Living Happily Alone

Preventing or Reducing Loneliness

With today's high divorce rate, the fact that children grow up, the number of people who remain childless, and any of the other circumstances that can lead to living alone, living alone is a fact of life for many people. It may be a temporary situation, or it may be a very long-term one. Either way, living alone can be a rewarding and fulfilling experience.

One of the first choices the person who lives alone must make is the choice not to put life on hold just because one lives alone. Having some kind of social life is important, although it doesn't have to be more than getting out and talking with a friend regularly. Living alone doesn't always mean having no family to visit, so having family members come by and going to visit them is another important part of socializing.

People who live alone will often say that it isn't those times when they're with other people that are the problem. Being alone the rest of the time can be the problem for many people.

Being alone, though, offers the chance to have the house the way its resident wants it. Having a few things around that make the home comfortable and cheerful is important, regardless of decorating tastes. Being alone can put a person more in touch with the small joys in day-to-day life - flowers on the table, a little garden to tend, listening to music at the same time each evening, setting aside time to read, etc. People who live alone shouldn't "not bother" because they live alone. Putting up a few holiday decorations can make the person who lives alone feel a part of the world. Having a pretty tablecloth or place-mats and dishes that are cheerful or beautiful can make a person feel more at home and less like a motel guest. Having favorite scents around the house does make it more pleasant, and the fresh air from open windows can prevent that silent, still, stale, atmosphere.

Making the effort to make a nice breakfast to enjoy as the sun rises, or going out for a quiet breakfast or coffee in the morning air, can be small joys. Taking a walk at sunset is soul-nurturing. Nature, with its sunrises and sunsets, puts on some beautiful shows. Not missing them is particularly important for the person who lives alone.

Setting up specific places in the home for certain activities can provide a type of variety. A special table for coffee at night, an area devoted just to "office type" activities, or a corner by a window for breakfast can prevent feeling that one is sitting in one chair all the time for everything - alone.

Exercise (like simple walking or joining a gym) is not only a healthy activity but another way to have something different in one's day.

Structuring days and weeks so that one day doesn't roll into another is important. When a person who lives alone establishes that certain activities are for the business week and others are for weekends it prevents long stretches of undefined time, which can contribute to feeling without direction, bored, or even lonely. Designating, say, Saturday mornings for cleaning, Saturday afternoons for errands, and Saturday evenings for a movie gives a purpose to that one day. Setting aside Sunday as a day for visiting, having guests or just relaxing will offer a day of enjoyment before the work week begins.

It can be helpful to have some "escape" activity for those times when all the usual activities are getting tiring. That could include doing something artistic, organizing, or just clearing out old computer files or phone messages.

Structuring days, finding small joys in each day, and making it a point to build a "whole" life for oneself can make the difference between happily living alone and being lonely.

With today's high divorce rate, the fact that children grow up, the number of people who remain childless, and any of the other circumstances that can lead to living alone, living alone is a fact of life for many people. It may be a temporary situation, or it may be a very long-term one. Either way, living alone can be a rewarding and fulfilling experience.

One of the first choices the person who lives alone must make is the choice not to put life on hold just because one lives alone. Having some kind of social life is important, although it doesn't have to be more than getting out and talking with a friend regularly. Living alone doesn't always mean having no family to visit, so having family members come by and going to visit them is another important part of socializing.

People who live alone will often say that it isn't those times when they're with other people that are the problem. Being alone the rest of the time can be the problem for many people.

Being alone, though, offers the chance to have the house the way its resident wants it. Having a few things around that make the home comfortable and cheerful is important, regardless of decorating tastes. Being alone can put a person more in touch with the small joys in day-to-day life - flowers on the table, a little garden to tend, listening to music at the same time each evening, setting aside time to read, etc. People who live alone shouldn't "not bother" because they live alone. Putting up a few holiday decorations can make the person who lives alone feel a part of the world. Having a pretty tablecloth or place-mats and dishes that are cheerful or beautiful can make a person feel more at home and less like a motel guest. Having favorite scents around the house does make it more pleasant, and the fresh air from open windows can prevent that silent, still, stale, atmosphere.

Making the effort to make a nice breakfast to enjoy as the sun rises, or going out for a quiet breakfast or coffee in the morning air, can be small joys. Taking a walk at sunset is soul-nurturing. Nature, with its sunrises and sunsets, puts on some beautiful shows. Not missing them is particularly important for the person who lives alone.

Setting up specific places in the home for certain activities can provide a type of variety. A special table for coffee at night, an area devoted just to "office type" activities, or a corner by a window for breakfast can prevent feeling that one is sitting in one chair all the time for everything - alone.

Exercise (like simple walking or joining a gym) is not only a healthy activity but another way to have something different in one's day.

Structuring days and weeks so that one day doesn't roll into another is important. When a person who lives alone establishes that certain activities are for the business week and others are for weekends it prevents long stretches of undefined time, which can contribute to feeling without direction, bored, or even lonely. Designating, say, Saturday mornings for cleaning, Saturday afternoons for errands, and Saturday evenings for a movie gives a purpose to that one day. Setting aside Sunday as a day for visiting, having guests or just relaxing will offer a day of enjoyment before the work week begins.

It can be helpful to have some "escape" activity for those times when all the usual activities are getting tiring. That could include doing something artistic, organizing, or just clearing out old computer files or phone messages.

Structuring days, finding small joys in each day, and making it a point to build a "whole" life for oneself can make the difference between happily living alone and being lonely.

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Lisa HW1,803 Followers
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"Lisa" , a "social sciences enthusiast" and Mom of three grown kids, writes from personal experience/exposure and/or past research



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