Happily flying solo
At some point in our lives, it’s likely that we’ll find ourselves alone, but it’s a misconception that alone always equals lonely. Everyone has moments when they’re missing the company of friends and family, but time spent all by yourself can be rewarding and peaceful—and sometimes downright fabulous! It’s all in the way you approach that solitude. As with everything in life, attitude makes all the difference.
In fact, there are benefits to spending some time alone:
- You’re free to pursue your own hobbies and passions without having to make time or space for anyone else’s. So find whatever it is that interests and excites you and go do it.
- You can do exactly what you want, when you want. If that means breakfast at 11:00am and grocery shopping at midnight, so be it! You are always in control—and that means you always get to watch what you want to watch too.
- You’re free to do whatever it is that calms you and restores your sense of well being without having to tend to anyone else’s needs or desires. You can truly relax and recharge without any distractions or interruptions.
- You’re able to better appreciate the time you spend with others and may enjoy social interactions more than you ever did before.
- Your space is all your own. It may seem like a small thing, but being able to choose the colors, furniture and artwork that surrounds you means your environment is always feeding your soul. You’re creating and living in your happy place.
- You can choose to try activities that are best done in a quiet, peaceful environment, like prayer, meditation or yoga. There are no distractions to get in the way of your Zen moments.
Since feeling lonely every once in a while is perfectly normal, particularly when you’re living alone for the first time, or the first time in a long time, remember that there are ways to combat loneliness:
- Try to have several social interactions every week. Schedule them in advance, if possible, so you know you have something fun to look forward to.
- If you have children and grandchildren, encourage them to visit regularly, and plan fun outings or activities to help make those times together even more memorable.
- If possible, meet your family and friends somewhere other than in your home every once in a while so you have the chance to get out of the house while you enjoy their company. Don’t forget that Foresters sponsored events allow you and your family to enjoy quality time together without the hassle of planning or the burden of high costs. Check out the Events section on MyForesters.com to find out what activities are happening in your area!
- Keep busy with your hobbies, and try to make them social, if possible. Join a knitting group or book club or take a cooking or art class.
- Volunteer your time. There’s nothing quite like helping others to boost your spirits and bring purpose to your life. As an added bonus, volunteering is usually a social activity so you’ll meet new people in the process. Each year Foresters organizes thousands of member volunteer activities, providing financial support and hands-on volunteerism in support of various charitable partners. Check out the Events section on MyForesters.com regularly to find volunteer opportunities in your community.
- Stay in touch. Even if you can’t get out or see people very often, you can always pick up the phone and have a chat. Friends and family are never more than a phone call away.
- If you’re able, consider adopting a pet. Opening up your home and heart to an animal means you have something to nurture, and constant companionship.
Check in with yourself every now and then to make sure that any feelings of loneliness are mostly fleeting or sporadic. If you notice that you are losing interest in things you once enjoyed, feeling angry or irritable all the time, having
trouble concentrating, feeling helpless or hopeless, having difficulty sleeping (or sleeping all the time), or have unexplained aches and pains, it’s wise to visit your doctor. All those feelings can be a perfectly normal part of life—there are always highs and lows—but they may also indicate that you’re experiencing depression.1
Life can be challenging, but embracing the one you’ve been given and choosing to look at every stage as an adventure waiting to be savored is a good way to make the most of it. There is always something beautiful to see if you look at life just the right way.
411610B CAN/US (04/15)