How To Be Alone When You Don’t Want To Be

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Anastasiya Tkachenko

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Copywriter and Blogger behind The Journal. This is where I like to ask & answer questions, document travels, and share my world with you. I'm so happy you're here. 

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Hi, I'm Anastasiya

Sometimes the scariest thing in the world is the thing we need to do.

Nowadays, it seems like the world is more disconnected than ever.

We’re either surrounded by waves of people or completelty isolated. Either way, so many of us feel so alone.

Thankfully, there are people out there that have support systems, friends or family to hold them up when they’re down. But, not everyone is lucky enought to have that.

So, what happens then when we’re at our lowest and desperately want to have someone next to us to hold us when we cry, or go on a walk with us when we’re in the midst of an anxiety attack?

That’s the question isn’t it, what do we do when we have to hold ourselves instead? Even though we’re crawling out of our skin, desperate to talk to someone.

Well, I have quite a bit of experience with that and have survived every single dark night of the soul.

Through these achy, dark days and nights, I’ve made a list of things that I think could help you when you experience something like this too.

“Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise”.

It’s very true. No matter how you feel at this very moment, the pain will pass. That is inevitable.

And although it is incredibly painful to feel so alone, please remember if there’s any silver lining to this, when you get through this moment, you can proudly say that you were there to guide yourself out of it.

You were the one that never left your side.

You were the one that supported your pain.

You figured out how to survive the night by yourself.

At first, that may feel devastating because you may be so tired of being alone. But, I promise you that you are never truly alone, and figuring out how to support yourself when you’re at your lowest is a skill (yes, it’s a skill) you will be proud and grateful for learning.

Okay, it’s time to get into the list. It’s helped me so much, I hope it does the same for you.

Call a Friend or Someone That’ll Listen

If you’re lucky enough to have a friend, loved one, or family member who’ll answer your call and listen to you, or sit with you until you fall asleep, then take the opportunity to do so.

If you don’t have someone like that, then continue reading on because there are many other things you can do to get through the day or night on your own. 

Talk It Through With Yourself 

Sometimes we have no one to talk to, no one to sit with us as our hearts slowly break, and this is when we have to be there for ourselves.

I think a lot of us forget that the longest relationship we have in this life is with ourselves, which means it’s so important to create a loving relationship with ourselves so that when we are left all alone to process our emotions and heartache, we have the capability to do so.

So when there isn’t someone that’ll listen, talk to yourself out loud.

Express how you feel exactly as you would if someone was sitting with you. Sometimes what we need most is to just say our pain out loud, to get it out of us.

Let yourself cry, scream, yell, be numb, whatever you’re feeling just let yourself feel it, let it out.

The beauty of being alone is that you can express your emotions in a way that you might otherwise be embarrassed by if someone was there. Let yourself be whatever you need to be in that moment.

As you let it out, think it through with yourself if you want to. Just as you’re trying to think through a math equation, or trying to understand confusing directions, talk through the problem, or the scary emotions you’re feeling.

Ask the questions someone else would ask you. Then, once you’ve come to a point where you’ve calmed down a bit, or feel a bit more soothed, give yourself a big, big hug and tell yourself that you are okay.

Say it until you believe it. 

Write It All Down

If you’re not in the mood to talk, write.

If you’re feeling so scared, angry, lonely, or whatever feeling you need to get through, write down everything you feel. Give yourself the space to let it all out.

Journaling and writing is a therapeutic practice for a reason, so allow yourself to feel what you feel, and let it out.

It may not cure your loneliness, but at least you have an opportunity to release the pain little by little. 

Go Outside, Be In The Fresh Air

If you have the strength to go outside, even if it’s for five minutes, do it.

If you have the capacity to be in a public place, like a coffee shop or book store, then go and enjoy the presence of other people.

Take this at your own pace of course, but remember how important seeing the sun is, feeling the fresh air, and how the world still exists around you, even when you feel like your world is falling apart.

