Ever since I was a toddler, I’ve been surrounded by people of all ages.
And although I was an only child, I never really felt lonely because I had my parents around.
I found plenty of ways to pass my time and the thought of them in background cooking, cleaning or just watching TV comforted me.
I was never really alone.
And I felt loved.
Even when I grew up, I moved to a dorm so I was surrounded by close friends and teachers all the time.
After 28 years of never being alone, I’ve managed to find myself living alone for the first time ever after battling multiple personal problems that left me emotionally and mentally scarred.
And initially, I could not handle it.
I do have 2 dogs and I work from home but in the midst of COVID, my loneliness skyrocketed to a level 10 all at once.
And the silence became daunting.
Update: It’s been over 4 months since I’ve written this post and I can honestly say, that I am comfortable and happy being alone.
I know that it will only get better from now on.
So, in this post, I’m going to elaborate on all the tips that worked for me, which I’m sure will work for you as well.
Whether you haven’t found the right partner yet, or you want to be alone, it is possible to be happy and live a fulfilling life.
1. Understand that this situation need not be permanent
If you have recently gotten out of a bad relationship or you lost someone very close to you and this is the reason why you are alone, make peace with the fact that this is temporary.
It can feel like a massive blow because you were used to living with someone for a long time and being alone all of a sudden can be a drastic life altercation.
So, if you do not want to live your whole life by yourself, then it’s perfectly fine to find someone to share your life with in the future.
But at the moment, spending some time alone by yourself will help you re-discover yourself and gain more clarity on what you want from life and yourself.
2. Know that it is going to get better
If you suddenly moved to a new city for employment or education and feel lonely and scared, it’s totally normal.
If you are facing extreme loneliness and/or depression, understand that this is a temporary stage and it is going to get better.
You may be alone but you can choose to not be lonely.
It is completely possible to be alone and be happy with yourself.
You are enough.
You are valuable.
Once you become comfortable being alone, your loneliness will slowly start fading till it becomes almost non-existent.
However, it is going to take some amount of effort from your side to make this a reality.
3. Do not compare yourself to others
This is quite a common thing to do.
That’s why the quote “The grass is always greener on the other side.” is repeated frequently.
We humans are sort of built that way. You can be walking on the street and you’ll see families or couples everywhere you go.
Or girl friends hanging out at a cafe, chilling.
It can trigger the loneliness.
But, don’t let it affect you.
You don’t know their story, you only know yours. You don’t know if those people are truly happy or have problems worse than yours, so you are nobody to judge.
4. Avoid any negative influences
I used to be addicted to stories that highlighted the dark truths or pain and suffering.
But in the end, whatever you read seeps in your mind and slowly starts affecting your mindset and personality.
Your positivity is going to get you through this, so it’s a good idea to stay away from any story/movie/book that is negative or will harbour negative feelings like fear, sadness, rage or depression.
The same goes for your social media.
Follow people/companies that brighten up your day and inspire you to live a more fulfilling life.
I love reading comics that make me smile, and quotes that make me think.
These tiny changes will have a compound effect and help you become happier.
5. Work on a gratitude list every morning
It is really easy to handpick what is actually missing, rather than be grateful for what we have.
So, every morning as soon as you wake up, make a list of what you are happy for.
It needn’t be big life-changing things – it can be as little as the bed you slept in to keep you warm, or a hot cup of tea, or the sweet dog/cat face you wake up to.
6. Take some time to fall in love with yourself
You are spending all/most of your time with yourself.
You will need to become your best friend.
And the best way to do that is to like and eventually love yourself for who you really are.
Pick up a blank notebook and start journaling.
It doesn’t need to be perfect.
And you don’t need to journal 30 minutes a day.
It can be a sentence, it can be a page.
Just do it.
Here are a few things you can write about:
- What do you really want from life? Where do you see yourself in 10-15 years?
- What truly makes you happy? Travelling? Playing video games? Writing a novel?
- What are the skills you’ve always wanted to master but never had time to?
- What are the things you have always wanted to do, but never had the opportunity or the time to do them?
- What are the things you’ve done in the past that you are proud of?
Journalling every day will help you record your progress and be a huge outlet for your feelings and thoughts.
Apart from journalling, talk to yourself. It doesn’t mean that you are going crazy. Talking to yourself is healthy.
It’s your inner voice that you need to listen to.
It’s the same voice that tells you to be calm when you’re anxious, or helps you solve problems you feel are too big for you.
Here are some posts that will help you
7. Distract yourself
No, I do not mean that you should do this all the time.
But sometimes, when the negative thoughts or the hurtful feelings won’t go away, you should find a better outlet for those feelings.
Do something that makes you happy.
Watch a show, cook a meal, start knitting.
Learn how to pass time doing something you love or enjoy without over-analysing and over-thinking too much.
Whenever I play Candy Crush, my mind is focussed and for those few minutes, I’m not overthinking my life or going through my life’s scenarios in my head.
8. Find your life’s true purpose
For me , that meant creating. Either writing or drawing to help other women build online businesses.
It makes me happy and I can immerse myself in it whole-heartedly.
If you haven’t found your life’s true calling, now is the perfect opportunity to do so.
Think about anything and everything that truly makes you happy and do more of it.
If you’ve always wanted to start a YouTube channel, do it.
If you’ve always wanted to start a blog, do it.
If you’ve always wanted to get a dog, go get one.
If you’ve always wanted to help the homeless, start finding ways to do that.
