for when lockdown is lifted. I think when one lives and works alone from home, it's important to go out when you can make a decent reason to do so. Meeting other people is one of my big goals for the future. I'm done with the way I used to live.

Sending you a ((((((virtual hug))))))! 🙏

Hidden profile image
Hidden in reply to Hidden

I enjoy reading as well as it takes my mind off problems and also listening to music as well.

I have found the humble phone and zoom have helped but it's not the same as in person visits though.

nchunc profile image
nchunc in reply to Hidden

Same here! If it's not my parents, I suppose I don't have a need to speak with anyone!

Not even at my shops as I always take the self checkouts. I am always guilty that people on the tills are obligated to speak to me. I used to work on the tills and I know how grinding it can be.

Thanks for all the ideas.

Hidden profile image
Hidden in reply to nchunc

I often use self-service too, but it's more about wanting to get away quickly and most people seem to prefer the tills with staff on them. Just as well, really. I worry about the future of people's jobs! AI is coming up fast and we'll all have a big adjustment to make if automation puts us out of work. It's amazing how fast it's happening.

Hi nchunc,

Have you tried doing Zumba/exercise classes with the TV/Zoom? Some instructors for certain types of exercises use Zoom and have their students join in that way (until the lockdown is over).

I'm 40 years old and I had walked around at my job 4-5 hours a day. Since I can't go to my job until my building can reopen, I try to walk around the house up and down the steps a few times a day.

If you enjoy reading, like Hidden has mentioned, we have a monthly book posting called Reading Rabbits and it's always posted under the Pinned Posts. Here's the July Reading Rabbits Book Posting: Anyone can join in and talk about what they have been reading during the month/week. We also have a Reading Rabbits badge that can be posted next to that member's username if they would like one assigned to them. :-)

Hidden profile image

That must have been a blow getting told that your driving lessons and test have been postponed to some unknown date in the future.

I have had episodes myself when I have felt put out whilst out on walks seeing families out picnicking when I have been out on my own as its not nice when things like that are shoved in your face so I decided that I would take to the streets for walks instead which has helped and save those parks for another time as I feel life's too short to go upsetting myself so the streets it is!

I also enjoy reading and listening to music which I find help to push these things out of my mind and after I came home from my walk this afternoon I carried on with a book I had started last week and next door they were outside having a party so what I did was got my earphones out and decided to listen to music which has helped.

With finding friends perhaps you could see what clubs are around where you live as I did and was gutted when they got cancelled back in March when all this kicked off but I'm looking forward to when they restart very soon.

It's not nice though when you are feeling a bit low and on your own and social things are shoved in your face at every turn especially in the comfort of your own home as well but if you like listening to music then do that as I find it helps.

Best of luck in what you decide to do!

Feel free to ignore my ideas if they are no help!

nchunc profile image
nchunc in reply to Hidden

Thanks for the kind words. It helps to know that someone can relate. At some point I have to start fixing the issues but I don't know where or how to start.

Until then, it's all about managing it I suppose. I have taken up jogging as a way to manage it. Same with reading but some books just break me harder and scars me deeper. I got so attached to a character on The Drift and couldn't function properly for couple of days.

Finishing a book blues is a real thing. Same with telly series on BBC.

happytulip profile image
happytulip in reply to nchunc

Hi nchunc,

It sounds like I can relate to some of how you might be feeling. It sounds like you used jogging and a routine to motivate you and keep you focused but maybe a bit of lockdown lethargy has set in?

If it helps I have spoken to many people who are feeling exactly the same. They say that when they first went into lockdown they were able to motivate themselves with a project like gardening ir painting etc, but as time has gone on, lack of human interaction has played a big part in people feeling a bit disassociated from life. This is particularly true of those living or shielding alone.

From my part I am shielding alone. I had to make the decision to stop having my weekly 'helper' come into my house, instead she has been doing my shopping for me so I only briefly see her for about 5-10 mins a week on the doorstep insty of 2 hrs a week.