Step outside when you can, then start to go outside more and more so you don’t get too used to your own isolation, and fall deeper into yourself. 

Focusing on the things around you helps get yourself out of your head.

Read an Enchanting Book

When I feel so lonely and all I want is to connect with someone, I gently push myself to reconnect with a book I have waiting for me to pick up and enjoy.

Books are meant for everyone, even if you’re not a consistent reader.

All that means is that you haven’t found the right book or genre for you yet, but I promise once you find the right book that you can fully indulge in and dream about, then that’s when you’ve officially become a book lover.

So take yourself out to the bookstore, or order some books online that’ll arrive right to you, and just start reading.

I promise you, a great book is more healing than you think. 

Pinterest Your Dreams 

Thank god for Pinterest, honestly, it’s a lifesaver.

If you don’t have Pinterest, download it right now, you’re gonna love it.

Being alone, even lonely, will not last forever, even if every single minute feels like an actual eternity. I promise, whatever you’re going through will end.

But one of the best ways to keep moving forward, even when you’re not 100% ready, is by visualizing your dreams.

If you’re like me, then I can get very anxious thinking about the future, for many reasons. But, when I start to feel anxious, I just tell myself, “I’m not trying to plan every single moment of my future and have it all figured out, I just want to visualize a beautiful life for myself.” And so I do through Pinterest.

So try this out, make some boards of things you love, and eventually, the feelings of loneliness will turn into excitement for the unknown and all the potential opportunities that’ll come your way soon. 

Live In The Positive Light 

Whether you’re a natural optimist or not, there’s always time to move into the positive light.

What does that mean exactly? Well, instead of thinking of the worst-case scenario constantly, or thinking that nothing good will ever come to you, I invite you to think the complete opposite way, starting now, little by little.

It’s not easy to live in the positive light, it takes a lot of practice, but if you do want to bring more sunshine into your light and learn to be excited for your future no matter how scary your present looks, then it’s important to practice being positive. 

When your mind thinks, “I’m going to be alone forever,” immediately respond with, “What if I find the best group of friends tomorrow?”

Whatever negative thought your brain has, respond with the complete opposite right away because at the end of the day, a negative mind will never give you a positive life.

That being said, if you’re in a difficult place where you’re just not ready to take on the positive light, then live where it’s most comfortable for you until you’re ready to move forward again. 

Romanticise The Ordinary, Every Single Day

The way that I survive being alone best is by learning to look forward to ordinary things every single day.

Every day won’t feel amazing, some days are much harder than others, but no matter what, you gotta treat the ordinary like it’s extraordinary, because it is! It’s just a matter of your point of view.

Life has incredible moments sprinkled in between, but I would say the majority of our life is made up of simple, everyday, ordinary moments. But that doesn’t mean we have to treat it as such.

I’ve learned that my secret to surviving loneliness (and yes I mean surviving because it can easily come to feel like you’re not going to survive it), is by looking forward to the most basic, simple pleasures of my day.

Here are some things I’ve learned to look forward to, to make my day of being alone a hell of a lot easier: 

1) My morning bath with low lighting and my morning book.

2) A delicious breakfast next to the window.

3) Hot tea, matcha, or coffee throughout the day.

4) Stepping outside into the sun or fresh air

5) Driving with an audiobook/podcast in the background.

6) Going to my favorite coffee shop and seeing happy faces.

7) Listening to my favorite playlists and having a couple of minutes of pure bliss dancing.

8) Curling up in my cozy bed and watching something that makes me happy.

Discover your own happiness in the simple things, it just takes some time and extra effort.

Laugh As Much As You Can 

Sometimes when we’re truly lonely, we feel like we’re never going to laugh ever again.

It’s scary to think about, to me it feels like I’m trapped in my sadness and have no way out, but there is always a way out, and I think it starts with laughing.

Find things that make you laugh, and go places that make you laugh.

