** check out notes at the end for a free printable day planner template 🙂
The pros and cons of being single during COVID – and how best to cope and overcome them.
I don’t know about you, but when this whole pandemic fiasco began, I didn’t believe for a second that it would last this long. I remember back in December when my friend was telling me about this crazy virus in China – I thought she was crazy for even entertaining the idea that it would reach us. Let alone the whole world. But here we are, 10 months later. Over half a year in and out of lock-down – And it doesn’t seem it will be ending any time soon.
Here in Israel we are about two weeks into our second lock-down, and the numbers are still getting worse. And while the situation is grim, there are a lot of positive aspects about it. In my very first blog post – Caged Lion – I spoke about the effects of the lock-down and how it brought me to start this blog. Which is one of the more positive, and productive aspects of the pandemic.
Just like everything else in life, also this lock-down has many ups and downs. Pros and cons. Like me, I’m sure that there are many other singles out there trying to cope with this whole mess alone. Being single has become one of my favorite things in life, and helped me prepare for coping with the lock-down. I’ve narrowed it down to 5 cons and 5 pros of being single during the lock-down. And how best to cope with the cons.
I found that the best way to deal with most cons, is to try and divert your attention to the things that make you feel good. Focus on creating a full, productive schedule that will not only keep you busy, but will also provide you with a sense of accomplishment.
1. There’s no one else to fall back on :
As a single, we only have our own income to rely on. So if we lose our job, or lose money, we don’t have a significant other to help us out. Perhaps we might get some support from family, but not everyone has that. And even if you do, it’s also not easy to ask.
2. Dealing alone with the emotional roller-coaster :
Having a great support system is key to coping with the pandemic. While we might have a great family and wonderful friends, it’s not the same as having a life partner. Someone you might even live with, who is your go to, can’t always be your fall-back like a partner can.
3. Causes a set back in the dating scene :
Even if you’re not worried about COVID and getting sick, if there’s a lock-down, there won’t be many places to go out to. You can’t go to the usual places you meet men/women, and you can’t go on dates. Not to mention, avoiding coming in contact with others, to not infect or get infected. So yeah, if you’re single during COVID – odds are your dating life is suffering. Perhaps we can take comfort in the fact that at least we’re not alone… I mean, misery loves company, right?
WARNING – Mum & Dad close your eyes, shut your ears and skip to the next one –
4. There’s little to no sex life :
Either you don’t want to come in contact with strangers, or someone you’re only just getting to know – maybe they are the paranoid one’s and don’t want to come in contact with you. Either way, this whole social distancing and fear of getting infected or infecting, will surely affect your sex life. If not eliminate it altogether.
5. Too much in your own head :
Personally, I love my own company, and cannot get enough of it. But even for me it does get much sometimes. Especially, in the deep, dark hours of the night. When you’re trying to fall asleep but your brain won’t quit worrying about things out of your control, and just shut off. And if you’re stuck alone in this pandemic, odds are your getting a full dose of it, not only at night.
All of these following pros can be used as diversions from the cons. They are strong points of focus we can devote as much of our attention as we can. Derive positivism and affirmation out of them.
1. No one else suffers the consequences :
When you’re single, you don’t have to worry about anyone else suffering from this lock-down. You don’t have to worry about your financial / work status impacting, or hurting anyone else.
2. Make your own decisions and choices :
Like many of you out there, I have faced many life changing decisions and junctions during COVID and lock-down. Like quitting my job and finding a new one. Or becoming a blogger and a freelance writer. I could make all of these decisions on my own without consulting, or having to take someone else’s opinion into account.
3. Can up and leave :
In my case, I decided to leave my apartment and spend the lock-down at my mother’s house. Alternatively I could have also flown to spend it in London if I wanted to (and I was this close to doing so). If I was married or in a serious relationship, I wouldn’t be able to. I would be much more limited.
4. No one to crowd your space :
This is my personal favorite. I have grown to love my own company, and my alone down time. When you’re in lock-down, if you live with a significant other, it becomes crowded. It’s not like having flat-mates, because you have to share your bedroom. There is literally nowhere to escape to. It’s not impossible, but it’s much harder to find your own space and have alone time
5. You can do your own thing :
This is my second favorite. In addition to having your own space, you can also devote your time to whatever you want, without anyone interrupting. There’s no one to pull faces and get insulted for not getting your attention. No one to reprimand you for what you’re doing and spending your time on. No one else will demand your focus, or that you do something else, that they want.
Before beginning any of these steps, it’s imperative to remember to focus on each step at a time and build one on top of the other – As to not overwhelm yourself. When you constantly think too much ahead, of the more difficult stages, you are less likely to believe in your abilities.
1. Make a decision :
This might sound simple, but it’s important to make that conscious decision that you are going to focus on the pros. That you won’t get sucked into the cons. That you will focus on making a proper routine, that will prevent you from getting stuck in a rut.
2. Buy a calendar or start a Google calendar :
This one may sound silly, but when you have things written down it has been proven to make you commit better. It also organizes everything properly, so you won’t get lost or overwhelmed from the chaos.
3. Comprise a list of small things you haven’t had time for:
Things that you’ve been ‘meaning to get around to’, but never actually did. Like reading that book you bought ages ago. Or cultivate a hobby you’ve had but hasn’t had time for. Small thighs you’ve wanted to learn like cooking or drawing or anything else.
4. Insert them into your calendar :
Start scheduling the items on your list into your calendar, start with even only 10 minutes a day of each. Perhaps alternate between them each day, then slowly expand according to your progress. It’s super important to stick to your schedule – try to create a routine as close to normal as possible. But also allow yourself some “off time” – where you just binge Netflix or lounge around and play on your phone.
5. Stay connected :
Make sure to keep in touch with your friends and family. Either by voice call, video chat or texts. It’s imperative that you schedule time for these at least a few minutes a day, or every other day.
6. Stay active :
If you’re in lock-down, you will need to get creative – but it is SUPER important to stay active. Either by doing home workouts (there are so many instructors doing online classes, or even YouTube videos). Or if you can – ACCORDING TO THE GUIDELINES WHERE YOU LIVE – go outside and walk around the block. Or through the park if there is one nearby.
7. Go big :
Once you’ve got a fairly proper routine going, start inserting all of the major life changes you’ve been wanting to make. For me it was starting this blog, it can also be selling your crafts, writing a book, creating a product, or anything else you desire. Obviously this is my own opinion, and you should proceed with caution and within your means. We all have at least that one thing that we’ve wanted to do, but couldn’t because we were always too busy with the real world.
Obviously this may not work for all of you. You may need to make your own adjustment and tweaks, according to yourself – because we are each unique and for different people, different things work better. But this routine has done wonders for me and helped me get through the hardships. To focus on the positive. I hope it can do the same for you, or help you build your own routine and steps.
Being single is about celebrating and appreciating your own space that you’re in.Kelly Rowland
CLICK HERE for a free printable and pin-able day planner to help you be more productive during lock-down, and start taking the steps to success! 🙂
You can check out my Anxiety Relief blog post, for some tips on coping with anxiety – if that is something that you’re dealing with. Please note – they are just my own personal methods of coping with anxiety, what helped me.