How to be happy living alone

living alone

When you discover how to be happy living alone, it can be immensely liberating. If you live alone because you have no other option, you can choose to delight in the many advantages or you can bemoan your fate. Many people manage to live alone without being lonely. Of course, when you live alone, you are more susceptible to feelings of loneliness but it is important to remember that even in a crowd, it is possible to be lonely.

I have lived with others all my life and so living alone is a novel experience for me. I find that loneliness does tend  to nip at my heels, especially on holidays. However, I have had to learn to keep it at bay. Here are some ways to make you feel happy instead of lonely.

Let the light in

let light inThis may sound insignificant but I have found that when you live alone it is vital to keep as much contact with the outside world as possible. Open your curtains wide in the morning and let the light stream in. See it as a symbolic gesture, removing the barrier that prevents you from seeing out and others from seeing in. It also helps to take a quick walk around your neighborhood early in the morning, greeting any neighbors who are out and about. This immediately eliminates feelings of being isolated and shut off from the rest of humanity.

Daily rituals

When it comes to your daily activities, revel in what living alone allows you to do.  Put on your favorite music and dance to it. Eat straight out of the peanut butter jar if it takes you back to your childhood and makes you happy.  Read late into the night or take a long relaxing bath.

Drinking tea is one of my daily rituals and I now take the time to sit down and enjoy it. I no longer leave it to sit on my desk until it’s cold or gulp it down as I rush out of the door to fetch a child.

In the evening, I have the TV remote to myself. It’s funny how just the fact that I can watch any program makes me far more selective and many times I prefer to go to bed and read.  The height of indulgence for me is to climb into bed  at 9pm and to read late into the night.

My family hated it when I became involved in one of my DIY projects. On one occasion I spent days sanding down a table and chairs and painting them with chalk paint. For about a week they breathed in sawdust and had to eat takeaways. Now, I can work on my latest project in peace without inconveniencing anyone else.

Know your triggers

You may find that you hate that feeling of walking in the front door with no-one to greet you. What’s worse than walking into an empty house is to walk into a dark, empty house. Remember to leave a light on when you go out at night.  Owning a pet that greets you with great enthusiasm when you arrive home is a big advantage when you live alone. Think about getting a pet if you don’t already have one as it can help to combat loneliness.

Make your space pleasing to you

Now that there’s no-one else to disapprove, you can decorate and organize your home to suit your own preferences. Think about creating a comfortable, welcoming environment around you. Express your individuality and surround yourself with items that give you pleasure. Try to get rid of any clutter and keep only what you really need to create a calming environment.

Your kitchen
Having an overstocked, cluttered kitchen is unnecessary when you live alone and it just means more time spent cleaningWeed out all the unnecessary crockery and cutlery. Use good storage solutions and organize your kitchen to suit cooking for one and eating on your own.

Your bathroom
luxury towels

Enjoy the luxury of having your bathroom entirely to yourself. Spoil yourself with a couple of really, large, fluffy towels and make sure you have some scented candles. (Click on the images if you wish to purchase these items)

Your lounge
A comfy sofa is a must and a luxurious throw to use when you watch TV adds that little bit of extra comfort. Use plants and fresh flowers to add some life and color to the room. If you don’t want to keep purchasing fresh flowers, use the best quality silk flowers.

 

Your bedroom

bedroomTurn your bedroom into a real sanctuary with quality bedding and plenty of pillows. Make sure you have good lighting for reading in bed. A full-length mirror in your bedroom is helpful if you live alone. No-one else is there to tell you that you have a stray curler in your hair! Cupboard space can be maximized with special storage solutions so that all your clothes and accessories are well organized and easy to find. Choose a color for the walls that you find most calming and relaxing. I love turquoise, so my bedroom is white and turquoise.

 Get out of your comfort zones

Take up a new hobby or learn a new skill. Don’t fall into a rut or spend too much time watching TV. Think about how to challenge yourself. It’s your time and your future. Start writing a book, think about places you would like to see and classes you might enjoy.

Go out and meet people

Create structured ways to leave your house and interact with other people. Choose times at which you may feel most alone such as when your children used to come home from school.  Identify groups that you might enjoy and where you are likely to meet people who may become close friends. Join a book club if you are a reader or a walking club if you love outdoor activities.

