The thought of only being able to smoke alone will draw different reactions from readers. Some already do this and have no problem with continuing to do so (I fall in here). Others will feel twinges of panic or sadness at the very thought of it. The same could be said for the statement: you’ll have to spend a lot of time alone during COVID-19. I wrote about the changes to 4/20 due to COVID-19. This article will progress the conversation around COVID-19 and talk about having to smoke weed alone.
Personal Preferences and their Impact
Some of us already live isolated lifestyles, with minimal trips outside the house. Others spend the entire day away from home, only coming back to sleep in their bed. Some of us only smoke when friends or family smoke, others smoke alone any time we feel like it. During these trying times, some of us will have to adapt more than others, but we are all affected.
Even those who enjoy staying at home may be feeling lonely, and missing those few social interactions usually had each week. Same with those who smoke alone on the weekends but smoke socially during the week. All of us will struggle with the consistency of this situation, and how it prevents us from doing the once a week activities that help keep us happy and sane. This article will discuss the idea of smoking alone and isolation.
My Cannabis consumption
I progressed like so many others out there have. I began only smoking with friends, never buying any of my own. I then started contributing and having leftovers for when my friends were busy. Over time I became a chronic cannabis consumer, smoking by myself most of the time. Many of my friends stopped smoking weed, and so even my social events often included smoking alone.
I self-isolated for two weeks after returning from a trip. This time involved minimal social interactions through windows at a distance. This time was rough for me, but not nearly as bad as it would be for others who aren’t as used to this isolation. I’ve traveled alone for months at a time, and am somewhat used to the ups and downs of being alone. Always an independent person, I often miss solitude more than I miss social interactions. My self-isolation tested the boundaries of my tolerance for solitude and revealed some valuable lessons.
Tips for Dealing with Isolation
Isolation sucks, it is literally a form of torture used on prisoners. Many of us would have been at home 90% of the time we’re spending at home anyways. Yet that 10% loss hits hard and can impact the quality of the rest of your hours. As we all strive to increase our ability to be alone, here are a few general tips:
Start Journaling – Writing in journals is a great way to get your thoughts out there, for you. Many of us get our ‘venting time’ by chatting with friends and family. Try shifting this emotional release to this solitary activity. Even if it’s only a few sentences, write something about what you’re experiencing each day. Self-reflection is an under-appreciated skill in our society, develop it for better self-awareness.
Get Exercise – This is a critical one, no matter what our situation is. Not getting exercise has severe impacts on our mood and wellbeing
Adapt your social interactions – download whatever application and use whatever medium you have available to communicate with friends and families. From playing online games to texting, sending photos, or video-calling. You may not have experience or comfort with these technologies, but now is the best time to develop that skill
Develop Skills – Beyond communication technology, now is an excellent time to develop that skill you’ve kept putting off till another day. There are more online resources than ever before, use them to develop a useful ability, you’ll maintain it for the rest of your life. Consider gardening, knitting, painting, or whatever interests you
Learn – Learn something, anything really. Just be an active learner of whatever it is that interests you. Seriously, learn at least one new thing a day. Write some of this new knowledge down in your journal or make specific notes for even better retention
Cannabis Consumption during COVID-19
If you are lucky enough to have people to get high with, consider these factors. For health reasons, none of us should be sharing our Cannabis right now. Roll individual joints instead of puff-puff-passing. If you want to use bongs or pipes, smoke a personal bowl, then clean the glass with an alcohol-wipe and pass it along. Maintain social distancing, and avoid contact with the other person or with your face.
Being social while smoking is enjoyable for most of us, even if it means sitting beside someone while watching a movie. Beyond trying to get some electronic facetime with friends and family, focus on the time you do have alone. This time doesn’t have to be a punishment. It can be an opportunity for more self-reflection, creative thinking, and solitary relaxation. Now is the perfect time to become more comfortable with being alone by intentionally making the best use of this time. Focus on your goals and values, and do those things you want but can’t ever find someone to do it with.
Due to physical constraints, some of us can’t leave the house. Smoking inside is not recommended or allowed in many places, and vaping may not solve that problem. If you must, at least be near an open window and blow the smoke outside. A bathroom can work if you turn on the ventilation. Consider edible forms of Cannabis, whether in food, oil, powder, drinks, or capsules. If you can, go out for a walk and smoke that joint. If you’re stuck inside, consider waiting till later in the day to have your first dose.
Consider your health
Some delivery methods are worse for you than others. As you probably know already, COVID-19 is transmitted through droplets released by our mouth and nose. It also has severe negative impacts on our lungs. For these reasons, avoiding smoking and vaping methods should be considered over oral or edible Cannabis. If you have pre-existing medical conditions that put you at a higher risk of complications from COVID-19, you should reassess your cannabis consumption and delivery methods during this crisis.
Healthy High Habits
Consider what activities you do while high. Which ones are still available, and which aren’t? You may not be able to exercise outside, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be active inside. Think about what activities you do and the foods you eat. If you like being social while high but now only watch movies while high, then you won’t get that interaction you crave (think about online communication methods!). While we all may consume Cannabis, what we do afterward varies greatly. Pick activities that involve movement, thinking, problem-solving, writing, and artistic pursuits over passive consumption of media all day long. Develop healthy high habits for lifelong benefits.
Final Thoughts on Blazing Alone
We’ve been dealing with this crisis for weeks now. Many of us have already developed new behaviors to adapt to this situation. Trust yourself and be kind to yourself through this crisis. Take the time to grieve the things we’ve all lost in our lives. Then get yourself back on track. There are times where Cannabis may help with this, and also issues around over-consuming due to being home all day. If you take only one lesson away from this crisis, I hope it is the need to become more comfortable with solitude. Using Cannabis intentionally and in combination with healthy high habits can help you make the most of this terrible situation.