Tag Archives: learn to be happy

Addicted to Solitude

Coming in on a Friday evening from a busy week with no plans for the weekend and you’re absolutely fine with that. Plans will be made if need be, theres no rush.

Now it’s Sunday and you’ve barely done anything but sleep, relax and do as you please – again, you’re fine with that. Its just what you needed.

That was three weeks ago and you’ve done pretty much the same thing every week since.

Am I becoming addicted to solitude?

There is nothing I love more than my own company. As I grow older, I have learnt and appreciate that my own company is what I enjoy more than anything. I don’t think there is anything wrong with that, and I’m pleased I’m at a point in life that I don’t have to rely on any one person or group of friends to gain happiness or joy.

Recently however, I kind of regret my seclusion and feel my anxiety rising. The thought of going out, getting ready, planning the wheres, hows and whats just makes me really stressed and the thought of it all just makes me throw in the towel. Previous readers of other personal blogs I’ve written will know struggles I’ve faced. I have always been keen to be the one planning events or nights out so that I remain the one in control of situations, but getting so used to doing nothing has made me not even want to do that.

Feeling like this has made me keen to explore the addiction of loneliness, solitude and seclusion. Just how many of us feel like this? Are we truly happy, or are we just hiding away, masking depression, anxiety and other struggles we aren’t looking to face right now?

Having fewer human interaction on days where it’s not needed in this day and age of constantly communicating and being so readily available all the time is something we all must appreciate when we can take it. Having down-time to destress after a long day or week is key to mental stability and self care. Full time work and seeing people everyday, forced into being happy, approachable and always communicating can put strain on someone when they don’t feel up to it. Its exhausting and by the end of the week, being home alone on a Friday night is blissful.

I love a Friday evening of a takeaway, some Greys Anatomy catch up and maybe a glass of wine. No pressure to entertain, look good or act in a certain way. Just me, and my pleasures and comforts. “I’ll make plans tomorrow” I always say to myself. Then the morning comes, and a few cups of tea later, a nice breakfast and Saturday morning telly, I realise I’m quite content and would rather just stay cocooned in the spot I’m in and not move. I have supplies, I have Netflix and I can communicate with the whole world by my phone. Lonely? Me? Pah! I’m loving life.

Genuinely, I am. I love my cosy weekends at home and it really recharges my batteries. Too much of it though, I feel is starting to become unhealthy.

A few years ago, I would go days (many, many days) without leaving the house, sometimes didn’t even want to leave my room, and since then I have promised myself I would never fall back into such a depressive regime. The last few weeks, I’ve seen this creep back in and I’m not entirely sure why. My job isn’t overly stressful and I don’t have a decline in friendships, I just don’t feel up to doing anything. I’m definitely not depressed like I was, and even though I still struggle with the odd day here and there, I’m happier than I have been in a long time. I just can’t seem to understand why I have become so addicted to staying in and, why now, I struggle to want to do anything other than stay in.

This weekend, I had the opportunity to see one of my best friends, whom, because of having different working patterns, we hardly see each other. However, the effort of going out really put me off. My mind suddenly turned into a to-do-list nightmare which I suddenly couldn’t cope with. Where will we go? What shall I wear? Who else is going? How will I get there? A snowball effect of excuses and worry which inevitably stopped me from seeing them. I don’t feel guilty about it, and I know they won’t be offended, but after seeing a quote by Jim Carrey later that day, I really got thinking about how I have become a bit of a recluse.

“Solitude is dangerous. It’s very addictive. It becomes a habit after you realise how peaceful and calm it is. It’s like you don’t want to deal with people anymore because they drain your energy.” – Jim Carrey

He’s right. It is dangerous, it is addictive and it is rapidly becoming a dangerous habit for my mental wellbeing. This quote made me realise that I’m shutting people out for no reason. As much as I enjoy my own company, it’s not what I want and it’s not what I should be doing week in and week out. Yes, after a long draining week, having some some peace, self care and meditating in whichever way you see fit, is good to have, but I feel I have to force myself to ensure I don’t fall into bad habits which will probably swing me back into a state of mind which wasn’t healthy for me before. I need to ensure I take control of this and take small steps into doing the things I enjoy. It may not be easy, and I may struggle, but I know the life of solitude is a lonely one, and that is something I most definitely don’t want to be forever.

