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Living Happily Alone

Updated on July 4, 2013
Lisa HW profile image

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

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 HW profile imageAUTHOR

      Lisa HW 

      7 years ago from Massachusetts

      Balinese, I guess a lot of people fear living alone (or would at least not prefer to live alone). The last my mother (who just always assumed she'd "go" before my father) wanted was to live alone in the house. She'd always say how she didn't want to "just sit in a nice, clean, house - and have that be it." She was in early fifties when my father died, though, and she found so many ways to build her own life and build a lot of "meaningfulness" into "her own thing" (separate from whether she had grown kids or not). As devastated as she'd been to lose my father, she'd eventually sometimes joke about how "the good thing about it" is not having to be home at a certain time and "not have to be worrying about someone else's dinner". I think there are advantages and disadvantages to either living with someone or living alone. I think people have to focus on the good aspects of whatever it is they're doing. Maybe the trick is to build things into one's own life, whether or not one is living with someone else. That way, if/when the time to live alone comes, a person already has "his own thing" and doesn't feel quite so "disconnected" (or whatever the feeling is that people can develop from being alone).

    • Balinese profile image

      Balinese 

      7 years ago from Ireland

      my fear is living alone :(

      thanks for your hub

    • Lisa HW profile imageAUTHOR

      Lisa HW 

      8 years ago from Massachusetts

      Eiddwen, I hope nobody sees my Hub as encouraging only "living happily alone". LOL The real aim was to point out that if people do choose to be alone, or if they are alone whether they prefer it or not, they can be happy. It's nice to see that you have found someone who has made you happy not to live alone. :) Based only what I've read in your writing, I think you deserve that happiness and had a little happiness coming to you. :)

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 

      8 years ago from Wales

      Another really good hub. After coming out of an abusive marriage of 26 years I said I would be on my own for ever more. However evermore is a long time and I spent the first five years on my own finding ME and learning to love myself. Then into my life came a wonderful man, my first instincts were to run as I was petrified of getting too close to someone i really liked. Something was bound to go wrong, however I took the gamble and five years later he is my partner and I have never been happier. Our relationship gets stronger every day. So never say never.

    • Lisa HW profile imageAUTHOR

      Lisa HW 

      8 years ago from Massachusetts

      Kind Regards, I think a lot of people feel the way you do (of course, if you do start fighting with yourself you'll know there's a problem). :)

    • Kind Regards profile image

      Kind Regards 

      8 years ago from Missouri Ozarks - Table Rock Lake

      Lisa HW, I prefer life alone. I'm very comfortable alone. I like myself, which I think makes a huge difference. I like the peace and serenity of being alone. There's never any fighting! Kind Regards

    • Lisa HW profile imageAUTHOR

      Lisa HW 

      8 years ago from Massachusetts

      patriciarose7, thank you for adding your own thoughts - and Happy New Year to you, too. :)

    • profile image

      patriciarose7 

      8 years ago

      Wow! you have put lots of thought into this hub page and has a wealth of information for those who are living alone.

      I am dealing with this and finding it hard to be sociable as it will come in time......although I have been on my own since my divorce in 1992 I like my friends and family too.

      Sometimes I don't mind the peace and quiet as it's nice to just reflect on my life today and what God has done for me.

      I have a pet cockatiel, named Leigha , and she feels like my kid who never left home..LOL

      HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE FOR 2010.

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