I watched a short but great motivational you tube video today which prompted me to write this post.
I have named the post How To Feel Good Being Alone and had initially intended it to be read by people in their 50s and beyond, but having the ability to feel good whilst being alone without feeling lonely or depressed is not age dependent and why I found the content of the You Tube video so inspirational.
The way to feeling good whilst being alone is more about taking responsibility and creating your own story, being alone and being able and willing to learn how to be comfortable in that situation, you may sometimes feel lonely, but sitting with the discomfort until you are alright with “me being me”
“Don’t pick up the phone and call for attention, don’t pick up the bottle to ease the anxiety, don’t go online to get some feedback and entertain ourselves”. Yes it’s ok to do these things but only when you are comfortable in your skin .
It was a real unexpected source and I will link the short video and name the actor who gave us this golden nugget further within the post
Acceptance & Taking Ownership and Responsibility
Being alone is not uncommon and something all of will have experienced at some time in our life, sometimes through choice or sometimes through a situation which is beyond our control
But feeling lonely when alone is not the same and loneliness is more a perception, it is however a very real emotion and one that people in their 50s 60s and upward may feel often. Don’t let this feeling continue without understanding why, if left unchecked it will continue to depression and where even the simplest of actions take monumental effort.
Like many issues which involve your mind there are “Triggers” it can be these “triggers” which bring about feelings of isolation, loneliness and sadness, perhaps the anniversary of an event, or that you believe a group of your acquaintances, whom you like, are meeting you have not been invited, you may feel left out or marginalised, it could even be misunderstanding a conversation and from there it could spiral and today could be a bad day, then analysing and looking at every situation as a negative outcome.
It is by recognising these thoughts as negative and by looking at your own behaviour and response (as difficult as that is) that you move onto taking full responsibility for the loneliness.
Resentments are a whole other area which can feed into this way of thinking, I have written an article about this very subject and will add the link here to enable you to read about how damaging these thoughts can be to your own well-being and then how to change this outcome.
I watched an interview with Matthew McConaughey and found it both inspirational and moving. He talks about being in the present, how you can sit in your own discomfort and how you can and do grow. I encourage you to watch this.
If your circumstances have recently changed and you find you are now without a “significant other” or plans involving another have altered as a result, you may find you are increasingly resentful, unhappy, or even lost. All of these emotions are perfectly normal, you can’t change the past but you can make a different future. So today is going to be a better day, simply because you are researching and beginning to understand the new you.
Letting go of old goals and future plans is hard, I have walked this path and don’t say this lightly but I know that by trusting the process you can and will have a life beyond what you first thought was possible. You are about to make a new future plan.
There are many quotes which can be uplifting so if it helps then I suggest a new one every single morning. Set it up on your laptop, mobile or device and read it every single morning.
In addition and something I (and many people I know) have found daily gratitude lists are helpful first thing in the morning. It maybe the same few things for the first month but eventually you will feel grateful for the tinniest detail, you find as a result living in the here and now, “in the moment” is enjoyable and sets a positive mindset for the day ahead.
At the close of play each and every evening, something I do on a daily basis, I look at how I have been today, did I treat people with kindness, was I honest, do I have any resentments, am I worried about something, if the answer to any of these is a negative response then I address it there and then, especially the worry and the resentments.
For example I received a parking ticket when I was only a few minutes late returning to my car. I was horribly cross and thought that being in a Covid pandemic would somehow negate the need for parking attendants, I became aggressive by seeking out this nasty person who had the temerity to charge me £60 (Its expensive in Brighton)
I settled the online bill with massive resentment and real hate in my heart. But how mad is that, in the middle of a Pandemic and I was cross about something which was totally my responsibility. Once I let it go and once I took ownership, I was able to move on.
This is a small example but no matter the scale of the resentment the answer is the same. If the person or thing to whom you have a resentment has done a terrible wrong and you honestly have no responsibility then all you can do is forgive, forgiveness is difficult but without it you will be stuck in the middle of the stinking pond and the only person to suffer will be you.