If you get a random text off me to meet up for a drink soon, now you know why!

If you feel like you can relate to the above, or are struggling with loneliness, message me on Twitter – @putasinghonit

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Take Good Care, Loving Yourself is No Crime. 

As someone who has struggled with depression and high levels of anxiety, I definitley like to help others when and wherever I can. An odd tweet, an emotional out of character Facebook post, or crying out for help which only those who have been there will probably spot. Recently, a few friends and followers have expressed their anxiety issues and I’ve tried to help and offer a shoulder of support if need be. Now, I know, when I was going through the worst of my mental health problems a few years ago, someone giving advice and offering their piece of knowledge on how I could be feeling was the last thing I needed – but at the same time, the only thing I needed too. In time, I got through it as best as I could, without medication (not that its a bad thing, my GP was just a bit rubbish!) and I sort of got used to self medicating myself on my down days. 
I learnt by doing this, an act of self love, appreciation and the building in confidence of myself. In this short post, I want to give whoever is reading or needing, a list of what helped me on my down days, and what I do to ensure I look after myself whenever I’m in need of it. There is no shame in putting yourself first now and then. 
* Nap. There is nothing better than getting cosy and just relaxing for an hour or so in silence. When it seemed like the world just wouldn’t shut up or I couldn’t stop my head from over thinking, sleep was always a good way of just zoning out for a little while to recharge those batteries. 

* Take a day off! Don’t be embarrassed. That report isn’t in until next week and your calander is pretty much clear tomorrow. Book it off. Take a mental health day and do something you enjoy, even if its nothing amazing, take the time out for you and only you. 

* Eat what you want, how you want to eat it and don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise. Lets be real, food is the *heart emoji* of all our lives so why not enjoy it like God intended? Order that greasy burger, extra fries and large milkshake and satisfy yourself! Who cares about calories, when there is good food to enjoy!

* Music was one of the biggest parts in my self remedy. Headphones in, world out was pretty much my motto for a good few years. Even the cringey “pretend you’re in a music video” songs whilst sat on the bus or walking in the park, its a great way to clear your head and if the right song comes on, dance party away! (My go to dance party song is The New Radicals – You Only Get What You Give, fyi)

* Without trying to sound like a hippy, but, nature duuude! Yep, I know, if you’re like me, sometimes the thought of even leaving the house was quite the task on really tough days. I couldn’t deal with the thought of dealing with the public or have anyone see me. Sitting in the garden or sitting by a window and feeling the breeze did the world of good though. This was a big thing for me on the way home each night from my last job where I basically worked in hell for nearly three years. Fresh air does amazing things. The cool air really helps when your in the heat of an episode of anxiety. 

* Lower your self expectations. Rome was not built in a day. Be OK with being mediocre for a bit, there is no rush. Enjoy a work life balance. You’ll get there in your own time, there is no shame in pausing for a while. 

* Cover yourself in crisps and binge watch a Netflix series. Pretty self explanatory, sadly, crisps are not included in the Netflix subscription.  

* Set up an Amazon wishlist, and treat   yourself once a month. I’ve started to do this and its the best thing I’ve done. Nothing too extravegant, but a good book, a new kitchen utensil, bedroom furnishings, whatever it is, treating yourself whenever you can is so much fun. Celebreate yourself, for you are amazing, and whats a celebration without gifts (and cake)

* Enjoy your own company at your own pace. Concerts, shopping and just random visits out alone are so nice when you don’t have to cater for everyone elses likes and dislikes. Its a bit weird at first, but learning to enjoy my own company was such a liberating experience for me and its something I really enjoy. Not all the time however, but now and then its good to just be alone doing what I love to do. 

* Spend time with those who celebrate you at any chance you get. Having a set of friends and loving family members who make me laugh, understand me and never judge was key in the progress I made. 

These are just a few of the things I could think of which make me feel better on days where I need to practice my self care and love. They might not work for you, and thats ok, everyone is different. The point of this blog is to help you compile your own list of what makes you happy. Shopping, long drives, going to the gym, whatever it is, do it. Whatever makes you happy, just do it. Loving yourself is no crime. 

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