People suggest getting exercise and meeting up with a friend social distancing. This is almost impossible for me because I cannot leave the house during daylight hours because if a rare condition that means that UV rays cause organ damage and most of my friends are working with Covid positive patients so they and I deem it to big a risk. I have hobbled around the block at about 4am on my crutches when I just needed to get out of the house when I couldn't sleep. I still can't. And I can completely empathise with you about the car situation. Just after lockdown I had a phone call to say that I was no longer allowed to drive as I needed to have an MRI to deem me safe for various reasons. I think I could have handled lockdown better if only I had been able to get out of my four walls and drive somewhere, and just people watch.

I had been managing lockdown fairly well until 1st. I had been expecting to bubble up with my parents but in the 1st our plans had to be canceled. I was gutted. I took a nosedive with my mood which is unusual for me and on reflection I can see that I am feeling so low because I was so looking forward to human interaction.

It sounds as if you are missing that interaction the same as me? I'm 38 and despite chronic/acute medical problems I have always been able to maintain a level of sociability and independence. But this lockdown has really taken that away and over this past year weeks I've really been so flat and unmotivated.

The reason that I am explaining all of this to you is that you are not alone and if you have lasted this long without feeling the lockdown blues, you have done well.

Don't give yourself a hard time about not jogging. Maybe don't throw yourself back into it but set yourself reasonable achievable goals like going for a short walk instead? Then building up to things

Trust me. You are not alone in this and the most resilient of people are finding lockdown hard. Humans need interaction and stimulation. Everyone gets that in their own different way but being alone 24/7 is not often the way.

Take care of yourself and keep posting, it's a platform to vent your difficulties in order to maintain your well-being during this lockdown.

HT 🌷

Hidden profile image
Hidden in reply to happytulip

You must have been gutted when you were looking forward to having social contact on the 1st and then told it wasn't happening!

It's nice to know I'm not the only one feeling like that and it helped to come on here and admit it although I do go out with friends now and again it can get lonely on my own when it appears I'm the only one who is although I know rationally that's not the case which was why I decided not to go to those parks today and yesterday as all it appeared to do was upset me so I had decided on the streets instead which I had enjoyed.

happytulip profile image
happytulip in reply to Hidden

Yes, it really upset me but it was for a good reason that it was cancelled. I have been really low since.

Fortunately my friend is coming to visit on Wednesday. She will be the first person that I have seen since march. And because she has been shielding too I can give her a massage hug.....and then we're getting fish and chips. Can't wait!!

You take care. It's ok to say that you are not ok remember.

Hidden profile image
Hidden in reply to happytulip

That's lovely that you will be seeing your friend on Wednesday and having fish and chips as well!

I enjoy fish and chips as well now and again!

It has helped to have said about how I have been feeling and why and what I have done to help myself like walking round the streets which has been a nice change as well to go down streets I wouldn't have known existed otherwise and putting on earphones this afternoon to listen to music when next door were outside to shut them out and I always enjoy listening to music and also read my book which I really enjoyed.

happytulip profile image
happytulip in reply to Hidden

Yes, it's always good to get things off your chest.

Sometimes people offer alot of solutions with the very best of intentions. But I find the most helpful thing is to just write how I feel and express myself.

And then generally Infind that if I am experiencing something others are too.

I'm finding it so not being able to get out at the moment. It's always this way for me in the summer with the UV levels. Ideally it's around 8:30-9pm that I could go for a walk but right now I'm not well enough to go alone and I usually have people stay with me during the summer but because of lockdown it's been impossible.

It's been particularly hard to receive alot of pictures of all of my friends having a great time with their families out in the sunshine and I would normally be invited or join in but obviously can't.

It's not that I begrudge them having a great time, it's just that I don't need to have a bombardment of photos that make me feel even more isolated if that makes sense?

Hidden profile image
Hidden in reply to happytulip

That's it same as with me you wouldn't wish them ill but the photos upset you because it reminds you of what you are losing out on!

You are glad for them but sad about your own situation.

Hidden profile image
Hidden in reply to nchunc

Yes, "Finishing a Book Blues" *IS* a real thing! I can vouch for that.

