“Until you get comfortable with being alone, you'll never know if you're choosing someone out of love or loneliness”, goes a famous quote. Whatever your reason, there is no better investment than developing a rock-solid relationship with yourself and learning to enjoy your company. If there is one myth that needs to be dispelled, it is that being alone equals being lonely. Certainly not, especially if you take into account the fact that loneliness is something you can experience even when you are surrounded by people. So are there some tips to get you started on a love affair with yourself? In other words, what can be done to experience “happy alone”?
Now in an age where we spend more time in the virtual world than in the real one, no marks for guessing that happy alone could begin with a short digital detox. If scrolling through your social media feed leaves you thinking what a rocking life other people have, do remember that people put their best foot forward on Facebook. Avoid comparing yourself with others. Now while this is easier said than done, a digital detox and subsequently setting a daily limit can go a long way in breaking the habit. Instead, go ahead and soak in the pleasures of your own company with some groovy tunes and a whole lot of self-love.
There is nothing as uplifting as listening to music to keep you company. Make friends with those state-of-the-art headphones and groove to your preferred music. That you can choose the music to suit your different moods means that you have your favourite artists to comfort you at all times. Happy alone, just got a whole new meaning!
Go out on a movie date with yourself or to your favourite restaurant. If that sounds daunting, begin with walking into that quiet coffee shop and treat yourself to your favourite drink. Take the time to soak in the surroundings and the pleasure of your own company. Soon these date nights (or mornings) will be addictive.
It will be great to start hitting the gym alone or even spend some time with yourself at home or in the outdoors getting some exercise. Besides the release of endorphins, the feel-good hormones will fill you with a general sense of wellbeing.
Taking care of your physical health also goes a long way in boosting your overall happiness. Eat a balanced diet, get enough sleep as a part of your me-time. A fit body and a fit mind is clearly a great investment!
Ask a book lover what alone time could mean and the answer would be, a world of possibilities! Pick up your favourite genre and experience myriad emotions. You may say technically this is not happy alone- after all, you have your favourite characters for company!
In a bid to be productive most of us have lost touch with our passion. Ask anyone what they like to do and oftentimes it draws a blank. A part of being happy alone is to reconnect with your passion. Learn to play that musical instrument you have always wanted to play, learn a language or paint.
If there is a place you have always wanted to visit but haven’t found anyone to accompany you, plan for that solo travel. If the logistics scare you, you can always go with a travel company that organizes such tours. So while safety is taken care of, you still have the benefit of enjoying your own company.
While these activities set you on a journey with your own self in the short run, what you also get in the long run are some collateral benefits-improved coping skills against life’s stressors, the ability not to fall into toxic relationships for fear of being alone, and more. Importantly, emotional health can also affect physical health; a healthy mind, in turn, keeps you healthy physically as well.
Here’s to a lifelong affair with your own self! Happy alone!