Do you hate being alone? Does being alone make you feel lonely?
If you have been surrounded by people all your life, being alone can seem like an impossible thing to do. Going to the movies alone might seem like a silly thing to do. Eating alone makes you feel awkward. Being alone feels boring.
Do you like to be alone?
I wonder how many people love to spend time by themselves.
If you grab 10 strangers on the streets, quite possibly 1 or 2 out of 10 would say they like to spend time alone.
There are so many out there who tell us that they don’t like being alone, they hate to be alone and lonely. If they were single, they need to get a boy/girlfriend asap.
How many times have you decided to just go out, simply because you don’t want to be alone at home?
But being by yourself need not be the case. In fact, it can be the most empowering act you can do for yourself.
Being Alone Does Not Mean You Are Lonely or Boring
Here’s a fact: Being alone does not make you a boring, lonely person. (Click to Tweet)
On the other hand, being in the company of wrong person(s) can make you feel like you’re the loneliest person.
Have you ever been to a gathering or party where there are a huge number of people, yet you feel so left out and alone? Even with people you know, such as your family and friends, you can feel lonely with them especially when they don’t seem to understand you at all.
For a long while, I have been learning to spend time alone without feeling bored, to actually enjoying my time alone.
It is a long process. but it’s worth it.
Let’s think back to when we were babies to entering adulthood.
From the time you’re in nappies, you have been in the company of people who love you like your family, siblings, relatives, and then your classmates and friends.
When we were studying and had close groups of friends, my friends and I would tell each other that we will remain “Friends Forever”
Then, you finish school, get out to work and then life happened.
Times change, situations change, environment change and people change.
Actually, the only one thing that does not change is Change itself.
As you go through life, there are bound to be changes in life. Some may migrate and settle down in other places, start their own families or some may even leave the world sooner than we think, even though there are also those who stay in the same place, same town for the majority of their lives as well.
(For those of you who have experienced primary / high school graduation), you may be able to relate more.)
Here’s what I want you to know also.
Realize that no one can or will be there for you all your life. Not even your parents, your boy/girlfriend, spouse or children, let alone your best friends.
There are times when you are bound to be alone. (e.g. when travelling alone, no one is free, you feel like having time alone, etc)
The question is how to be comfortable with yourself without feeling bored, frustrated or lonely?
While you may dread the idea of being alone, if you choose to do it as an exercise instead of eventually come to face it with no choice, it may help better.
What are some of the things you can do when you are alone without feeling bored or lonely?
Here’s a way to practise it.
Have an empty notebook.
List down all your goals and dreams that you want to achieve.
Strike off those that you have already done and completed.
Identify which are the ones that you can do when you are by yourself.
Fill Up Your Time With these activities.
Whenever you have an idea what you want to do when you’re alone, Jot it down.
For instance, in my list I have.
Read a good book (Relax)
Playing on the Piano (Learn Something New)
Continue with my digital art (Practise Creativity)
Enjoy tea appreciation (Slow Down)
Do skipping / Go for jogs (Healthy)
Finish my e-Course online. Check out free courses you can sign up online on eDx or Coursera.
Listen to podcast – Ted Radio is nice. Just listen, no need to do anything. (Learn Something New)
Review my schedule/planner (Reflection)
Sit in Silence for 15 minutes (Meditate), or do Yoga, or go Cycling
Writing story of my own or Journalling
Go out to park and have a walk, notice the grass and pretty insects. (Click To Tweet)
Play with my dogs (when I’m home)
Other times, I like to spend a lazy afternoon in the library, or take up new courses (learn new languages, arts & craft classes), and even learned dancing at one point.
Some may be more extroverted and feel like they always need to be around people so they can have someone to talk to, because they cannot stand silence. If you’re alone, why not try something fun like recording a podcast, or start a Youtube video about some topics you are passionate about?
Sometimes when we are alone, down and frustrated, we forget about all these things that we can do when we’re too occupied mulling over our problems.
Having them on paper and putting them in accessible areas where you can see all the time, is a great reminder.
Why Should We Do Things Alone
While we can definitely achieve more than we can with more friends and people around us, spending time alone can be a valuable activity and a rewarding journey.
You will start to learn more about yourself in terms of your likes/ dislikes, your thoughts, your feelings and your actions.
You will realise that you have the final decision to whatever choices that you settle on, meaning you decide what you want to do yourself.
You can do whatever you like and still change your mind later.
You learn to be more independent and resourceful.
You will have time to reflect more (for example, a past experience would come up and you would remember some situation when you said something, and probably reflect on your actions at that time)
You will want to spend more time with yourself when you’re kinder to yourself.
You won’t have to deal with other people’s requests or opinions so much.
Being alone is also a good time to recollect and reconnect with yourself.
You can be you!