It sounds like a depressing title, but the words are not! Jenny Tough spends more time alone in the mountains than most of us. By choice, however, loneliness still creeps in and affects her. She kindly has opened up and shared her toolbox of things that help her when times are rough.
It turns out, in times of being alone, a connection is more important... read on!
"Loneliness. I got asked earlier this week (in regards to my solo adventures) about whether I get lonely, and my best tips to cope with it. This seems like a good time to address that question.
Short answer: Yes, I do get lonely on my solo adventures. It’s something that can really throw me off my game and make everything more challenging. I look at as a problem that I urgently need to fix. 🏔
Coping: These are some things that have worked for me - tested in the mountains, applied to regular life. They include:
-Music/podcasts/books - Stories are great. I’m not alone with my thoughts now. I’m connected to the human tribe. 🌎
-Gratitude - You can fix a lot of emotional problems with practicing gratitude. 🙏
-Wellbeing - Taking care of my overall health picture is essential. 🌿
-Service - Finding a way I can help others, even if it’s small, feels great.💜
-REACH OUT - If you’re still connected, get connected. When I’m in the backcountry, I usually don’t have this option. But, when I do have the option, my phone is the most important tool in my arsenal. Call someone whose voice you need to hear. Message someone whose texts always make you smile. Write a long email to someone you’re thinking about. 📞
Sure, it’s not the same as being in the same room, but it’s really important to stay connected.
Also: Social media can be great, but sometimes it can also be the cause. Curate your feed wisely. (And let’s all be mindful of what we put on our own feeds right now).
I know this current situation is very different from intentionally isolating in the mountains, but I know that whatever the cause, loneliness can take you over like an illness or injury - if you’re feeling it, treat it with the same level of attention, please.
And don’t forget, you’re tougher than you think. You’ve got this 🤘💕
📸 @johnycook and @jennytough for @montaneofficial
Words by @jennytough