Experiment, tweak, take a chance.
9. Know that you are not alone in this
There are a lot of people that are going through loneliness right now, right this moment.
They probably feel just as scared and helpless as you feel.
And it’s totally normal to feel everything you are feeling.
I’m telling you this because I want you to know that you are not alone on this.
Several people have faced this problem, are facing it and will face it in the future.
Loneliness is something that has to be endured and the best way to deal with it is to find a way to live with it or fight through it.
Either way, it can be done.
10. Take an online class
If you are unable to get out of the house or join a class in your locality, that’s okay.
Take an online class.
Start with something super simple.
I joined Domestika a few years ago to improve my drawing skills.
But I learned that I love illustrating more because of all flexibility and ease digital illustrating provide.
I was able to become a full-time illustrator just by taking a few of those classes.
And I’m proud to say that I draw every day or every other day.
It is a skill that I picked up with a few classes. And I continue to take drawing/illustrating classes every few weeks to learn more techniques and improve my skills.
I honestly love Domestika because their courses are so beautifully organized, and the resources they provide after every class is so helpful to help you learn better! Use STRAYCURLS-10 to get a 10% discount on any course you buy!
11. Keep spicing up your routine
Despite having 2 dogs who have special needs, I try to spice up my routine every week.
And at any cost, I try my best to stick to my routine.
Sometimes, when I don’t feel like working from home, I take a cab to a cafe and work from there.
Sometimes, I take a walk by myself around the nieghborhood.
Sometimes, I make plans with a friend and we just get together and talk over coffee.
You are the author of your life.
You have the chance to live the way you want to.
You have the right to be in control of your life.
You deserve to be happy.
So, take a chance and start doing everything you have ever dreamed of doing.
12. Know that you are going to get through this
It can be very tempting to go down that rabbit hole of negative thoughts.
Thoughts like “I will be miserable.” or “Nobody loves me. I’m going to die alone.” are not going to help you.
This is a sign that you need to start loving yourself.
You have made it this far in life.
Give yourself a pat on the back and appreciate yourself for all the obstacles you have overcome so far.
If you have come this far, you can definitely go much further.
You are stronger than you realize and with time, this difficulty too shall pass. Just like how the others did.
The only person that can make this a positive experience is you. You have the opportunity to embrace this alone time and make something for yourself.
It lies in your hands alone.
13. Work on your health
It can be really hard to get started or even be consistent, but give it a try and I promise, you will feel slightly better.
Start with your food and diet.
Eating loads of sugary food isn’t good for you in the long run so try cutting it down.
Try cooking at home or ordering healthy food.
Focus on moving your body as much as you can.
It can be difficult when you’re battling loneliness just to get out of bed.
I know the feeling, I’ve been there.
But it does get easier with time.
Take baby steps. You don’t have to run a marathon on the first day.
Make a goal to try and stay awake at least for 12 hours if you’re currently sleeping for 18-20 hours a day.
Reduce your sleep time slowly, till you’re comfortable with your sleeping hours.
Get out of the house.
Even if it’s to the grocery store to buy a bottle of milk – go.
Take your dog out for a 10 minute walk.
Put on your outside pants and just move. Wear make up if it makes you feel better and gives you the confidence to do something.
Get some sunlight in the morning. It’s a natural energy booster.
Clean the house, do the laundry, just focus on moving your body so you’re not stationary for hours at a time.
Moving your body will help you release endorphins and this will make you feel energised.
14. Cultivate relationships with people who are a positive influence in your life
If you have friends or family that make you feel worse or just don’t make you happy, cut them off.
Cutting out toxic relationships is important in order for you to grow and live a happy life.
Be very picky with who you talk to.
If a person makes you happy and is genuinely kind to you, add them to your close circle of people and keep in touch with them.
People who respect you and love you should know how you feel about them.
I make it a point to send a voice note or a sweet message to my closest friends and family every week or so.
It reminds me that I am loved. And more importantly, that I’m able to give love.
15. Talk to someone
If however much you are trying to battle loneliness, and you still feel like you need more help, then it’s time to break that wall of self-defence and ask for help.
Make a list of therapists on Google Search that you like or are drawn too and visit one of them.
Talk to someone. Get perspective. Get clarity.
Sometimes, fighting alone isn’t enough.
We all need a little boost.
It’s okay to ask for help.
Final thoughts on being alone and battling loneliness
All the advice I’ve mentioned above worked for me. It didn’t work all at once. It took time. But I am now in such a beautiful place where I am happy alone!
I had to keep trying multiple methods and consistently figure out new ways to not go down that rabbit hole of darkness.
For people who live inside their heads a lot, loneliness can be crippling.
At the end of the day, only you can choose to be happy.
Your environment, the people you surround yourself with, and the things you do help, but it is your mindset and your willpower that will get you through this.
Make lists, draft personal goals for yourself and find something worth doing in your life that doesn’t surround a person.
Nobody should be able to take that joy away from you.
You can do this.
Just start with 1 tiny step.
Please leave a comment below if you have more suggestions or just need a friend to listen to your thoughts.
If you have recently found yourself single, here are a few more posts to help you:
- 13 signs of unrequited love and how to let go
- How to stop letting things bother you
- The ultimate guide to getting over heartbreak and finding happiness again
- 35 honest ways to get your life together
- How to trust the process and just let go
- How to live alone and not be lonely
- How to let go of the past
- 15 ways to get a fresh start this year
- How to create a plan and stick to it