You don’t have to be lonely when you’re alone

Alone? You don’t have to be lonely. Here are some tips to help you ‘find yourself’.

Happy mature woman alone at home with cheeky expression

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?

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    COMMENTS

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    Dancer
    13th Dec 2016
    10:38am
    I think those suggestions are excellent for someone on their own, or even for someone who is struggling to find meaning in their life. I write a regular column for Carers in a local paper for seniors, and these suggestions are very similar to many that I put forward for Carers.
    I hope many people with pick up on at least one of these ideas and give it a try.
    grumpy old woman
    13th Dec 2016
    10:43am
    Do an free online course. I use FutureLearn. The courses are generally short - between two and six weeks and the discussions are great. Make sure you add your voice to the comments and discussions though. I love the stimulation of learning about something new or learning more about a subject I already know. Comments from others give an entirely new perspective on some points. Teaching comes from universities around the world - in three courses I have studied through one in Spain one in the UK and the University of Wollongong. There's also edX.

    Join a church or other religious group. Keep going for two or three months and, if you can, join in with some of the activities they do - even to helping with morning tea after the service. Become involved. Believing in God isn't a pre-requisite for most Christian churches.

    Look out for a U3A group near you. Be brave and contact them.
    PlanB
    13th Dec 2016
    11:29am
    I have never had ANY problem with being alone -- in fact I look forward to it, there is always something to learn -- or enjoy
    Rosret
    13th Dec 2016
    12:02pm
    I am never alone in my home. Its as if the spirits arrive and there are cupboards that click and door knobs that move. Since it doesn't bother the dog I figure the house is just moving a tad - either that or the house is just enjoying a moment of peace and quiet too. hehe - Watch comedies - I love to laugh. I miss the old British comedy that had a touch of "clever" and no swear words.
    Hasbeen
    13th Dec 2016
    12:38pm
    I sailed 53,000 miles around the Pacific, about half of it single handed.

    Fortunately I only ever felt lonely when there was something particularly spectacular it would have been better if shared. A pod of hundreds of dolphins swimming along with you, a special sunset, or a full moon rising our of a calm tropical sea on a clear night are things to remember for ever, but better shared.
    PlanB
    13th Dec 2016
    12:46pm
    Also Hasbeen what about the Bioluminescence -- what an amazing sight that is
    Rosret
    13th Dec 2016
    12:48pm
    Yes. Loneliness and alone are not the same. I am less lonely at home on my own in my own environment than aimlessly wondering around a busy city.
    Loneliness is a feeling of not belonging, having no one to be a witness to your existence, a feeling of abject loss with death or separation from those you love. Loneliness makes the heart ache and the despair can be overwhelming.
    Loneliness should never be trivialised nor compared to being alone. There are many suicides and deaths attributed to loneliness from grief and loss.
    If someone is lonely when they are alone they have mental anguish that needs to be helped with lots of love and care.
    grumpy old woman
    13th Dec 2016
    2:05pm
    Well said, Rosret.

    When being alone is a choice and not the only regular option it can be a wonderful thing but it does, for many, benefit from being balanced with occasional times of social engagement - as Hasbeen pointed out.
    musicveg
    30th Dec 2016
    8:57pm
    I agree Rosret, I never feel alone until I get in crowds especially where people are having fun together, even when my son was little and we used to go to a lot of festivals. I got tired of being out in public and now we stay home a lot more and feel happier getting on with things.
    Mum
    13th Dec 2016
    2:28pm
    Thank you for those ideas. I'm not alone, but one day I might be!
    Franky
    13th Dec 2016
    2:36pm
    I remember a recent survey where single people and married people were asked the same question: what is the best and worst part of being single / married?
    Answer: for married people best part is intimacy, worst part lack of freedom. And yes, you guessed it, for single people best part is freedom, worst part lack of intimacy.
    Living alone I do love the freedom, and am reaching out to get that intimacy in a relationship where we don't have to live together but still be intimate friends.

    13th Dec 2016
    2:39pm
    A positive outlook (state of mind/thinking) is one of the most important and health "enhancing" things in life, whether you are alone or with people. It can immensely improve everything in your daily life - help to bring you happiness, friends, and even good fortune. It is something that has to be practiced at first to achieve and continues to come naturally after it's within you. Give it a shot and good luck!

    13th Dec 2016
    8:47pm
    The "sort" in the above photo certainly wouldn't be on her Pat Malone.
    JayUK
    14th Dec 2016
    8:32am
    I'm not sure what sign she's giving either!


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