- Carve out time to let your mind wander
Does the thought of doing absolutely nothing unsettle you? That’s probably because it’s been a long time since you’ve allowed yourself to just be.
Experiment by setting a timer for 5 minutes. That’s it.
Five minutes with no:
- Find a comfortable place to sit or lie down. Close your eyes, darken the room, or stare out the window if you prefer. If that’s too sedentary, try a repetitive task, such as knitting, dribbling a basketball, or washing dishes.
Let your mind wander — truly wander — and see where it takes you. Don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t take you very far at first. With time, your mind will get used to this new freedom.
- Take yourself on a date
They might sound cliche, but self-dates can be a powerful tool for learning how to be happy alone.
Not sure what to do? Imagine you’re trying to impress an actual date and show them a good time. Where would you take them? What would you want them to see or experience?
Now, take yourself on that date. It might feel a bit odd at first, but chances are, you’ll see at least a few other folks dining solo or purchasing a movie ticket for one.
If money’s an issue, you don’t have to go big. But also remember it’s a lot cheaper to pay for one than it is for two.
Still sounds too daunting? Start small by sitting in a coffee shop for just 10 minutes. Be observant and soak in your surroundings. Once you’re comfortable with that, going out alone won’t seem so unusual anymore.
- Get physical
Exercise helps release endorphins, those neurotransmitters in your brain that can make you feel happier.
If you’re new to exercise, start with just a few minutes a day, even if it’s just morning stretches. Increase your activity by a minute or two each day. As you gain confidence, try weight training, aerobics, or sports.
Plus, if you’re still uneasy about going out on your own, hitting the gym alone can be a great starting point.
- Spend time with nature
Yes, another cliche. But seriously, get outside. Lounge in the backyard, take a walk in the park, or hang out by the water. Absorb the sights, sounds, and smells of nature. Feel the breeze on your face.
ResearchTrusted Source shows that 30 minutes or more a week spent in nature can improve symptoms of depression and lower blood pressure.
- Lean into the perks of being alone
Some people find it especially difficult to be happy while living alone. Sure, it might be a little quiet, and there’s no one there to listen to you vent after work or remind you to turn off the stove.
But living solo also has its perks (naked vacuuming, anyone?). Try to take advantage of the physical and mental space that comes with living alone:
Take up all the space. Spend the day taking up the entire kitchen to cook a tasty meal you can munch on for the next week.
Spread out. Trying to get back into an old hobby? Get all your materials and spread them out across the floor and decide what you want to use for your next project. Not done deciding in a single day? No problem. Leave it out until you’re done, even if it’s a week from now.
Have a dance party. This one’s pretty self-explanatory. Put on your favorite music, and, neighbors permitting, crank it up. Dance like no one’s watching, because, well… they aren’t.