Do we know how to live in solitude?


Living alone isn't as easy as it sounds. Dealing with constant loneliness can cause discomfort or the feeling of not feeling worthy of company. To learn how to cope with this lifestyle Francie Healey, welfare counselor and nutritionist, publishes her new book Honjok, the Art of Living in Solitude, a manual with recommendations


The current coronavirus pandemic has forced many for the first time to face confinement at home and experience what it means to live in solitude.

Although living alone, with its advantages and drawbacks, has become a real lifestyle trend, do we know how to live alone?

This is the question that American author Francie Healey, a degree in Sociology and Criminal Justice and counselor in wellness and nutrition, tries to solve, in her new work Honjok, the art of living in solitude (Dome Books, Planeta publishing house).

Honjok is a South Korean term for those who identify as solitary. Today, more and more people choose to live alone because of the isolation of technology and social media.

This book is a personal growth manual in which you try to make the most of loneliness. Based on practical tips and strategies, the author helps the reader develop solo plans.

Healey invites you to consider the benefits of solo life through self-reflection. Living alone forces oneself to know our desires and needs while exploring loneliness, self-worth, and freedom from the inside out.

For this expert, this process is essential to achieve the necessary well-being "to set our own limits and direct our lives in an authentic and meaningful way".

Divided into four headings, Honjok, the art of living in solitude, deals with the following aspects:

Tribes of One: Dedicated to Korean Honjoks

A state of mind: being alone or feeling lonely?

The Art of Awareness

Acts of loneliness

Loneliness is a state of mind

One of the lessons in this manual is that being alone, comfortable, or not, is a state of mind.

For some, loneliness is a very precious state, and they enjoy their own company. Others, however, have serious problems tolerating loneliness and need others.

The difference is that while there are people who take it as an opportunity for reflection and rest, a part of the population believes that it is not enough, and they fear the stillness that comes with it.

Francie Healey believes that the key is to understand that "being alone is a choice, loneliness, no."

Recognizing the feeling of loneliness is the first step in alleviating the feeling of feeling lonely. The author indicates that once it has been achieved, the next step is to take measures that lead to small changes.

Interacting with others to gain trust, connecting online with people who share likes, volunteering or adopting a pet are just some of the expert's recommendations.

Importance of healthy relationships

Mutual support is another essential component of well-being, but it is important to choose the right people.

Healey indicates that we can perceive great loneliness when our connections are a forgery "because not all connections are the same".

Some are support-based, enriching, and allow you to thrive. Others are destructive, stressful and disappointing.

The fact that the latter cause anxiety and frustration is one of the reasons, he points out, that drives many people to adopt a honjok lifestyle (tribes of one).

Finally, he explains that being alone is unrelated to being introverted. "Introverts do not have a monopoly on the enjoyment of time alone, just as the enjoyment of the company is not exclusive to extroverts."

The sociologist clarifies that introverted people can also enjoy with others, only they tend to prefer small groups and more intimate connections.