Tag Archive: living alone

Living alone does not mean you have to be lonely

alone

You’re not alone if you’re living alone. There are many people in the world today that live alone – some have never married, others are widowed or divorced. In  the United States alone there are approximately 95 million single adults. Although living life as a single person is more accepted than it was in the past, many people still see it as a way of life that’s lonely and even shameful in a way.

The media does not help as it continues to portray romantic love as the answer and without this, life is not worth living. So, are all those people living alone really doomed to a miserable existence? I can’t accept that. Perhaps living alone is not something we aspire to or the ideal lifestyle but it is indeed possible to live alone and create a full, rich and satisfying life. After all, plenty of couples are living a far from blissful existence and just because you have a partner does not guarantee you happiness.

The vicious cycle

If you are alone and you believe, either consciously or unconsciously, that “there must be something wrong with me because I am alone”, it will have a negative effect on how you see yourself and how you live your life. You may walk around feeling inferior and indulge in plenty of self-pity. Other people inevitably pick up on this and it starts a vicious cycle in your life. Your low self-esteem makes you tend to withdraw and cut yourself off. You’re so afraid of being judged that you avoid the very people and activities that could enhance your life.

If you feel bad about yourself, you’re less likely to take care of yourself too. You may eat unhealthily, do no exercise and sleep badly. You try to numb your feelings through distractions like working too much, compulsive shopping, overeating, drinking too much or other unhealthy habits. Everyone has different ways of coping if they live alone and some of these ways just make the situation worse.

Challenge your thought and behaviour patterns

The bottom line is that if you believe you can only be happy if you have a partner, you will always be waiting from someone to come and rescue you from your miserable existence. You will never live your life fully. It can be a challenge to break your habits of thought and behaviour that hold you back from living a full life on your own.

Look at aloneness differently

The first change you must make is to view your aloneness differently. Instead of associating being alone with pain, emptiness and loneliness, you have to start imagining it as an opportunity for growth. It is not easy if your thought patterns are deeply ingrained. If you have always thought about being alone as being lonely, it’s hard to separate the two.  The minute you are alone, you feel lonely and depressed instead of inspired and motivated. Your depression leads to apathy and you don’t feel like doing anything. Your attitude affects your behaviour and the cycle continues.

When my divorce came at the same time as my children flew the nest, I could no longer rely on anyone else for my happiness or my financial welfare. This was a very difficult challenge, and I haven’t completely conquered it yet. But I know without any shadow of doubt that my thinking influences all the other aspects of my life and so I have worked consistently and persistently to change the way I think. I began by focusing on opportunities, rather than the fact that I was approaching retirement age rapidly with no financial security. I started looking at making a living through working online and rejoiced at the opportunities this offered. I invested in a copywriting course and learned as much as I could about blogging, websites and affiliate marketing. This meant that I had something to get up for in the morning instead of wanting to pull the covers over my head and go back to sleep.

A healthier relationship with yourself

With no romantic relationship or partner to distract you, you have the unique opportunity to focus on your own personal development. You learn more about who you are, the choices you’ve made and why, what you want out of life and what’s holding you back.  When you realize that no-one else is going to change your life for you, you reach a point where you can decide to do something about making a joyful life for yourself. You can focus on what interests you – your passions and goals. You can form relationships with people who are supportive and uplifting. You can find daily activities that motivate and inspire you.

Healthier relationships with others

When you improve your relationship with yourself, it changes the way you relate to others. You are no longer looking for someone else to make you whole. Your self-esteem is intact and that allows you to form relationships out of conscious choice rather than fear or neediness. When you are emotionally needy, you fight for closeness all the time and this put an unnatural pressure on your relationships. Such relationships are full of jealousy, resentment and insecurity.

You may have carried some of your responses with you from childhood into adulthood. It’s important to become aware if these are destructive so that you can work on them.  As you begin consciously aligning how you think, behave and relate to others with the results you want in your life, you will develop healthier relationships. You will become more skilled at communication, learn how to identify and set boundaries, and manage differences without resorting to verbal attacks. You won’t be relating to others out of some desperate need but simply see them as enhancing and enriching your already fulfilling life.

Last word

You are able to create the physical and emotional well-being, financial security, experiences, relationships and circumstances you want to have in your life. When you build a good, solid inner and outer foundation for your life, no-one can take that from you. You have created it and it will sustain you, whether you’re in a relationship or on your own.

 

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.