Entertain

Inviting people into your home helps to bring in laughter and life. Don’t avoid entertaining because you think you have to do it in a formal way. Have a girl’s night where you watch movies or play games. Invite a neighbor around for tea. Healthy interaction with friends is essential, so make some effort to reach out to others, even when you do not feel like it. Yes, it may not be that easy, but it is worthwhile. Read this post I wrote about the negative impact of loneliness on your health.

Conclusion

You need to be able to be happy alone. If you are too dependent on someone else for your happiness, it is in jeopardy when they are no longer around. One of the best ways to discover more about yourself  is to spend some time alone. It can be very revealing. At first, you may find that you don’t like who you are and you may have to work on building your self-esteem.  It’s worth it because the feeling of being comfortable in your own skin is priceless. No-one can take that away from you and it means that you do not feel threatened by others. You can  enjoy an abundant life, being exactly who you are meant to be.

8 Comments

  1. Chris

    Wow I really didn’t expect to come across this sort of article today – a lovely thought provoking read overall. Certain parts of it hit me as I ended up alone as a 30 year old – messy divorce with a kid involved! It’s true that you need to sort of re-program yourself before you start accepting a big change like that in life. Love this website – extremely interesting topics!

    Reply
    1. Erica (Post author)

      Hi Chris,
      Thanks for your comment. I am so glad you enjoyed reading the article. Yes, that re-programming is necessary when you face any big change in life. It’s a challenge but can yield some enlightening insights that help with the process of moving on.

      Reply
  2. Emily

    I really enjoyed reading this. I don’t live alone, but I don’t have any kids and my husband is gone a lot for work so I do spend a lot of time at home alone. Sometimes it does get lonely or I get inside my own head too much and feel panicky. I really like your list of ideas to combat this, especially making sure to keep the household pleasing to you. Very good advice. Simple enough concepts, but it really helps to be reminded now and again.

    Reply
    1. Erica (Post author)

      Hi Emily,
      I appreciate your comment and I am glad you found the post helpful. You reminded me that women whose husbands are gone a lot and don’t have children are often alone too. It is not easy sometimes but focusing on the positive aspects of being alone instead of focusing on the loneliness does help.

      Reply
  3. weemrst

    Hi Erica, just read your article and want to say how impressed I am at your approach on overcoming loneliness.
    I have never lived alone and often wondered how, or if, I would cope. I recognise the noise and train station occurrences that you talk about and sometimes wish they would all go away. Perhaps I should rethink and begin to cherish such intrusions, or at least be less intolerant.
    I am sure that many women, and probably men, would benefit from your advice on light, space and socialising. I really enjoyed the encouraging and gentle way that you overcome probable obstacles. Too often, people offer military style advice which can be quite harsh.
    Actually, I like your bedroom sanctuary and comfortable lounge suggestions so much that I may try to incorporate them into my life. You have made me want to feel liberated too!

    Lynn

    Reply
    1. Erica (Post author)

      Hi Lynn,

      Thanks so much for your comment – it is always great to receive appreciation for what you have written. So many of us battle to accept the phase we are in and make the most of it. I hope you can find a way to feel liberated and experience some ‘me’ time which is so important no matter what phase you are in.

      Reply
  4. Netta

    Hey Erica:

    A lovely post. I do enjoy the way you’ve arranged your pictures and words. Your thoughts do ring true. I am a solitaire…I live alone and I like it, but I remember when I first started on this road. It wasn’t easy learning to pull back from so much other-people-ness. I was fortunate that I was given the time and the space to be able to do it at my own pace and in my own way.

    We’ve all been programmed, I think, to default to the other-people setting so much that we have to relearn how to just be alone. Being still and letting life fill you up so you have something worthwhile sharing again is a life-skill like any other, I am thinking. It just takes some practice.

    Reply
    1. Erica (Post author)

      Hi Netta,

      Thanks for your lovely comment. I know what you mean about having that default programming that we need other people around and we have to actually relearn the importance of knowing how to be alone. I agree with you that it is a life skill that takes practice.

      Reply

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