In today's society, many people live alone, some by choice, others as a result of regrettable events, such as marriage failure or a spouse'death. Loneliness is feared by a large percentage of people.
A few years ago, a prominent Canadian businessman revealed he panicked whenever he was alone more than 30 minutes. On the other hand, many women, who became mothers at an early age, sometimes prefer night shifts when they return to the workforce, in order to have the whole day by themselves, while their husbands are at work and their children are in school.
For a certain period, solitude is greatly beneficial. It permits us to get out of our shelves, explore new horizons, build self-confidence, and grow spiritually. The following activities will help you break and enjoy your solitude.
Do volunteer work
Hospitals, schools, shelters, community centers are always on the look-out for extra pairs of hands. Serving meals, accompanying seniors to the chapel or to the dining room, helping out with general housework, supervising lunch periods, serving committees, etc. No only will you fill some time and make new acquaintances, you will also feel gratified.
Get involved in your parish
You may help with secretarial work, effectuate the washing and drying of the rectory's personnel, join the liturgy committee, participate in special projects, aid with the decorations, give a hand during the preparation of the children's First Communion and Confirmation. There are a variety of tasks to be accomplished. It all depends on your talents and preferences.
Attend conferences and seminars
There are exposés on practically every topic, given by interesting, articulate experts. Many are free, others at minimal costs. It is an excellent alternative to gain knowledge while having a pleasant time. Conferences often take place in universities and colleges, so check students' publications as well as local and national newspapers.
Follow Bible classes
If more people knew about these classes, there would not be enough teachers to meet the demand! Presented by very knowledgeable experts, Bible courses are extremely enriching. Each reunion ordinarily lasts no more than two hours, time which is spent reading and dissecting Bible passages. Although it is a course and valuable lessons are taught, taking notes is optional. Once a week, it is an excellent way to break your solitude, while being part of a cozy little group who shares your faith and your values.
Take exercise classes
Not only is it beneficial to your health, but it forces you to get out of the house, breathe some fresh air and meet people. Staying indoors too much brings about slugginess and has a negative effect on the morale.
Plan dinner dates
You may wish to have these gatherings once a week with your friends and/or family. It is a wonderful way to savour a good meal, have a good time and break the routine while being surrounded by loved ones.
Visit the library on a regular basis
You may spend hours browsing magazines, books, for your own enjoyment, enrichment or for research. Visiting different librairies also adds a touch of novelty.
Spend entertaining evenings around the table with your family and/or friends. Play bingo, cards, Trivial pursuit, Monopoly or any other social games.
Plan outings with friends
A few times a month, dining out and viewing a big-screen movie or play with a friend is the favorite entertainment of many people.
Visit new places in your city
There must be museums, churches, parks, shopping centres, bookstores, libraries which you have never heard about. Make a point to visit one every week.
Go back to school
Whether it is during the day or evening, as a challenge or for your own personal development, you may wish to attend classes on bookkeeping, sewing, etc. This initiative also offers the possibility of meeting people who share similar interests.
Put together our own in-house cinema
Make a library of your favorite movies which you have taped or purchased. Curling up in front of the television several times a week, especially during bad weather, to view a good movie is pure delight!
Whether you prefer classics, sagas, biographies, adventures, suspense, love stories, self-improvement or religious publications, an absorbing book will keep your mind busy for hours. As the saying goes - "You are never alone in the company of a good book". Looking forward to reading further every day is also greatly stimulating.
Explore the Internet
You have the options to chat, navigate, participate in contests, research, play games, send E-mails, even earn a little extra money! There is no time to look at the clock when you are engrossed in this captivating universe.
Start or renew a hobby
Certain periods of the year, such as late fall and winter, as we tend to hibernate like bears, making our loneliness harder to endure. Consequently, the cold season is the ideal season to knit, crochet, needlepoint, sew, assemble jigsaw puzzles, oil paint by numbers, stamp collect, etc. These classic past-times offer hours of unmatched diversion.
Get away for a little while
If you can afford it and have the time, a two-week vacation in your preferred destination is a wonderful privilege. In the eventuality that you have nobody to accompany you, why not consider an organized trip? Except for spending the night alone in your hotel room, you are rarely left by yourself, as practically every activity involves the group.
Spend more time with your kin
Spending time with your nieces, nephews or grandchildren not only breaks your solitude, it also relieves their parents. People today are so busy juggling family life and careers, they don't have much quality time for their offspring. As a result, children confide more in their grandparents, uncles and aunts, who don't have the responsibility to educate them. It is easy to have great relationships with your family. All you really have to do is love, cherish and encourage them.
Enjoy the outdoors
Take long walks, stay outside as much as possible during clement weather. In the summer, gardening is an excellent past-time which keeps our mind and body active while giving us personal satisfaction. Practising winter sports in the cold season such as skating, skiing and sleigh-riding makes the season less rigid and lenghty. By spending more time outside, it also makes our body more resistant to the cold.
Become a sports fan!
Whether it is baseball, hockey or football, if you attend a number of games and watch assiduously most of our favorite team's games on television, you will never be bored! Keeping up with the scores, reading sports' newspapers and magazines and collecting cards procure additional enjoyable moments. If you can't stand professional sports, you might enjoy amateur sports such as figure skating, gymnastics and athletics which offer memorable moments during the Olympics.
Take time to meditate
For a certain period, solitude is not an impasse, it is a blessing, greatly beneficial for the soul. St Catherine of Sienna, who grew up in a family of 25 children, had difficulty finding peace and quiet. She affirmed most people did not have the possibility to seek refuge in a mountain or in a cave, but we all need to discover the sacred space within ourselves. And once we have found it, we become much stronger!