With the current lockdown, it’s quite possible that you’re the only one in your house. And whilst that can initially seem to be a nice idea – no-one interrupting you, doing things on your own terms and your own schedule – it can quickly turn into something scarier.
This fear is called Monophobia – you can probably work out the origin of that word, “mono” for one and “phobia” for fear. They weren’t being particularly inventive when they came up with the name.
And that’s kind-of one of the problems if you’re suffering from this fear. Without other people to bounce things off, it gets lonely fast and ideas fade away.
So, what can you do if you’re unfortunate enough to be suffering from this fear of loneliness?
Stay in touch by phone
You can hear the other person and – if it’s a video call – even see them. Which is a lot better than just hearing the sound of your own thoughts rattling around your head.
But there’s a limit to the amount of time per day you can do this. It may be measured in minutes or it could be a lot longer than that but, eventually, you’ll need to hang up the call and the fear process starts to build up again.
Play online games
Depending on your age group and your dexterity, these could be multi player shoot-em ups, fantasy games like Dungeons and Dragons, virtual reality scenarios like Second Life, old fashioned thinking games like Scrabble, possible money makers like poker. The list goes on.
There’s a huge variety of games available and they can help take your mind off the fact that it feels like you’re the only person on the planet.
Join a group of like minded people
Sites like Facebook, Twitter and Reddit (amongst others) have lots of different groups.
They could be locally based or subject based and you can search for them quite easily in the sites concerned.
Do your best to join groups with a positive outlook – ideally you don’t want more gloomy thoughts gathering in your mind.
Get an engrossing hobby
If you’re not sure what hobby to take up, do a brainstorm with yourself or turn to the hobbies section of Amazon for inspiration.
When I looked, there were adult colouring books, a wooden model motorbike kit complete with a rubber band powered engine, a lock picking kit (obviously only use that ethically), crochet patterns and many more.
The list is near enough endless and you’re probably going to be looking for something that is going to be a time sink but isn’t going to be a money sink.
The good thing about a hobby is there’s almost always another level you can progress to as you get better at it.
Create your own rituals
No. not sacrificing lambs or chickens!
Routine is important in our lives and when we’re alone it’s easy for it to get forgotten.
Getting up at the same time of day, eating your meals at the same time – but ringing the changes on what you eat, not just having the same fish each week because it’s Friday – scheduling your support calls to other people at roughly the same times, all of these help.
Because we’re creatures of habit and when you’re on your own and rarely getting out of the house, the hours and days and even weeks can merge together if you don’t have a routine for your mind to hook into.
Find ways that you can relax and chill out.
Whether that’s a long, relaxing bath or listening to chill out music or meditating. Or all of those!
Anything that helps to get your mind back on track.
Another option is to play yourself a subliminal messages track like this one – it comes with lots of different versions to add variety and it includes specially written messages that are audible to your subconscious mind and will literally help turn your mind around and help reduce your fear of being lonely.