You can be happy alone

Sometimes being alone is a choice, sometimes it isn’t. But if you do find yourself all by yourself, here’s how to ‘find yourself’.

Be the king or queen of your castle
Always having a full agenda can often mean things at home get overlooked. Having time to yourself means you can focus on fixing up your home. Keeping a clean home can help reduce feelings of stress and anxiety, can give you a sense of accomplishment and just make you feel good overall. So, go on, get happy – and get your house in order!

Admire the view, see beauty in the mundane
Okay, so you may say I’m being all ‘woo-woo’ with this one, but you cannot deny the fact that constant distraction means you’ll often miss the beauty of what’s going on around you. Try it. Walk to the shops or just sit in your yard and look at the plants and flowers around you. Then look deeper at the insects flying around them. You’ll notice beautiful patterns in the bark of trees. Look up and you’ll see interesting ‘Rorschach’-like images in the clouds, or the pleasing effect of a gum tree against a blue sky. I love watching birds. They seem so oblivious to anyone watching them but uber-wary of everything happening around them. Okay, even I can see how that sounds, but if you get out and take notice of these things, I guarantee they will make you smile.

Take stock of your thoughts
Being alone can often lead to your thoughts running rampant. A single negative thought can quickly spiral into a ‘Revelations’ reader’s worst nightmare. If you find yourself thinking a negative thought, overlay it with a positive one. Something such as “I feel so lonely right now” could be flooded out with “I’ve got all the time in the world to do as I wish, so, what do I want to do right now?” If you come up with nothing, here’s a tip: light a candle and stare at it, run a bath or play some cruisy music. It will relax you and lead your mind away from the abyss.

Put on the blinkers
You know what? You don’t have to know everything going on in the world. Try focusing on your world instead. Switch off the news, turn off the radio and go to the library instead. You might meet some fine folks there. Ask someone for a reading recommendation and pick up a book. You’ll find more satisfaction from reading a good book than you will knowing all the bad things that are happening in the world.

Get creative
Spend some time doing something that brings you joy. It doesn’t matter what it is, just do it. Get creative. You could colour in, paint a picture, learn a new language, go to the park, write a poem or a novel. Maybe you could write your autobiography? Use your phone and make a video or take out your camera and start snapping away. If you take stock of the first point in this piece, then you’ll not be short of inspiration. But if you are a bit blocked, pick up a copy of The Artist’s Way. The author, Julia Cameron, has a wonderful way of making everyone who reads her work feel creative.

Treat yourself
One of the things Ms Cameron recommends in The Artist’s Way is taking yourself on a regular artist’s date. It’s supposed to wake your inner child, or at least get you feeling creative. At the very least, it’s a great way to remind yourself that you’re special and that you deserve to feel good. It doesn’t have to cost the earth either. Go to a movie or see a play. Go to the bookshop and buy yourself a novel. Treat yourself every now and then. If you don’t, who will?

Make your own plans
So, you’re the only one you need to worry about for the moment, so why not make some plans for your future? It’s easy to get bogged down in the day-to-day, and that’s okay, but having something for which to aim always makes the days seem more relevant. Make a bucket list and tick off some of the items on it. Plan your dream holiday. Even if it doesn’t seem feasible right away, if you plan it and keep it in mind, you’ll be amazed at the opportunities that pop up that may make it happen. Remember, stay open to possibilities and chances are, opportunity will knock.

I know some of you will read this and will shoot these ideas down. If that’s the case, you just keep doing what you’re doing. You’re obviously happy. But even if you do one of the things on this list, your day will brighten a little more and that can’t be bad thing, can it?

Do you have any suggestions for making alone time happier? Are you happy being alone? Why not share your tips with our members?

Related articles:
Why you need time alone
Alone for Christmas
Lonely but not alone

Written by Leon Della Bosca

Publisher of YourLifeChoices – Australia's most-trusted and longest-running retirement website. A trusted voice on Australia's retirement landscape, including retirement income and planning, government entitlements, lifestyle and news and information relevant to Australians over 50. Leon has worked in publishing for more than 25 years and is also a travel writer and editor, graphic designer and photographer.

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