How To Be Okay (Like Really Okay) With Being Alone

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Sometimes relationships just don't work out. You may want one, but for the time being, you may be better off alone.

In fact, you'll feel better when you learn how to be okay with being alone and realize that you can be happy without a romantic partner.

But how can you do this?

The answer is to realize you don't need a partner to fulfill you. Remind yourself that you have your friends, family, and close loved ones that are your biggest supporters. 

RELATED: 10 Characteristics Of Women Who Are Comfortable With Being Alone

Remember, relationships are a give and take. You have to be willing to put yourself in a position to work for their happiness as well. Whereas, when you're single, you put yourself first and take care of yourself above all else.

Is being alone all the time unhealthy?

As humans, we are always looking for that human connection. But that doesn't mean it has to happen right now, or it can't come in the form of friends and family instead of a romantic relationship.

According to relationship coach Lisa Hawkins, determining the healthiness of being alone all the time depends greatly on a person's personality.

"Some are more introverted and others more extroverted. According to Maslow’s chart of human needs, love and connection are basic human needs. Being alone all the time means we are not getting our basic needs met. That can be unhealthy. However, at times, it's needed to heal and go within to do our inner work and come out stronger and happier," she says.

Remember that in times when you feel down, you can find happiness within yourself, and you don't have to rely on anyone or anything to be content in life.

"Often in society, we see people avoiding being alone. At times, people can feel so uncomfortable with being alone that they use substances to numb the uncomfortable feelings that come up with that," Hawkins adds. "With the current pandemic, many are experiencing being alone too much and disconnected from people. It seems that video chat doesn’t take the place of human touch and in-person connections."

To avoid developing unhealthy habits while you're alone, use your alone time to be productive or invest your time in a new hobby, a new TV show, or listening to songs to make you feel less alone. Whatever you do, try to stay away from relying on substances to get you through tough times. 

Is it healthy to enjoy being alone?

According to Hawkins, it's perfectly healthy to enjoy time alone! "It's a sign that someone is emotionally healthy, and enjoys their own life and their own company if they enjoy being alone," she says. 

Spending time on your own also helps you become more independent, free, and confident. Rather than thinking negative thoughts, time with yourself lets you love those deepest parts of who you are, finding happiness within yourself, and using that to drive you forward, instead of relying on a romantic relationship.

In addition, there are multiple studies that suggest doing things on your own and spending time with yourself are beneficial to your health.

One study found that individuals are better at solving problems when alone versus in a group, inspiring creativity to come up with your own ideas without an outside influence. A similar study determined that individuals working alone had better memory recollection than when working with a group.

Not only that, but this study found that highly intelligent individuals are less happy when socializing with friends and acquaintances, and another study that included teenagers found that in just five days without technology to communicate, participants were able to better interpret the emotions of others based on facial expressions.

However, Hawkins adds, spending too much time alone can be bad for your health. "Being alone too much can cause depression as well as sleep issues, lethargy, and hopelessness. It can raise blood pressure, increase cortisol levels, and can affect blood flow. It stresses the heart."

How do you be okay when you're alone? Being okay with being alone means realizing that even though you may think a relationship is the key to happiness, you are the only one in charge of that. And you might not realize it until you become more comfortable and confident with being alone. 

RELATED: 18 Freeing Things That Happen When You Learn To Love Being Alone

30 Ways To Be OK With Being Alone

1. Find out what makes you happy.

When you're single, it's a great time to focus on yourself and figure out what brings you the most joy.

You get to know yourself better and on a more profound level when you can focus on your needs and desires. You can put yourself first instead of being selfless for others, and that's a pivotal moment in seeing yourself for who you really are.

2. Take a social media break.

If you feel left out when you look at your social media accounts, it may be time to take a break. Social media can negatively affect our mental health and perception of the world around us, so removing ourselves from that space will help us form a realistic view of who we are and what actually makes us happy.

3. Understand that you're good enough without someone else.

You need high standards when you decide to date because it shows you know your worth. You're better off by yourself than with someone who isn't a great fit on an emotional level. It's better to choose to be single than be in a relationship where you not only could be miserable but doesn't challenging you to be your best self. 