You could of course choose to never see this person ever again and eventually it won’t be taking centre stage in your thoughts, so let it be today, try not to engage with this negative thought process, forgive and move on.
I am a big believer in setting HUGE hairy audacious goals, but for today and to quote the philosophy that has worked so well with recovering addicts, “Just for Today” take each and every day as a new and wonderful day. Don’t worry about going to the family wedding alone, or worry you may never holiday again, take today and live it the best you can.
Do have your new goals your new plans, these are vital for the continued wellbeing of your mind and yourself, work out how you will achieve these goals in small incremental steps.
Meeting friends online or making new friends online and a new community has never been easier, it is also a really worthwhile investment of your time.
I have not reviewed the attached two links called “Friend Match” “ Frindow” and there is likely to be a cost implication but this is an example of how you can meet new friends (not romance) online. Frindow has a short introduction video which will explain how it works. You may also find your local area has an online community. This may offer an excellent alternative and stop gap whilst we are living through the lockdown and pandemic.
Get Off The Sofa
No excuses, nothing will happen if you do nothing. The feeling of uselessness and self pity will still play out in your mind on a daily basis if you change nothing, it may also escalate to really poor self-esteem issues and longer term depression may move into your headspace.
The first step is take a long look at your habits and get rid of those that are causing you and your body harm. Just because you have always smoked, or always drunk more wine than recommended does not mean you should continue. As you age the process of dealing with poor health and poor life decisions will have a debilitating effect on the body, you will become more and more sedantry.
I overheard a conversation the other day between my partner and his Aunt, they were discussing her diabetes, she was explaining her poor food choices despite the Doctor warning her it may risk her life, at best shorten her life it if she continued to eat cake and very sweet things, her answer was, “well I love cake, I love food and by removing the things I love will make my life miserable”
As a negative mindset this was evident and is a terrible idea, obviously there are many other wonderful food items which can replace cake, sweets and pastries, but because of the stubborn mindset she is destined to struggle.
Addressing bad habits and setting new goals (hard as this is) will have a wonderful and positive change.
Getting up, getting out, or getting a new hobby or interest, or even reviving a previous hobby is a good start.
I have written a post called “Hobbies For Older Women” and rather than simply repeat all the information click on the link and it will take you to a post with lots of information
Just for today have a good and better day than yesterday, tomorrow is another day.
Perhaps the biggest take-away from researching this subject was how it comes down to mindset. I find the positive people in my life tend to be more comfortable in their own skin, they find their own company is ok, in fact they actually like themselves. Granted it’s not healthy to isolate and having an understanding when it’s ok to be on your own and when it’s not is key
So perhaps my final thought you do really need to get to know yourself, learn to like yourself, perhaps you may need to forgive yourself for some of the previous behaviors. your defects that can’t be changed and have the courage to change the ones you can.
“Grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change and the courage to change the things I can”
Thank you for reading thus far.
I hope you have found one or two golden nuggets of information within this post.
I would love to hear your thoughts, please comment below
Hey Spring Chicken
Shout out to the image creators and phototgraphers
Lone Walker is by Silvarita – Unsplash
Goal setting is by Alexa Williams – Unsplash
Womand performing Tai Chi is by Monica Leonardi – Unsplash
Disclaimer. I am not a qualified Doctor/practitioner or Psychologist, nor am I qualified to give legal or financial support. If you have any queries surrounding these subjects speak to your friendly professional
Serenity Prayer and Just for Today from the Big Book of AA
If you need support around drink or drugs check out the AA website
2 thoughts on “How To Feel Good Being Alone in your 50s & Beyond”
You have provided many interesting insights. Having spent many years on my own as well as in a relationship I have found both very rewarding. When we truly recognize and realize that no one can make us happy, and it is most important to know ourselves and bring our own contentment and happiness to any relationship in our lives. That being said, being alone can be so rewarding and we are naturally open to receiving people into our lives and hearts who resonate with us. I agree it’s all about ownership and responsibility. All the Best.
Thank you Joseph, I appreciate you taking the time to read and comment on my post.. 👍