Those who have lived alone for a long period of time probably find it easier than those who have suddenly had it thrust upon them – perhaps through death, divorce or separation. Often people can feel totally alone even though there might be one or more around them. Perhaps they just don't communicate or they no longer have anything in common.
None of us know when we might have to spend some time alone or even in total isolation (for a variety of reasons even as extreme as prison, a natural or man made disaster or a hostage situation) so it does not do any harm to get used to being and feeling alone even for short periods of time.
Bereavement especially of a partner or close relative can be the hardest cause of feeling alone. We have written about this before so if this is the reason you are now feeling alone, you might find this
If you feel alone, how can you help to make it feel better?
It is easy to feel sorry for yourself and even thinking your life has become a waste of time. If you are alone, it is easy to drift without purpose. Instead, try to stay positive getting into the regular habit of jotting down in a notebook or diary what you would like to achieve in the day ahead, giving it purpose and structure. You will keep busy and you will have a sense of achievement at the end of the day when you tick off your list.
If you have the resources, make your own space an enjoyable place to spend time by improving the look and the comfort of your home
- Sort out any hoarding and cluttering-up tendencies so that you have everything clean and tidy and easy on the eye. At the same time, you connect with the past as seeing old cards, letters and photographs is something that is bound to make you feel better even though sadness may be part of it. You might also be encouraged to call (or search on the internet for) a friend you have not been in touch with for too long.
- Is your kitchen right for cooking tasty meals-for-one? Now is the time to start experimenting in the kitchen. It will encourage you to eat better and you can be your own guinea pig without any fear of someone else rejecting your food. Look upon this time as the ideal opportunity to change to living, organic food and lots of filtered water to drink with all the accompanying health benefits. As your expertise grows and you start to make friends, you will feel more confident about entertaining. Stay sociable. Just because you are living alone, there is no reason why you should not invite friends and family around on a regular basis, go to visit them or arrange to meet occasionally at an interesting venue.
- Is there a cozy corner for sitting down to read a book or solving puzzles? Reading is of course the ultimate “doing it alone” perfect past-time. If it is new to you, start off with short stories, building up your concentration to open up a whole new world. You can join your local library, buy second hand books at a book exchange, indulge in the luxury of brand new books at your local book store or download e-books to your Kindle. Books can be your best friends, along with a cup of coffee giving you company for hours. Another thought is to do crosswords or brain-teasers, setting your own deadlines, making your own rules, avoiding boredom and exercising the brain all at the same time.
- While a comedy might be the best option, now is your chance to see any movie you have been wanting to watch in a long time but haven’t had the opportunity! Listen to your favorite music, putting on a CD, singing or dancing along or simply closing your eyes and feeling the rhythm in your soul.
- Finding new hobbies and interests such as taking art classes, an interior decorating, woodworking or cooking course. The list is endless. There are loads of opportunities both for learning something new as well as meeting new people who perhaps are in the same situation as you.
- Is your bedroom and bed comfortable and inviting for a good night’s sleep? Good quality sleep is paramount for your general health and well being. Changing to both healthy food and regular exercise can improve and even overcome any insomnia you may have been experiencing since being on your own.
- Talking of exercise, now is the time to start. Is there something in particular that you have always wanted to try but never had the time or the opportunity. If you join a group for such exercise, you will meet new people too and get out in the fresh air and the sunlight. Exercise is another important component of a healthy lifestyle and green exercise in particular. Go for a walk as what better to beat the solitude than being among people. A stroll by a beach, lake or in a park will cheer you up so much. At times just gazing at people, observing their activities can really take your blues away. And then, a breath of fresh air and a little bit of exercise will also give extra benefits!
- Finally, think about adopting a pet. Obviously this tremendous commitment in time, energy and love should not be undertaken lightly. You might consider instead to offer up some volunteer time at an animal rescue facility or shelter where you would get to know the different types of animals, find out what breed of pet would suit you while giving back to others at the same time.
Part of getting used to being alone is learning to approve of and even love yourself! When you love yourself, you spend less time thinking about yourself and how things might have been. You have a more positive attitude and a less “why is the world against me” way of thinking.
Building blocks to good self esteem.