Do you find it difficult to feel content in your own company? Do you feel pressure to be constantly connected to others, resulting in overwhelming anxiety when you’re alone?
If the answer is yes, then you’ll be pleased to learn that there are steps you can take to help combat the dreaded feeling of isolation.
For your mental stability and wellbeing, it’s important for you to recognize that being alone does not need to impact you negatively. To support you with the process, here are eight tips to help you enjoy solitude without feeling lonely.
1. Find Companionship in Your Passion
Whether your passion is art, writing, knitting or baking a cake, being alone is a great opportunity to get connected to it.
Investing mindful, quality time into doing something you love has multiple benefits for your mental health. It keeps you focused, which reduces anxiety, keeps your brain energized and helps to keep you happy.
Developing your skill is a great confidence boost and having that focus will contribute to you feeling less concerned about having someone around you.
Please understand that loneliness is a feeling, one you can take control of. If you’re a social person most of the time, when you’re alone your brain may be guilty of convincing you there’s something wrong. As a result, you become worried, you’re on edge and there’s an intrusive desire to be around someone. Breathe…
Taking time to focus on your breath and meditate has proven to be a great way to reduce those feelings of hopelessness and worry. Even if you start by taking 10 deep breaths, telling yourself “it’s okay to be alone” it will allow you to feel both content and comfortable.
3. Challenge Yourself
One of the biggest consequences of finding yourself alone is that you may automatically believe you’re bored. This is far from the case, and there are plenty of things you can do to keep your mind stimulated whilst in your own company.
Climb that mountain you always wanted to climb or lift those weights you always wanted to lift. Do something that you see as a challenge and then focus your mental energy on achieving the goal of completing it.
4. Design a Plan
You may find yourself just going through the motions in life. Going to work, visiting the same bar on a weekend, going to the same yoga class on a Tuesday. And whilst structure is a good thing, it can also prevent us from moving forward.
When you’re alone, sit down with a pen and paper and design a plan of action for you to mix things up a little bit. It doesn’t need to be a life changing plan (unless of course, you want it to be). It could be as simple as aiming to save money, or looking for new hobbies and classes to attend.
Being mindful about the direction of your life allows you to feel in control – something you may feel you lose when not in the company of others.
5. Have a Friend On Stand By
If you know that you’re going to be alone for a certain length of time, have someone you can call on. Tell your friend that you may need to reach out to them should the feeling of isolation become too overbearing.
Sometimes, just knowing there’s someone there if you need them makes you feel more secure – you may find that’s enough and you don’t need to contact them.
6. Watch That Movie Nobody Else Wants to See
At some point in your life it’s highly likely you’ve been excited about a movie, only to find nobody shares your enthusiasm. Well, being alone is a perfect time to go and watch it.
If you’re worried about a certain stigma of going to the movies alone, don’t be! Plenty of people go watch movies in their spare time without other people. Plus movie theaters are the most unsociable of environments, so it makes little difference if you’re with someone or not—just enjoy the movie, eat the popcorn and have fun!
7. Make a List of Everything You’re Grateful For
Taking time out and being in your own company gives you a great opportunity to think. Don’t be scared of your thoughts, they’re there to help with your self-awareness and personal growth. To turn them into a positive, connect to everything you’re grateful for.
It could be your friends and family, your job, or your ability to display empathy. They’re personal to you and putting them down on paper can really boost your awareness of how enriched your life is.
To go a step further, once you’ve written them all down, say them out loud—giving them further reinforcement.
8. Know That Being Alone Doesn’t Mean You’re Lonely
This list is to help prompt you to be proactive when you’re in solitude. It’s here to remind you there are several things you can focus your mind and energy on without other people being around.
Most importantly, it’s to highlight that there are as equally fulfilling things you can do in your own company that will support your happiness and mental well being.
Just having the presence and awareness that being alone doesn’t need to mean that you’re lonely will help you manage it better.
Seek Support If You’re Lonely
It’s important to note that loneliness can be a genuine problem for some.
If you’re someone that’s struggling with loneliness and connecting to other people, then it’s advised you seek support as soon as possible in order to get the appropriate help.
We are social creatures, and great companionship and relationships will make for a more fulfilling life. But people won’t always be around us, and it’s during those moments that it’s vital that you remind yourself that the only person you need to connect with…is yourself.