We’ve all been there, many times: sat on the sofa watching tv mindlessly, laying in bed staring up at the ceiling and willing yourself to just fall asleep so you can forget how intensely lonely you feel. I know I’ve been there – and I’m all too familiar with the feeling as the next two weeks approach.
I’ve always been a person person. Not to be confused with a people person – I love people but at the end of the day, I want just one person to come home to. This is why I never felt comfortable house sharing at university and also why I know I couldn’t quite manage living on my own. However, January is basically just me on my own, with my boyfriend away on a trip earlier this month and away on another one very soon.
I think the idea of being on your own physically is novel at first – you can have the bed to yourself, cook food your partner doesn’t like (yeah sweet and sour chicken!), watch TV shows that are kind of shameful to love but you do anyway… for me, my favourite thing was having the house clean and tidy.
But it’s also a lonely ride, especially if you’re used to having someone there all of the time. As the whole ‘being on my own’ thing approaches once more – this time with the added bonus of possibly two of the most transitional weeks for me so far – I’ve decided I need a plan. I need to combat loneliness with the things I love best – and I’m sure the time will fly by.
So here are my tips for coping with loneliness, which I’ll definitely be using over the next two weeks.
- Baths – having a soak in the bath is my ‘me time’, I do it anyway so continuing with this routine will make me feel more normal. I’ve got a whole new stock of Lush products from Christmas (which I’m planning on reviewing too!), so I might as well put those to good use and prolong the me time a bit further.
- Baking – when I’m stressed, I love to get out the flour and get baking. It helps me focus on something else, especially if there are complex parts to the recipe, or intricate designs to follow when decorating. I also then get to eat the stuff, or share it with other people, which is just as rewarding for me. It’s also about doing something productive for me, as I’m proving that I can actually cope on my own.
- Reading – you all know it’s my goal to read 52 books this year anyway (as difficult as that might be with a full time job alongside!), so the extra time to read is actually really useful for me. Plus, getting lost in another world will take me away from any kind of lonely reality.
- Cleaning – a weird one, I know. But as aforementioned, I love having the house clean and tidy, it always seems to slip when I’ve got better things to do, like spending time with my boyfriend. The occasional mass clean of everything (with some possible throwing out of old stuff I should have ditched years ago) is not only distracting, but really productive and good for my mind. I’ll also feel so much better when I see it all looking perfectly neat and tidy, and I know it’ll be appreciated by everyone else too.
- Make plans – it’s easy to feel lonely when you sit at home by yourself, so make plans, go out and see friends, get to know other people better. I think this is important whether you’re lonely or not, but when you’re on your own it’s not like you’ve got an excuse to stay home!
- Work out – similarly to cleaning, I feel really good when I have done a work out. I feel productive, healthy, positive and totally deserving of a decent bubble bath. If I’m between this and sitting on the sofa, I might as well make it something that will do me some good. Even just 30 minutes ab work out motivates me to get on with my life and start hitting all those goals.
- Finally, indulge – being on your own is not a bad thing, even though sometimes it can feel that way and it seems much easier to wallow. So once or twice, I think it’s ok to indulge the wallowing by sticking on a romantic film or (something I do) work on a scrapbook. On some days, it’ll make you feel worse because you’ll miss them more, but on other days it’s actually really nice to reflect on why you care about them and be happy rather than sad.
So here’s hoping I can follow my own advice over the next couple of weeks – you can probably expect lots more recipes on the blog!