According to Hawkins, alone time, even in relationships, is good for you. "We benefit from working to find a balance of needed alone time as well as needed social exposure. Even in committed relationships, we need time alone. This actually improves desire and passion," she says.

4. Talk to yourself.

Talking to yourself might sound weird, but it actually is very important. Speaking out loud to yourself gives your brain a moment to catch up, and can help you actually process your emotions. So, when you talk to yourself, be sure you're doing it with positivity and encouragement.

5. Do something different. 

When you're alone, you may notice that you get suck in a rut. Things feel the same every day, without change. Being alone provides a good opportunity to do something different, whether it's taking a new route to work, cooking a dish you've never prepared, or switching up your daily schedule.

Above all, it should be something that excites you. 

6. Take a break from technology, in general.

Along with your social media, consider disconnecting from your phone, computer and television for a little bit. Use that time to immerse yourself in nature, journal your thoughts, go for a walk, or write letters of appreciation to your loved ones.

7. Be grateful.

When you think about what you're most grateful for, you will feel happier. Take a moment each day to reflect on things you're grateful for, so the next time you feeling upset, you have a list to prove you do have things to be happy about. 

8. Value your opinion, but listen to other people's opinions, too.

Always be open to other people's opinions, but be sure to make yours a priority. On the flip side, if you really don't want people to weigh in, don't ask for their help. Because when you start looking to yourself for answers instead of others, you don't need other people's approval. 

9. Don't be afraid to ask for help.

Remember that when you need help, it's more than fine to ask for it. Sometimes to take care of yourself, you have to reach out. When you're overcome by stress, anxiety, or depression, you may need a push to get out of this cycle, so consider seeking out therapy. 

According to relationship coach Deborah Roth"We humans are social beings. So, while some alone time may be essential for our mental health and well-being, too much of it can result in profound feelings of loneliness and depression.

Psychologist John Cacioppo researched the very real negative effects of loneliness on both the body and mind and urges us to find a healthy balance between nurturing our close relationships and spending time by ourselves."

10. Look at the positives.

Learn all the good things that come with being alone. Just think about it: you can spread out and hog the bed, don't need to change your plans to accommodate your partner, and you can sit on the couch all day if you really want to! Above all, you have absolute freedom and can make the choices you decide are right.

11. Be an observer.

When you're by yourself, make time to look at things in a different way. Then, when you observe others, you'll figure out how they interact with people, helping you become more connected.

Health coach Marie Frohlich adds that short periods of time with others are enough to feed the need for social interaction, but not all people like spending all their time with others. 

"Some of us are alone all the time when in the throngs of others; say, if we are uncomfortable in groups and highly introverted and highly sensitive. Oftentimes, if we are satisfied with these areas and 'fed' by them, we look at primary dietary foods as secondary nourishment. A sense of belonging is important nourishment." 

12. Put yourself first.

When you're single, it's essential to care for yourself on an emotional, mental and physical level. Get yourself into a routine where you tidy your surroundings, are in check with your emotions, and take care of your physical needs, even if they are basic things like brushing your teeth or showering. 

You don't want to let yourself go or lose yourself. 

RELATED: 14 Songs About Being Single And Proud For Anyone Who's Alone And Happy About It

13. Appreciate the silence.

The world doesn't stop for anyone, and it's chaotic when we are always moving. Take time away and step back; sit and enjoy the silence because you need the quiet to learn about yourself without distractions.

Making space for solitude in your life is a healthy thing. Says Roth, "I call it 'sanctuary time' because it really is sacred and gives you a chance to listen to that 'still, small voice of wisdom' within that can get drowned out when other people are around."

14. Value your independence.

When you're single, you have all the time in the world to do what you want. Of course, that doesn't mean you shouldn't be inactive or spend all your time at home, sitting and watching television.

Instead, use your independence to your benefit, going out into the world on your own. It's just another reassurance that you can do whatever you set your mind to.

14. Use your time wisely.

Always do things with a purpose! Wasting time can make us feel unproductive, so it's essential to have a point to your actions. Never wastes your time, because you need to feel the goodness of doing something for a reason.

15. Rearrange your furniture.

This is an opportunity to start fresh and rearrange the energy in your home. It's easy to get stuck in the same routine, especially if your surroundings reflect that. By moving your furniture around, you bring new energy into your life.