If you love standup comedy (or even if you think you don’t, try it out), find a comedian you love and see if they have a Netflix special, or if they’re touring in your city. I guarantee you’ll be resistant to even turn it on, but sometimes we need to push ourselves out of the comfort we’ve built within our discomfort and shake things up.

So find the things that make you laugh, and laugh, and cry if you want to.

The emotions are coming from the same place so just let it all out, and you’re gonna feel much better. 

Be Among Art & Others

Buy yourself a ticket to the museum, the theatre, the movies –  anywhere where there’s art and other people.

I think lonely people love to gather among art because it makes us feel like we’re understood, like someone else out there feels exactly like we do.

I guarantee you won’t be the only person there, so when you are there, speak to others!

Make connections, do what you can to introduce yourself, and meet new people. It’s not easy to put yourself out there, but the reward is much greater than the risk.

And if I’m being honest, I guarantee that the majority of people out in the world are waiting for someone to talk to them.

You may be alone today, but if you take your life into your own hands and put yourself out there to meet others, I promise something amazing will come from it. 

Have this quote living inside of you when you want to do something outside of your comfort zone…this is the quote I live by and it’s brought me some amazing things,

“You know, sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. Just literally twenty seconds of just embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it.”

– Benjamin Mee, We Bought A Zoo 

Discover People That Inspire You 

I make sure that I have a list of people who inspire me through their content.

I love to listen to various inspirational figures that put out content that speaks to me and gives me the boost of love, motivation, inspiration, spirituality, or comfort that I need to not only get through the day but actually find enjoyment in the day too.

There are so many wonderful resources out there to feel connected to a community or make space to talk about all of the things that you’re working through right now.

YouTube has always been my favorite platform for inspiration and comfort, there are a ton of incredible creators on there that work hard to bring their audience joy. You just gotta take the time to find the people you connect with most out there!

Listen to podcasts, watch YouTube videos that bring you joy, read people’s bios and see how they walked through their fears, explore the inspirational side of the internet and I guarantee you’re gonna find so much satisfaction, and you’ll slowly learn how to bring that satisfaction into your own life. 

Tap Into Your Gratitude 

Yes, I gotta talk about gratitude because if anything is going to help your loneliness, it’s going to be tapping into your gratitude.

We’ve been conditioned to believe that if we’re alone, we must be lonely. That’s just not true.

We can feel lonely in a crowded room, with our families, our relationships and friendships.

So when you’re sinking into your loneliness and are desperate to pull yourself out, go straight into thinking about every single thing you’re grateful for.

The caveat…you have to believe it.

Anybody is capable of listing a bunch of things they think they’re grateful for, but the point of being grateful is not to just list the things we love, it’s to truly take the time to consider the things, people, events, transformations, blessings, curses, and anything in between that has given us goodness, one way or another.

Sometimes the worst things in our lives bring us to become the people we’re meant to be, or bring us someone we wouldn’t have otherwise met.

We can be grateful for anything, it’s just a matter of giving ourselves the time and space to think about those things and find gratitude.

Feeling grateful is the best thing I’ve found to combat the sensation of loneliness. 

Fear Is Your Friend

Please remember that everything I just mentioned above helps, but nothing is a cure.

That is all up to you, and time.

But, the most important thing to remember is that the fear that you’re feeling, regardless of what it tells you every day, it is your friend.

Your fears might be telling you that you’re going to be alone forever, you’ll never be happy, you’ll never be safe, no one will love you, you’ll always feel this way, you’re incapable of moving forward, life will never feel the same again, etc., but you have to remember…

Every fear you have is just an assumption.

Your mind is trying to protect you, which is why you’re probably thinking of all possible worst-case scenarios so that you don’t get hurt again, but if you remember that fear is your friend, then although you still may feel fear, you’ll be okay with facing it anyways.

You’ll do the thing you want to do, even if you’re terrified because you know you will be okay.

You’ll trust that it’s just the sensation of fear and that you’re safe to move forward, even if your body and voice are trembling.

You got this.

Love,

Anastasiya

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