I'm A Psychologist: Here's The Simple Way I Deal With Loneliness
We are coming up on a time of year that, even in normal times, can be a very challenging and lonely time for many people. Whether you are generally alone for the holidays or your time with family is rife with conflict, the holidays may present many challenges regarding loneliness.
This year, with COVID-19, is even more challenging since many people are not able to gather together to celebrate. Some people are opting for Zoom family celebrations, where they eat together on Zoom and can share their love and connection with one another virtually. While this isn't the same as being together in person, it can certainly help. For others, even this isn't an option.
One balm for loneliness? Creativity.
I have found, with myself and my clients, that becoming deeply involved in a creative endeavor can go a long way toward ameliorating loneliness. There is something about becoming deeply involved in the creative process that fills the heart and soul with joy—even when we are creating alone.
I feel very blessed that I learned to make pots on a potter's wheel over 60 years ago when I was in college. My teacher at UCLA was a world-famous potter, so I learned from the best. I have my own little pottery studio, and when I spend blissful hours throwing pots, decorating them, glazing them, and firing them, I'm rejuvenated. I also have a little painting studio, and when I have the time on weekends, I love being able to paint or pot.
I never feel lonely when I'm creating, even though I'm generally doing it alone. I don't feel alone because when I open to my creativity, I'm opening to my own soul and my higher guidance, so I'm actually not alone.
"But I'm not a creative person," you say.
I recently suggested drawing to one of my clients, and she immediately said, "I can't draw."
I suggested that she read the book Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards, or find an online course that teaches this process. Anyone can learn to draw with this method, I told her, and she might find great satisfaction in learning how to draw.
Try tuning into your feelings to see if there is something creative you've always wanted to learn to do. Are there creative things you loved to do as a child? Do you still do them, or have you forgotten about them? Now might be a great time to resurrect whatever brought you joy when you were younger.
Creative projects can encompass many different things. You might consider painting, making collages, knitting or sewing, quilting, embroidery, photography, writing, cooking delicious and healthy food, playing a musical instrument, making jewelry and doing various other crafts, candle making, flower arranging, building things, learning to model with the various forms of clay that you can fire in your oven, wood-burning, or calligraphy. Pinterest has hundreds of ideas for creative projects.
Creating with others can also be incredibly fun. Zoom offers us a wonderful way of getting together with friends and family and finding ways of creating together.
I feel the same fullness when I'm creating yummy healthy food, such as the healthy ice cream I make each week, which everyone says is by far the best ice cream they've ever tasted. This year, for the holidays, I'm making pumpkin spice ice cream. For those of you who want to try, here is my recipe. I use an ice cream maker.
Healthy Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream
- 1 quart Supernatural organic grass-fed cream or raw organic cream
- 2 organic pastured egg yolks
- ⅓ cup organic raw honey
- 1 to 2 teaspoons organic vanilla
- 1 package organic stevia
This is for vanilla ice cream.
For chocolate ice cream, add ½ cup organic raw cacao.
For pumpkin ice cream, add 2 teaspoons of organic pumpkin pie spice (or 2 droppers of organic pumpkin stevia).
- Mix ingredients with a hand mixer.
- Turn the ice cream maker on and pour in the mixture. In 20 to 30 minutes, the ice cream is done.
- What you don't eat at the time, store in small jars to eat later.
Margaret Paul, Ph.D., is a best-selling author, relationship expert, and Inner Bonding® facilitator. She has counseled individuals and couples since 1968. She is the author/co-author of nine books, including the internationally best-selling Do I Have to Give Up Me to Be Loved by You?, Healing Your Aloneness, Inner Bonding, and Do I Have to Give Up Me to Be Loved by God? and her recently published book, Diet For Divine Connection. She is the co-creator of the powerful Inner Bonding® healing process, recommended by actress Lindsay Wagner and singer Alanis Morissette, and featured on Oprah, as well as on the unique and popular website Inner Bonding.