16. Cook for yourself.

Who needs fancy restaurants when you can make yourself a lovely meal? Even if you're a beginner at cooking, you can whip something up that will not only comfort you, but will taste delicious. Make yourself feel special by putting in the effort to create something wonderful.

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17. Step out of your comfort zone. 

Pushing yourself out of your comfort zone shows you how much you're capable of. It's always good to try things you have not done before. In fact, one study found that putting yourself in an uneasy state of mind means your brain is able to process new information and learn!

18. Show forgiveness.

Holding grudges can actually prevent us from living up to our full potential and keep us unhappy. That's why you have to let go of your past hurts to have a peace of mind. This, in turn, eases anxiety and stress, takes a lot off your mind, and makes you feel lighter.

19. Make plans for the future.

And then, actually make the effort to put those plans into action. Even if it's plans for five years down the line, this gives you something to strive towards and look forward to benefiting from.

20. Take yourself on a date.

This is a powerful way to find happiness in being alone. Yes, it may feel strange at first, but who says you can't pamper yourself with attention. It's just another way of becoming more comfortable with being alone.

21. Let your creativity out.

It's important to find creative outlets — not only when you're single, but all the time. Let yourself become enveloped in your creative work and create something meaningful to you.

22. Don't overconsume.

It can be really hard when you're by yourself to keep your mind from spiraling out of control. But overindulging in anything — food, substances, technology, and so on — can make you feel worse. In fact, doing so has been linked to an increased risk in anxiety and depression.

RELATED: 7 Unexpected Effects Of Spending Too Much Time Alone

23. Exercise. 

Exercising is a great way to connect to your physical body and improve your mental health. Exercise releases endorphins, which make you happy. It also helps alleviate muscle stiffness, boosts mood, improves the quality of sleep, and helps you make better decisions.

24. Go to the movies.

While most movie theaters remain closed to large groups of people, who said you had to go to the theater to enjoy your company? Rent a movie or stream one on Netflix or Hulu, sit down with a bowl of popcorn, and enjoy the film! Consider watching a movie you've never seen before to make it even more special.

25. Find something to be passionate about.

When you're single, spending more time with yourself allows you the opportunity to choose something that challenges you. Without being in a relationship, you're able to find a passion you can use as an outlet, hobby, or even a career in the long run.

26. Volunteer. 

Put yourself out into the world and impact the life of someone else, even if it's on a small scale. Volunteering your time, especially for a cause you believe in, is a great way to meet new people, stay active, figure out what's important to you, and learn new skills.

27. Go out in nature.

Not only is nature a mental experience, but a physical one. You can smell the air, feel the earth, and see all the inner workings of ecology, from the tiniest ant to the larger deer. It's scientifically proven that spending 30 minutes per week outside improves symptoms of depression and lowers blood pressure.

According to Frohlich, having alone time gives you the freedom to pursue creative projects and be with nature. "I have found it to be very healthy at my age to be alone more than not. I enjoy it more, however, if I have time with friends once a week, and during this COVID era, especially outdoors sharing some time in nature together."

28. Avoid comparing yourself to others.

You are the only one of yourself, and despite what your parents may have told you growing up, there will always be someone who is smarter, prettier, or more successful than you. But this reality just means you live your life differently, and there is nothing wrong with that.

Realize that you're a unique person, and your achievements won't be the same as others'.

29. Love yourself.

To love someone else, you have to love yourself. This helps you develop your own self-worth without relying on someone to reassure you. 

Focus on your likes and dislikes to work on yourself and become better every day. Being the best version of yourself makes you stronger, and eventually prepares you for that time when you do find a relationship.

30. Accept yourself.

Above all else, accept yourself for who you are. At the end of the day, you have to live with you. Being single is going to be just fine as long as you're comfortable in your own skin. 

Depression is often overlooked and should be taken seriously. According to The World Health Organization, more than 264 million people suffer from depression. If you or a loved one is struggling with depression, help is available.

Call the 24/7 hotline from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

RELATED: Tired Of Being Alone? 10 Ways To Enjoy Being Single

Emily Francos is a writer who covers astrology, pop culture and relationship topics. For more of her content, follow her on Facebook.