And "Normal People" and "Killing Eve" on TV. Both of them highly entertaining in different ways. Of course, the books for those series are also well-respected - I haven't read Sally Rooney's "Normal People" or her other one - but I did read the first novel by Luke Jennings called "Vilanelle". It's a slim volume, and also very entertaining..

I can relate, I am 78, by myself, nearest relative 3000 miles away. I have a therapist, and she is a life line for me, otherwise I speak to almost no one all week. I told her I got feeling isolated, to which she agreed, she told me I have a lot on my plate and no back up. She encouraged me to go to the beach and walk, which I thought was a good idea, but then the weather got awful, hot 90's and humid, I cannot walk in that. we had a long talk and it helped me. I am glad you have your work, depression is an awful thing to deal with, if it does not lift, consider talking to your Dr. and s/he may suggest a course of antidepressants. I am on them every day, I need them.

Yes finding a friend is not easy as we age, but give it a try. Read some good books, that is one thing that keeps me going. I have planted veg, herbs and flowers on my deck, keeps me busy and helps to feed myself.

Get yourself some hobbies, do jigsaws, coloring books, cross words, something that catches your imagination. I am taking up rock painting again. If you are willing go to a store that sells all types of hobbies. Wear your mask and surgical gloves, I bet you would find something. Earlier this year before the virus got established I went to a pine straw weaving class, it was fun and I made a nice little basket. Some people like to do paint by numbers, you will see several people here on line.

Many years ago when I was in one of my depressions I went to the library and checked out biography's, that kept me busy and took me into different worlds. I love Michael Caine, I read his book, and several others.

I hope this is of help to you, write to us here, we offer support, love and empathy, I send you love, hugs and peace........

It is me again, Yes as one lady said, music is good for the soul. I am so sorry about your driving test, at least that is not a problem for me I can get in my car and go, but not very far because of the virus. Are you a dog lover? Could you consider getting a dog at the animal shelter, they give lots of love and are so loyal and love to be taken for walks, that way you would have someone to talk to and be with. I have two lovely cats, I talk to them and play with the young one she is only 6, the old one is like me slowing down, she is 15. Get a bird book, take your dog for a walk and try to identify the birds, take a camera with you, get some pretty pictures. It is good to be outside, and if the sun is shining you vet some Vit. D. I love to be out in nature, it boosts my spirits. If I think of anything else I will write again, sending love, hugs & peace.....

Hidden profile image
Hidden in reply to Sprinkle1

Our extremely spoilt elderly ginger tabby called baby is 16 and has driven her mother crackers with her bad tempered meows about the heat!

Hi nchunc,

I think that your problem is that, not only do you live in a solitary fashion but you entertain yourself in the same way. Nothing wrong, of course, in keeping fit by jogging, but what you so desperately need is other people. Not via emails or texts, or face-timing, but by investing in real relationships. I'm guessing this was somewhat your way of life before the pandemic?

I see you've suggested solutions like iplayer or reading. Really? It is harder to meet with people at the moment, but perhaps you could spend a little time on working out how to get some real time with other people, once this thing recedes a little more.

Learning to drive will be great, and keep that on your agenda of things to accomplish, but wouldn't it also be great to have a passenger to go off and explore with?

I can't say exactly how you decide to meet people but I do know that doing something social is the way, without any expectation of meeting one true friend. If you have no hobbies already, investigate doing something that people do in groups. Hiking maybe, hash harriers, photography, art, dancing... whatever floats your boat, so long as people can do it in packs and in a group that's available near to where you live. If you are a spiritual person, even meeting with others with similar views can help. There are probably 101 ways to join in, but you have to do the groundwork and not duck it.

When you find a few things you can do, make a firm plan to go and join in. Even if it's hard at first. Just get over breaking the ice.

If you can commit to this, you'll start to feel a bit better already, but no-one can do this for you. Sadly, people will seldom come and seek you out. So I say, go and find some other humans!

Good luck and I hope you will soon feel better. 🙏

What you describe seems pretty common in our society these days.

At least there are lots of caring comments here from good hearted people.

Maybe something will resonate for you as a path forward.

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