Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Being happy by yourself

Winter is well and truly here… It’s the time of year when the nights get darker and we all – introvert and extraverts alike - tend to lock ourselves away much earlier than we would during the summer months. Spending time by ourselves is something many of us will need to be more comfortable with over the winter, so we’ve developed some top tips to help you embrace the solitude and be your own BFF!

Learn how to talk to yourself – and listen

It doesn’t have to be out loud, it’s about getting used to the voices in your head. In the absence of other people and their opinions, we have only our inner voice. We should listen to it, more. It is only by searching within ourselves that we can truly establish what we want and need. Yours is the only advice you need follow. The key is to keep it positive. Everyone has their inner demons, it’s time to nurture positivity and negate your own negative vibes. You count, your opinion matters. You are enough.

Celebrate your solitude

Place value on the time you spend by yourself. Plan out how you will spend the time, just as you would when spending it with others. Rather than see the evening as sprawling out before you, chunk out the time into activities – have a bath, read a book, get creative. If you ever feel bored or lonely, pay more attention to your surroundings. Practice mindfulness and gratitude and cherish the time you have alone.

Change your surroundings

Over the winter there’s a tendency to hibernate – this can quickly fall into stagnation as when we’re alone, it’s easy to fall into routines and patterns. The truth is, when you’re by yourself things will never change unless you instigate it! Why not use the dark nights as the time to breathe new life into your indoor space. We’re not talking decorating and new furnishings, just the simple act of moving your existing furniture around will be enough to spark a new interest in your surroundings and make your time alone feel fresh and exciting.

Avoid mindless consumption

Can you hear that? Silence… In a world that never switches off, alone-time is a gift you’ve been given to switch off and take in the peace and quiet. Now, silence isn’t for everyone - some people simply can’t bear a life without background noise, but time alone is a valuable opportunity to think and reflect and it would be time wasted if we didn’t take advantage of this – at least some of the time. TV, radio and technology are distractions from the important questions we should all address from time to time – are you happy? Are you satisfied? Is your life on the right track / do certain elements need to change? These searching questions can only be truly tackled in the quiet – not an environment filled with noise.

Plan for the future

Do you have a plan for the future? Do you know which path you’d like to follow and have any idea how you will get there? The purpose for your life needn’t be big or grand. It just needs to be acknowledged. The only person who can decide if you’re heading in the right direction, is you! Alone time helps you focus and there’s no better time for you to make plans. Be brave and go beyond dreaming – write your plans down, give them legs, make them real. And then set out a timescale within which you will achieve them.

Time spent alone can be beautiful – and it’s certainly something to cherish. This is the time to build confidence in the fact that you are responsible for your own happiness and that you have everything at your disposal to live your life, your way. Relationships with others are valuable – but the one you have with yourself should always come first.

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