Candle

Don’t be lonely.

Hi!

Mondays are getting a bad reputation with many people dreading the start of a new week of work, college or school foreboding stressful and busy days. If I was honest, though, I’d have to admit Mondays are some of my favourites. At least right now that I’m still funemployed [thanks, Davida!] and the weekends aren’t a time needed to rejuvenate. In fact, they can feel quite lonely unless I’m spending them at my parents or my friends are in the city. Just this past weekend was an example of such a weekend I would normally try to mask by finding the itty bits of brightness in it not admitting to being all alone.

Although I’m not a native speaker I feel there’s a difference betwee being alone and lonely. Alone is the physical state of being on our own. But lonely is the feeling we experience when we let being alone influence our happiness. It was only this past weekend that I felt okay about being alone for the first time in a long while. After the weekends at my parents’ place I let loneliness into my mind. Most of my friends from university have moved either back home for the moment [if they don’t have a job yet] or to different cities for work. So yes, it can get way too easy for me to let myself wallow in lonely thoughts.

Even when we are physically alone loneliness and the unpleasant feelings coming with it aren’t happening unless we let them.  I’m not pretending I was immune to this feeling.  There are still days when I’m grieving, feeling uncomfortable with myself and letting solitude weigh heavily on my mind. But the past weekend was a great example of actively working against the sulkiness of solitude seeping in. At first I wasn’t even trying. Instead, my brain apparently had found its own way of making things happen.

Sunday walk_October

Not getting into all the details but Saturday started with me deciding to just quickly drop off some books at the library and returning home again. Yet after I’d done it my feet just kept going, leading me into the city for some errands and some more walking around – and before I knew it three hours had passed. Three hours in which I hadn’t once pitied myself. Once home I prepared a nice lunch, ate and then spend a good time reading in bed. All rounded out by a nice run and watching part of [yes, I know … my attention span …] a movie. Sunday was spent in an even more productive fashion and a lot of outdoor activity enjoying a cold but gorgeous fall day. What I learned from this weekend were some key point for enjoying me time instead of letting it become unpleasant loneliness.

Reading

1. Be prepared: If you know you’ll be encountering a day or weekend of being alone prepare yourself. Mentally in terms of telling yourself that it’s not forever but also physically by having a good book or movie at hand. Seeking out activities you know you’ll enjoy on your own, too. Maybe there’a a fitness/creativity/cooking/… class you could attend? A movie you’ve been meaing to watch in cinema that none of your friends wanted to come along to see?

2. Pamper yourself: Even if it’s ‘just’ at home treat yourself to a manicure, take a long bath, sleep in – do anything that makes you feel good about yourself. Light a candle, put on your favourite scent and declare it a mental health and self-care day.

Candle

3. Run away from loneliness: Metaphorically speaking loneliness is like a nasty beast trying to catch you off guard [why, yes, my brain works in a figurative way at times] and make you feel down. While you don’t need to do any strenous workouts or run miles upon miles a long walk can be quite calming. Anything that gets you out of your apartment and away from the feeling of isolation. Just being around others – even if you don’t know or talk to them – can be a nice change. Or plug in your iPod, listen to some good tunes and walk out those worries and sadness. It’s amazing what a bit of fresh air and a change of scenery can do.

4. Write it down: Whether you use a diary, turn your feelings into a blog post or – a recent favourite of mine – write a letter: be creative and make good use of the time you have on hand. The letters I’ve written this weekend didn’t even revolve around my loneliness but I just used them as a way of letting my thoughts divert away from those negative feelings. Busying my mind with happy thoughts didn’t leave much [or any] space for negativity.

5. Decide to see the benefits: While I’d still prefer most of my weekends to be busy and filled with activites it’s simply not always happening. And if you know how to make the best of this me time it can be quite beneficial. Being alone allows you to reflect. See and hear things you might blind out when with others. The opportunity to be selfish without hurting anybody’s feelings. No need to hurry when you’d like to spend some more time in bed or trying on clothes at the mall without anybody getting annoyed and dragging you to go.

 

Once more it is really about the attitude we have towards a certain situation. When we are alone for too long it definitely gets hard to bear. But if it’s a day or two we can still have a pretty marvelous time without feeling lonely.

Happy Monday!

MiMM_new

Happiness inducing today: Spending the largest part of the day outside soaking up the October sun.

 

How do you deal with weekends spent on your own?

What are your favourite “me time” activities?

And some random curiosity:

1) current book?

2) favourite scented candle [mine are the Vanilla ice cream (!!!) scented ones from IKEA]

 

 

 

 

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9 thoughts on “Don’t be lonely.

