Like many of you guys, I’ve gone through a rough past couple of months. I’m sure we’ve all felt alone at one point or another, and it’s difficult to continue on through your day as if everything’s okay. That’s why I decided to compile a list of reminders that helped keep me going through times of loneliness. Remember: you are a valuable, unique human being serving a purpose in this massive world. Never doubt yourself, and view the times of loneliness as a chance to grow and develop as a person. You don’t need anyone’s validation or approval except your own. So, go out there and kill it today…and everyday after this one. I hope these help to lift your spirits as they did with mine.
As selfish as it sounded, she had to focus on herself. She kept trying to find happiness in other people, but realized it had to come from within her. Everyone wasn’t meant to understand her solitude and felt slighted by her focus. Then again, misery loved company and she learned to love being alone.” – R. Solo
1. Value other people’s opinions, but value yours the most.
Asking others for advice is inevitable, but start to be conscious of how often you do so. Begin to only ask for advice if you truly need it. As an indecisive person, I tend to ask my friends and family for advice on a copious amount of issues. However, when you find yourself pondering the solution to a problem, ask yourself, “If my friend asked me for advice on this issue, how would I respond?” We tend to be great advice-givers for others, but when it comes to the self, we find it difficult to resolve our own issues. Valuing our own input is crucial to learning to love being alone. For by doing this, we don’t look for validation from others.
2. Observe and contemplate the little things.
Look around you and learn to appreciate every little thing. In order to enjoy being alone, learn to look at mundane situations in new ways. Part of what makes us unique are the things we find interesting. Being able to find various things interesting broadens our horizons and allows us to ponder and appreciate the little things.
Make an effort to understand the environment and people around you. Make observations on how people respond and interact with others. This not only makes life more intriguing, but it lets us feel connected to them in a way.
3. Minimize mindless consumption.
A lot of the time, we tend to distract ourselves from reality by watching movies, surfing the web, or watching TV. However, none of these things allow us to meditate on our life goals and perspectives. Instead, these mindless consumptions create noise and cause us to digress from the things that matter. Ponder about whether or not you feel happy, what makes you happy or unhappy, or any changes you may want to make in order to help you achiever your goals.
In order to enjoy being alone, you need to make the most out of it. Benefit from these precious moments by reflecting on your life and emotions.
4. Partake in atelic activities.
Kieran Setiya, a philosophy professor at MIT, discusses how partaking in atelic activities can partially resolve the feeling of being incomplete, and lacking in goals (what many people face when they find themselves in a midlife crisis). This can occur when people participate in telic activities– activities that can be fully completed such as walking from point A to point B. However, atelic activities are activities that can never be completed. For example, going for a walk with no particular destination is an atelic activity. Partaking in an atelic activity or hobby allows you to works towards something new, and actually enjoy the activity rather than looking to complete it. When we find this type of hobby, we will finally able to indulge ourselves in this activity, without the pressure of having to complete or “succeed” in the activity. It’ll allow us to find ourselves and perhaps discover traits about ourselves that we never thought existed.
5. Go on adventures alone.
Usually, when we’re with our friends or family, we’re bound to be a little blinded by their perspective on the adventure– whether it be a new hiking trail or a country you’ve never visited before. Traveling alone allows you to meet other solo adventurers who may inspire you to see things from different perspectives. Adventuring solo not only opens our eyes to new things, but it motivates us to be fearless and to embrace being out of your comfort zone. It’ll allow you to formulate new thoughts and ideas– without anyone else’s input. And more importantly, it may even help you find yourself– your thoughts, ideas, perspectives– every unique thing that makes you, you. In the end, adventuring solo allows us to find out what the world is like for ourselves.
6. Understand and believe that you are enough.
Let’s face it. Many of us often try to please everyone around us, but forget to put ourselves first. We strive to be loved by everyone– to be accepted by many. However, this is detrimental to one’s mental and emotional health. Over time, striving to be perfect so that everyone will accept you will wear you down– guaranteed. Many of us have been there, and many of us are in that situation right now. What many of us fail to realize early on is that handing a microscope to everyone else on every thought, idea, and action we make, and then waiting for acceptance, wears down our being– and strips us from what makes each and every one of us unique. Believing that we are good enough, and that we don’t have to strive to please others in order to achieve fulfillment is a crucial step in truly being happy on our own. Once we do that, our happiness will overflow and spread to those around us.
7. Learn to give yourself pep talks.
Sometimes you just gotta give yourself one heck of a pep talk. Like, hey girl you’re beautiful, don’t worry, you’re doing great, love you! Yes, I’m being serious. I never really understood the “art” of self pep talks until I actually tried it. As a gymnast who just so happens to struggle with anxiety at times, let me be the first to tell you that giving yourself a pep talk before you’re about to do something difficult can really make a difference. Pep talks to yourself also work if you’re feeling down at times. It can instantly lift your spirits and get you in the correct mentality. A simple “you got this” works wonders.
8. Find your passion and cultivate it.
Take the time to find a hobby, activity, or career that you absolutely love. In order to do this, expand your horizons, get out of your comfort zone, try things you normally wouldn’t try (within reason of course). Only then will you be able to discover your passion, and then work towards cultivating it. When you do this, you’ll be so occupied in cultivating your passion, that you’ll finally be able to cease to look at others for approval (because you don’t have to!)
9. Accept yourself for who you are. Don’t let your mistakes define you.
As human beings, it’s in our nature to make mistakes. We have to all understand and believe that these mistakes DO NOT define who we are as people. If you make a mistake, meditate on it, learn from it and work on improving for the future. Don’t dwell on the past– moving on is crucial to living a happy and healthy lifestyle. When we’re alone, we sometimes tend to dwell on our mistakes– being mindful and meditating can make the biggest difference in changing your mental state to a positive– regardless of whether or not you’re alone.
10. Change up your daily routine.
If you find yourself doing the same mundane tasks every single day, you’re bound to get bored (I know I do). Change up your routine– try out a new cafe, discover a new hiking trail, visit a town you’ve never visited before! This’ll keep things interesting and you’ll enjoy all of the new experiences you get to share with yourself!
If these helped to brighten your day just a little bit, I would love to know! Leave a comment below telling me which reminder you loved most and be sure to share this with your friends and fam. We’re all in this together, guys. 🙂