It’s time to be happy again.
I am a very positive person. I smile easily and always try to find the good in a situation. But the past few months I have been extremely unhappy, lonely, and just sad. Spending time alone was no longer fun and I just wanted attention all the time. I started to become clingy to my significant other and cried all the time. Basically, I became a different person and for the past three or four months I didn’t self identify as the positive happy person, I self-identified as the lonely depressed girl.
Even thinking about it now I have no idea what caused this shift. But I don’t think that’s too important right now. What’s important is finding ways to get back to being happy again. And these past weeks I’ve found how to be happy again, and how to love being alone with myself again.
All the photos in this post are ones I took by myself! I thought it was super fitting since it was time I spent alone to take them and photography is one thing I always really enjoy.
My biggest tip is to take the time to enjoy your mornings. I had gotten into the habit of staying in bed until the very last minute and then throwing on clothes and going to work still feeling tired and crappy.
Now, I set my alarm for ten minutes earlier to give myself more time alone in the mornings. I use those ten minutes to read the news, something I’ve always wanted to stay on top of. And then I get out of bed and make breakfast and do my makeup while watching YouTube videos.
Before I would have just sat in silence or with light music playing getting ready, but I find having a vlog or any video on really helps me feel less lonely. It’s like having a friend there talking to you about their day! Or just watching a comedy video is great because it starts your day light and with you laughing.
Talk to Someone or Something
Speaking of talking to a friend, do it!! Or if you can’t because you’re like me and feel scared to talk to other people or don’t know how to, then talk to something instead.
One of the reasons I feel lonely so often is because I have very limited human interaction every day. I get ready in the morning alone, I work with four other people who I only talk to if I have a question about a project, go to the gym alone, and most nights don’t see my roommate. That’s a typical day in my life.
Have you ever been alone so long that you forgot what your voice sounded like? Yeah, me too. Nothing can be more isolating than that.
However, I’ve found it’s not just talking to a person that helps me fulfill the interaction necessity that all humans have. When I lived with a girl who had a dog, I used to talk to him sometimes and felt comforted. Sometimes I talk to my car while I’m driving, too.
Another out-there solution is “fake” vlogging, or maybe actual vlogging! I find talking on my Instagram or Snapchat stories, or just to a camera, ticks that box and makes me feel less lonely, as well. Even if you won’t post the video, try recording a little snippet of you talking. It could be about anything, even just a little story of what you just did or what you’re about to do.
Just talking at no one in particular while watching Netflix helps combat my loneliness as well. Not talking to the characters on the screen. (Do that if you want though) Just commentating on what’s happening. Like yelling, “Archie no! Don’t you dare!” while watching Riverdale. Sometimes just hearing my voice makes me feel better when I’ve been alone all day.
Lastly for this point, just journal. I’ve talked a lot before about why everyone should journal, but I’m going to say it again. Journaling helps me so much with my feelings of loneliness because it gives me somewhere to place all those thoughts in my head that I don’t have the ability to get out otherwise. Even just writing about what I did all day helps me. It’s like getting home and talking to a partner all about your day, but instead, you’re telling a notebook. Same principle, same effect.
There have been so many times where I was so depressed I didn’t want to get of bed or even move, but if I did get up and go workout I felt ten times better. I find being sad and running or walking go together the best for me, as lifting when sad just makes me even more depressed.
Related: How to Get Motivated to Hit the Gym
Getting active doesn’t mean you have to get out of your house though! You could just do some neck stretches in bed, stretch your legs, cook a meal, bake banana bread, or even randomly do some jumping jacks.
You’ve probably heard this a million times, but exercise realizes endorphins so get up and get moving. You know it works, too.
Do things you like
I love working out, but getting out of bed to be active is beyond difficult when I’m feeling depressed. Why would I get up and do hard labor if I can sit here and wallow in self-pity and eat Taki’s? That’s so much easier. But it’s not going to make you feel any better.
For me, if I’m feeling sad and I start to think of things I can do to make myself feel better (running, watch a favorite TV show, write, read) I make excuses to myself. I tell myself I literally cannot do those things because I’m so sad. Plot twist: I’m not. I’m just hoping someone else will come along and see how sad I am and try to fix it.
Maybe you do this, too. If so, don’t tell yourself you can’t do the things you love. You CAN do them. Just get up and make yourself. You can’t wait around for someone to tell you what to do or make you happy.
*This, of course, does not apply to everyone. I acknowledge that some people have clinical depression (or other mental health complications) and are actually unable to get out of bed and do things they love.
Don’t blame it on someone else
This is quite frankly the hardest part to accomplish. No one wants to blame themselves for their misery. Instead, we like to say things like:
If someone just asked me to hang out.
If I just had more money.
If he just called me more.
If I just lived in a different city.
If I just got to travel more.
If I just got hired somewhere else.
This is putting the blame on another person, or your circumstances, when in reality your attitude is usually the culprit. Just being honest. This took me months, and my boyfriend pointing it out multiple times, for me to realize.
You are responsible for your own happiness. It’s no one else’s job to make you happy. They can make you happier, but at the end of the day if you can’t be happy alone you’re always going to miserable. You can’t rely on another person because one day they may not be there anymore. And then you’re going to be the one consoling yourself when you’re crying at 2 am.
It feels weird to be preaching something I’m still learning to do myself, but I want to be honest and hope to help someone else by just sharing my struggle. Loving yourself is hard and I’m not sure if it’ll ever be easy. But it’s worth it.
Even just between writing the first draft of this post and getting ready to publish it, I’ve fallen back into bad habits that sabotage my happiness. Just like healing is a journey that is not linear, neither is learning to be happy alone. So don’t feel bad if you have days where you fall back. Just remember to always pick yourself back up!
How do you show yourself love? What do you do when you’re lonely?