As someone who keeps to myself a lot of the time, I’m familiar with the feeling of loneliness.
I’m single, but not ready to mingle!
Here’s a quick recap on my dating history: I didn’t have my first serious boyfriend until I was a freshman in college (which was about four years ago.) I dated one more guy after him, but that’s it.
It’s been a long time since I’ve been in a relationship. I haven’t been actively dating since my last boyfriend and I broke up. Pursuing a relationship is not at the top of my list of priorities this year.
And part of it is because I haven’t fully gotten over my ex yet. I don’t want to jump into another relationship until I can give someone 100% of my love. I’m just not ready.
Anyway, because I haven’t been dating or spending time with anyone in a romantic sense, I do get lonely at times. I mostly deal with it by focusing on work. Productive distractions help me feel less lonely, at least for the time being.
Confessions of a shy extrovert
In my life now, I have many people who I consider to be friends. However, it wasn’t always that way. I’ve gone through stages of life where I didn’t have many friends at all.
As a child, I was a shy extrovert. I enjoyed being around people, but I barely talked. I wasn’t outgoing in the same way that many extroverts are.
Being a shy extrovert was difficult at times because many social situations made me uncomfortable. At the same time, I liked going out and doing things, and I wanted to be around people.
As a result of my contradicting personality traits, I felt lonely a lot of the time. Many of the activities I wanted to do were outside of my comfort zone. Staying home was comfortable for me, so I chose loneliness over the stress of social situations.
Since then, I’ve learned how to cope with loneliness in ways that are productive and beneficial.
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How often do you feel lonely?
If you feel lonely every time you’re alone, it’s a sign that you need to become more comfortable with yourself.
If you’re an extroverted person like me, it’s natural for you to crave human interaction. But at the same time, I think alone time is valuable.
Why? Because you can work toward your goals and pursue personal projects. Spending time alone also helps you discover new things about yourself. You’ll get to know the real you!
If you’re used to being around other people 24/7, spending time by yourself might feel uncomfortable at first. But remember, you have to be your own biggest cheerleader!
I don’t think becoming more independent is ever a bad thing. There’s value in an amazing support system, but you also have to be there for yourself.
I’m lucky to have many supportive people in my life, but I only rely on them when I feel like I can’t solve a problem on my own.
So, if this quarantine has made you feel lonely, try to find beneficial ways to spend time by yourself. Here are several ideas to get you started:
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Realize that you’re free to do whatever you want!
When you’re alone, you don’t have to follow anyone else’s agenda. You can spend your time however you want!
What does this mean for you?
It means you can start that creative project you’ve been dreaming about. You can watch your favorite rom coms instead of the cheesy action movies your ex insisted on watching.
You can chill in the bathtub for hours with a glass of wine and a book. You can turn your music up loud and dance around like a maniac. Whatever it is that you feel like doing, you can do it without bothering other people!
When you change the way you view time alone, you won’t feel so lonely!
Learn how to have fun by yourself.
Believe it or not, there are so many ways to have fun by yourself!
I’ve written a couple of posts on fun solo dates and activities to enjoy by yourself. Here are some ideas for you:
- Unplug from your phone and do something creative.
- Pick up a bottle of wine and have a stay-in movie night.
- Cook yourself a meal at home.
- Plan a self-care date.
- Make a vision board.
- Redecorate a room in your house.
- Shop for some new clothes!
For more ideas, check out these posts:
Enjoy a relaxing day at home.
As a busy working professional, I cherish every opportunity to relax. A day off is like a breath of fresh air for me.
If you have a day where you can just sit at home and do nothing, make the most of it! Plan a full self-care day for yourself.
Self-care looks different for everyone. When you plan your day of relaxation, you want to choose activities that will recharge you both physically and mentally.
Check out my post on how to plan the perfect self-care day for more inspiration.
Listen to music or a podcast.
I love listening to music! It’s like therapy for me.
I’m not a big podcast person, but I know a lot of people are. If you’re alone and want something low-key to do, try listening to music or a podcast!
There are many scenarios in which you might want something to listen to.
For example, when you’re…
- At the gym
- Driving to work
- Doing the dishes
- In the shower
If you hate silence, listening to something will fill the void and make you feel less alone. I always feel better after hearing one of my favorite songs!
When you love yourself, you’ll feel more confident and content with being alone.
Start your day with some positive self-talk. Tell yourself that you’re about to have an amazing day. Tell yourself that you’re beautiful, smart, capable… you get the idea.
Get out of your comfort zone and reward yourself for being brave and trying something new!
Do things that make you feel happy. Make time for your hobbies. End toxic relationships. Treat your body well.
Any act of kindness toward yourself is a form of self-love. While you’re alone, use your time to do things for yourself.
Need self-love inspo? Check out these posts:
- 15 ways to practice self-love
- How to discover your self-love language
- How to balance self-love with personal growth
- How to write a self-love letter + free printable template
- 25 journal prompts for self-care and self-love
Treat yourself the same way you treat your loved ones, and you’ll feel less lonely!
Get to know yourself.
If you want to achieve your full potential in life, the first step is to get to know your authentic self… and I mean like really, REALLY well.
Self-discovery is important because it helps you identify your unique abilities and talents. When you know who you are, you’ll have a better idea of which direction to take your life in.
If you want to start your own self-discovery journey, I highly recommend starting a journal. With a journal, you’ll create a record of your thoughts, feelings, and ideas.
Later on, you can reflect on what you’ve written, and you’ll uncover deep insights about who you are as a person.
You can free write in your journal, or you can use specific prompts to guide your writing. If you’re looking for prompts to get you started, check out these posts:
- 55 Gratitude Journal Prompts for Positive Thinking
- 25 Journal Prompts for Self-Care and Self-Love
- 125 Journal Prompts for Personal Growth
- 10 Journal Prompts for Self-Reflection
Go on a solo trip.
This might not be possible right now because of the pandemic, but solo trips are great ways to enjoy life on your own.
I used to attend music festivals by myself on occasion. It sounds crazy, but I had fun!
And even if you’re on a trip by yourself, you can still make friends on the way. One of my friends from college went on a solo trip to Europe, but she met a ton of people in the hostels she stayed in.
Traveling by yourself is thrilling, and you’ll have a great experience as long as you take precautions to protect yourself. Just be smart, stay alert, and enjoy your trip!
Use your alone time for personal growth.
I think this is the #1 way to spend your alone time. Above all, it’s an opportunity to work on yourself and achieve personal growth!
I’ve grown more as a person this year than ever before, and I know it’s because I’ve taken advantage of my alone time.
I’ve been hyper-focused on my career aspirations and fitness goals. But above all, I’m trying to master my mindset. With a positive outlook on life, I’ll wake up every morning ready to take on the day!
Even though the pandemic is a bit of a setback, I’m doing everything I can to create my dream life, even if I’m stuck at home by myself.
When you use your alone time wisely, you’ll see that it isn’t all bad!