  1. Health, Love, and Chocolate says:

    Mondays are one of my favorite days as well, I always try and spread the Monday love. And I love the term “funemployed”, Davida knows what she’s taking about. 😉 These are great tips, I actually revel in my alone time, but loneliness happens to everyone and it is all about perspective and how we deal with it. You inspired me to go out and buy some fall candles!

  2. Ashley says:

    I think a lot more people deal with loneliness than we might think. I really enjoy being alone a lot of the time (hence living in a 1 bedroom apartment–which I love!) and I crave weekends when I get to do what I want when I want but I definitely get lonely sometimes, and that’s when I know I need to challenge myself and get out there and do something that gets my mind off my loneliness. I love your tips, especially #5, because alone time can be very beneficial if we look at it more positively.

  3. Emily says:

    I’ve definitely gone through periods in my life where I was painfully lonely. The ironic part is that I always had opportunities to go out or be around friends but I turned them down. I was so afraid of doing anything outside of my comfort zone that I created a world of loneliness. I lost a lot of friends and wasn’t happy at all. Taking advantage of every single opportunity to go out, be productive, spend time with my friends, etc. has made the biggest difference in the world. And the more I do it, the less I experience those uncomfortable feelings.
    I’m glad you’re not feeling quite as lonely lately. So, so glad. Sending you love! ❤

  4. swissfitchick says:

    I can remember times when the thought of a weekend alone would have freaked me out. I wasn’t good in being alone and most of the time I just buried my anxiety with binges all weekend. I am so glad these days are over and I actually love spending time on my own. Even in a relationship there is a lot of time I spend on my own and I love the peace I have today during these times. No pressure and positively be selfish 🙂
    So glad you had a good weekend alone without the feeling of being lonely! It’s a huge step to conquer time alone and you can be really proud!

  5. Davida @The Healthy Maven says:

    I actually struggle with this a lot. I really need my “me” time but only on my terms. There are times when all my friends have plans, my parents have a better social life than I do and my BF isn’t in town and instead of doing things for myself I mope in my loneliness. Weirdly if I choose to spend time alone (turning down other plans) I don’t feel lonely. Clearly it’s all just a mind game. Next time I’m feeling lonely I’m going to channel your tips 🙂

    Currently read Wildflower Hill. It’s alright. If I read a good book soon I’ll pass along the recommendation 😉

  6. Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeets says:

    I can absolutely relate to this. Since the Hubby spends the work week living in another state, I have discovered what it feels like to be lonely. Even though I’m an introvert by nature, this is a little too much alone time, even for me. Books are great, as is reading blog posts, and an old favorite of mine is doing puzzles. There’s something rhythmic and methodical about them and there’s a reward at the end: a completed picture. While it’s no cookie, I do find it makes me happy. Talking non-stop to my crazy felines helps as well, but then I realize I talk to them incessantly even when others are around and I’m starting to see they think it’s odd. Oh well, I was never much for conventional anyway. I think your tips for dealing with lonely are great, and I plan to incorporate some of them, as soon as I stop talking to my cats. 😉

  7. Heather @ Kiss My Broccoli says:

    I love your outlook on this…making the most out of “me” time! I get a lot of me time during my bouts of insomnia, but those are not in the least bit pretty…lots of pacing, worry, and sometimes tears. 😦 I much rather prefer to have it on MY terms so I can enjoy a walk at the park, a spontaneous shopping spree, or just a marathon of Netflix at home! I actually had to cancel some plans with the man-friend and a group of our friends a couple weekends ago because I just felt like I hadn’t had any quiet time to myself in so long. It was a pretty boring weekend if looking at it from the outside…a trip to the grocery store, some time in the kitchen, and a lot of blog reading, but to me, it was perfect. Just what I needed!

    Current Book: I’m still reading The Gifts of Imperfection, but I actually picked up the IE book again today for a little support and have been rereading some pages that I dog-eared and highlighted.
    Favorite Scented Candle: It’s been forever since I’ve smelled it, but Yankee Candle makes a “Log Cabin” candle that smells sooooo good! It’s a little smokey, piney and warm!

    • Miss Polkadot says:

      Sorry to hear insomnia’s still bugging you :(. Not fair.
      Like you I prefer ‘me time’ on my terms – I don’t like for it to happen unplanned as in: I’ll take it with an advance notice and not too many weekends in a row, thankyouverymuch. Good for you claiming time on your own when you need it and actually your weekend doesn’t sound boring at all to me. Just the way I like to spend mine, too.
      I have yet to pick up The Gifts of Imperfection so thanks for the reminder!

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