There was a time when I would dread any time I had to spend alone! I would spend a great deal of energy, finding ways to keep myself around other people. Taking extra shifts at work, tagging along for errands with family members or planning nights out with friends – I always had a way to keep myself in the company of others. I had to try really hard to learn how to be alone.
It took me many years and a lot of learning to discover the glorious opportunities that solitude presents.
Whether you are experiencing a breakup, moving to a new city for work or missing a best friend who went away, it is not a reason to compromise the quality of your life.
Below are tips that will help you learn how to live and spend time alone and love it!
What makes you happy?
Discovering what makes you happy is a vital part of being content when you are alone. As a society, we have a difficult time understanding what makes us happy. It is why we spend so much time socializing with friends, pursuing relationships, or trying to make connections in some other way.
Think of spending time alone as a habit you must form. Through conditioning and repetition, you are well versed in the cycles of happiness. When you are with other people, you are content. When you are alone, you feel empty and isolated.
The more time you spend alone, the better you can understand what internal and external forces drive your happiness. When you learn about what truly makes you happy, you can pursue it without the need for anyone else!
Create new routines
One of the most challenging aspects of living or spending time alone is breaking old habits. Perhaps you grew accustomed to having breakfast with another person, running errands in a group or getting groceries with your roommates.
Now it is time to create new routines. Think of it as a fun adventure, where you get to do the things you want when you want to do them! You are not on anyone else’s schedule, which means that you can grocery shop at 7am or 7pm if you wish!
Even if your new routine is as simple as buying a coffee from a shop near your work, sitting down and enjoying that cup, it is a beautiful start! These routines give you something to look forward to – and they show you that it is possible to enjoy the moments you spend alone.
The ultimate goal of learning how to be alone and love it is to cherish those moments of solitude and isolation. But the journey can be challenging, which is why it helps to stay busy.
Take a few extra shifts at work, go to the movie theater alone if you have a few hours to spare, pursue hobbies you always put off and engage in other activities. Staying busy will help you pass the time during the first few weeks and months you are living alone.
Develop a relationship with yourself
I recently broke off a long-term relationship which was a big change and has been a difficult process. I had put a lot of time, energy, and emotions into being part of a couple. When it was over, I felt numb and not sure I’d find the happiness or contentment I was looking for.
I’ve been reading a lot of literature about loneliness and how to embrace the single life. Being in a cocoon with myself has turned out to be a great learning curve and I’ve enjoyed getting to know myself again!
The silence at night when I’m about to go to bed gives me time to think. I’ve developed a deep and meaningful relationship with myself. I have better understood my fears, anxieties, desires, goals, and beliefs. I learned about the best parts of my personality and worked on my weaknesses.
Engage in self-love
Self-love and self-acceptance are two crucial components of long-term happiness. No one else can make you happy – they can only divert your attention for the moment.
A meaningful acceptance of your personality, body, strengths, and flaws will allow you to treat yourself with kindness. You will realize that it does not take another person sitting next to you on the couch for you to feel satisfied.
Self-love and self-acceptance also allow you to move away from the mindset of caring what others think. We spend far too much energy on the opinions of others – whether they are our colleagues, friends, or family members. Being alone reminds you that only one person’s opinion and approval matters- your own!
Spend your time wisely
Being alone gives you the perfect opportunity to think about various aspects of your life and how you want them to evolve. Are you fulfilled at work? Do you like your apartment? Are you happy in the city where you live?
It is easy to fill alone time with mindless consumption, such as reality television or reruns of old comedies. There is nothing wrong with 30 minutes of guilty pleasure TV watching every few days, but make an effort to spend your time wisely.
Making plans, taking classes, organizing your living space, and pursuing hobbies are meaningful and fulfilling projects that can take up your time in a positive way.
A significant advantage of living or being alone is the fact that you can set your own schedule. If you have two or three days off work each week, you may want to think about volunteering.
Do an internet search of local charities and organizations within driving or walking distance from where you live. Call or email to ask about volunteer hours. They will be happy to tell you about their work and how you can help the cause!
Volunteering not only fills your time, but it makes you feel great about yourself. Taking the time to help others is hugely self-satisfying!
Learn how to cook
Are there any dishes or bakery items that you wish you could make? Now is the perfect opportunity to learn! Find a cookbook online, check out YouTube videos, or follow recipe blogs.
Start with simple recipes that you can whip out in 15 to 30 minutes. When you are happy with the quality of those dishes, you can move on to more complex cooking.
Spending time in the kitchen is a relaxing and productive way to spend a couple of hours. It can also save you a lot of money compared to buying from restaurants and bakeries!
Live in the moment
Having ambitions and goals is essential if you want to live a healthy life. But we must never develop an obsession with those goals, as it can take our attention away from the present.
Part of being happy alone is living in the moment. Avoid obsessing about a future event or milestone that is weeks or months away. Focus on what is in front of you right now!
It is easy to take everyday life for granted. Stop living on autopilot, wishing for some event that is not for days or weeks. Embrace the beauty of the ordinary moments that make up the majority of our time on this earth!
When you learn how to live in the moment, you will find that you enjoy every activity a lot more. Whether you are folding your laundry, preparing lunch for the next day, listening to a podcast or reading a novel, you will find fulfilment in those activities.
Cherish the time you spend with others
Learning how to be alone and love it is a philosophy that every person should embrace. But it does not mean that you actively avoid people. In fact, enjoying your alone time allows you to cherish the moments you spend with others even more!
Now you are no longer dependent on other people for your happiness. Instead of desperately seeking pleasure in every moment spent with others, you can enjoy those encounters with peace of mind.
My life is more exciting, fulfilling, and adventurous because I learned how to be alone and love it!
I cherish my alone time at home and make the best of it.
Life throws challenges, crossroads, hurdles, and speed bumps when we least expect it. Relying on the company and comfort of others for happiness is not a healthy way to live.
By following the above tips, you can learn how to practice self-love, enjoy those quiet moments spent alone, and depend on no one but yourself for happiness and fulfilment.
Self-love is a transformational force. If you are newly single or moving into an apartment alone, embrace the solitude, and use that time to work on yourself!
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