Studies have shown that Millennials are the most likely age cohort to say they felt lonely "often" or "always." If you, like me, are aged between 23 and 38, this might not come as a surprise. We live in a world of relentless connectivity, and it’s all too easy to lose yourself in amongst the noise and the feeling that every waking moment must be filled. From the get-go, we are rushing to connect the dots of life, hyper-focused on career success, romantic relationships, wealth, maintaining friendships. Not to mention the unrealistic expectations imposed on us by our picture-perfect social media feeds.
If you don’t get a takeaway dinner or sink pints surrounded by a dozen of your closest friends every night, it’s hard not to feel like something is wrong.
Being alone has a bad rep, and we behave as if it is a problem. Words like “anti-social”, and “loner” come to mind.
It is ironic that we pride ourselves on our independence as vibrant adults to confidently go out into the world and achieve anything we set our minds to, yet the idea of actually being alone is daunting, almost embarrassing.
Let’s turn this on its head. What better way to get to know who you really are than to cherish yourself and learn to enjoy your own company? Millennial or not, we need to realise that being alone and being lonely are not the same. Being alone is so much more. It is a time and space that is nobody’s but yours. It is understanding your thoughts and being confident in your decisions without having to compromise. Whether it’s grand solo adventures or little moments of calm littered throughout your day, enjoy it. It’s a privilege to have quality time getting to know someone as remarkable as yourself!
So - take yourself to that exhibition your friends think is boring. Watch that movie none of them want to watch. Go to that yoga class you’ve been meaning to try out when no one is free to do it with you. Spend time on you, not dating apps.
Do not be afraid to be alone, or worse… to like it.
Trust me, it’s good for the soul.