I’m 42, single, live alone, and I’m scared.
I can’t visit my parents because they’re elderly and health-compromised. We talk online but their situation worries and depresses me.
I can’t visit my brother who lives out-of-town, and my young nephews are too busy attending “school” online, to have time for me.
When I do reach them, it seems there’s not much in common between their reactions to all the changes, and mine right now.
I’ve already worked from home for years, but I balanced that with gym workouts and yoga classes, going to bars, restaurants and music venues with friends, and my hiking getaways.
That’s all stopped.
I work, read, go out only for groceries and other essentials, and eat alone.
The news frightens me more every day.
I had an on-off partner for three years. But when it came time to discuss where things were going, he was weak and indecisive and I broke it off.
I have no relationships at all now, so I’m not even sure why I’m writing you.
On My Own
That weak guy would’ve been no “partner” at all in these demanding times.
The relationship with ourself is the most basic one, even when in a committed couple.
What you feel about yourself affects your ability to take the needed steps that’ll help you adapt to what’s our new normal for now.
Loneliness in your immediate surroundings is what’s pulling you down.
So bring in some soothing company - your playlist of favourite music, a YouTube comedian, a time for watching reruns of a favourite TV show that always makes you laugh.
I play opera music because, for me, the gorgeous voices and dramatic arias reflect the powerful stuff of life - especially love and yearning - that’s been part of the human experience for years.
Besides the news - and I recommend watching/listening/reading it only a chosen two times of day - you can use the internet positively to find “company” and positive distractions.
I decided to try an online Zoom class to learn how to do stretches that counter the many hours I sit at a computer, especially while I’m in self-quarantine.
Look for your own preferred ways to maintain fitness with the help of online instruction. A lot of people find running and long walks are helpful to maintaining good spirits and energy. But you must understand that this is a solo pursuit. Walking and chatting with a friend is exposing you both.
Understand this about what you’re doing by sheltering at home on your own:
You are part of a greater purpose to help your community and beyond by slowing down the spread of Covid-19.
You’re not just avoiding getting sick yourself.
You’re contributing to a scientifically-derived plan to lower the surge of more infected cases.
You’re involved in this effort so that there’s enough hospital beds, ventilators and medical personnel to care for those who, vulnerable or already sick, can be treated.
You’re also doing this for cancer patients and others who’ve had to cancel long-awaited surgeries to make room for virus patients.
Hopefully, with all of us making this effort, those patients can be re-scheduled in time to have successful and healthy outcomes.
Take comfort knowing that your own contribution matters, and that the more people who follow this plan in the way that you’re doing, the virus news will become more positive.
FEEDBACK Regarding the woman considering seeing the man who previously cheated on her after their intense five-year relationship (March 21):
Reader - “He’s clearly stated his position regarding her by asking to meet as “former dear friends.”
“I say she should retain her dignity and say NO. Meeting up again (after six years) will simply fortify his ego and likely leave her devastated, again.”
Reader #2 – “That idiot woman should have known the man was a cheater since she knew he was married in the beginning.
“It's okay for her to have him cheat on his wife but not on her. What a hypocrite.”
Ellie - True, she can’t trust his purpose in meeting but I recommended that if he tries to take the “dear friends” concept further, she should insist on counselling to discuss their past history.
She did stop seeing him until he completed the separation she believed he’d already started.
Tip of the day:
When you self-isolate from exposure to the coronavirus, you’re helping yourself and the immediate, critical need to slow the surge of illness for us all.