How To Be Alone Without Being Lonely

I have never been good at being alone. For me, loneliness = boredom = depression. I like to be surrounded by people, whether they’re friends, family, or my boyfriend. But right now, my boyfriend lives on the other side of the country, my friends are all home for the summer, and my family is hours away. And I’m starting to realize that being alone doesn’t mean you have to be lonely.

If you’re finding yourself alone a lot lately (maybe you moved to a new city for school/work, just went through a break up, fought with your friends, whatever) here are some tips to fight off the loneliness.

Get lost in a good book. My favorites this summer have been The Time Traveler’s Wife, God-Shaped Hole, and Never Let Me Go. Books can be expensive, so find a library, put in a long list of holds, and make it a goal to read each book before the next one becomes available.

Watch TV
Find a good show or two, with characters you connect to, and start following their lives. Studies have actually shown that watching television can serve as a “social surrogate” and fill our need for social interaction. It may not be the best long term solution, but it can help for a little while. Don’t like any of the crap on TV today? Get a DVD box set of a good show you missed out on seeing in its hay-day (I like Freaks and Geeks, Dead Like Me, and The Sopranos).

I’m not suggesting you spend tons of money on one of the popular faux-psychology books of the moment. Instead, pick something you’ve always wanted to do and actually DO it. Learn a new language, start playing an instrument, or even just write in a diary every day. You’ll get to accomplish a goal you’ve always had, and you’ll be too busy to feel lonely.

Get Out!
Go out to places where you can be alone in a group. Go people-watch at a coffee shop or outdoor park. Go to a movie. Go to a bar. Just being around people will make you feel less lonely, even if you don’t interact with them. And who knows, maybe you will make a friend or two.

If All Else Fails…
Snuggle up with this “guy.”

The main point I’m trying to make is that it’s possible to enjoy time alone. If you can find ways to entertain yourself, you will never be hopelessly lonely. So get out there and start finding fun things to do, and let me know when you discover something I don’t have on my list!

Back To School: Drink Yourself Some New Friends
Back To School: Drink Yourself Some New Friends
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