I’ve been pretty lonely this year, and I cannot put my finger on exactly what it is. Perhaps it is living alone, taking a semester off from college or adjusting to new antidepressants. Or, it could be the more obvious reason, like getting out of a pseudo-relationship. More than anything, it is probably a culmination of these things.

It can be extraordinarily isolating at times, but I don’t think it is an entirely negative thing. In fact, when I really break my loneliness down, I realize it has more to do with FOMO than anything else. This year I’ve taught myself that I don’t have to attend every party, drink every night or even be around others all the time.

Instead, I can find comfort in being with myself, after all, being with yourself and your thoughts does not have to be a lonely experience. It can be surprisingly empowering and particularly alleviating after a week of being “on.”

Taking much-needed breaks are a crucial part of self-care, and I think alone time can be interpreted as selfish or boring. However, they are most definitely the opposite.

If I’ve learned anything from this year, it is that the best way to combat loneliness is to embrace it. Sometimes those parties can be infinitely more isolating than a night in playing your favorite music, tending to your overdue chores and listening to your own needs.

So, next time you start feeling lonely, hop onto the GrrlPunch Spotify and listen to this month’s playlist. These are the songs that I turn on when I need to dance around, sing along with friends or even clean my house. Feel free to add your own music so we can all experience these songs together.