Recently, my father-in-law passed away and my mother-in-law lost her partner of 70 years. As she is 90 and never lived alone before, the transition to a life alone is very difficult for her. Coming from another ‘generation’, who believed that women should be at home and not involved in financial matters etc., it is now left to my husband to take on many responsibilities for her.
She has never been an independent woman and despite living in Australia for more than 60 years, having immigrated from Italy, has not moved with the times. One thing I learned after divorce and made sure I taught my daughter was to be self-reliant. Yes, you can be in a relationship, however, don’t lose your independence and the ability to look after yourself.
We talk a lot about the importance of ‘Me Time’ and making time for ourselves to do things that we enjoy. However, that is totally different to finding yourself alone, where many of us find ourselves at some point in our life – whether we want it or not.
The could be as a result of the breakdown of a relationship, marriage, or the death of a partner/spouse, It can be a devastating time and you need to take time to process through the grief, pain and feeling of utter loss.
‘Time heals all’ as the saying goes and we learn to find our way through and accept the changes in our life.
It can be overwhelming and daunting to face life on your own especially if you have been in a long term relationship. You miss the companionship. You fear the uncertainty of your future. However, you can learn to enjoy your life again – you just need to give it time.
As hard as it might be, you have to move forward and make a life for yourself.
You may or may not be alone forever, but you can use this experience to develop your inner strength. YOU ARE STRONGER THAN YOU THINK – BELIEVE IN YOURSELF!
If you have a family they can be supportive, however, you can’t expect them to change their life to include you all the time.
So how do you learn to live your life alone?Being alone doesn't mean you have to be lonelyClick To Tweet
Learn to Embrace and Enjoy your alone time
As I mentioned above, make that ‘Me Time’ count. Do things that you enjoy and bring comfort to you. Embrace the feeling that you are responsible for you and feel empowered by that. You are in control of your life and the decisions you make.
Take your time to find ‘YOU’ again
If you have been in a long term relationship, it can be easy to lose part of your identity. Finding yourself alone can give you the opportunity to find yourself and get to know who you really are.
Get a handle on your financial situation
You may have had joint bank accounts or not been involved in paying bills etc., you need to understand your current financial situation. Consult a financial planner to take a look at your finances so you can plan for a comfortable financial future.
Don’t make hasty decisions
Take time to breathe and accept the situation before making any major life-changing decisions. Yes, you might want to run away or make major changes to your life; and you will, just not in the immediate future and you aren’t in the right headspace.
Pamper & Nurture yourself
Take a long bath, light the candles, play some music pour a glass of wine and let the warmth of the water relax your muscles.
Take care of your health
Living alone can make it so easy not to bother with cooking or eating well. I know I lived alone for a while and yes, I lost weight. That was due to just opening a can of baked beans for dinner instead of making a nutritious meal. However, it is important to take care of our health by eating a well balanced diet and exercise regularly. Regularly daily exercise, such as a 30 minute walk, will not only keep your body healthy but also give you a more positive mental attitude.
Regular catch up with friends and family
Arrange to meet family or friends for a coffee, meal or a movie. Connecting with others helps take our minds off our own problems and provides stimulating conversation, laughter and camaraderie.
Talk to someone if you aren’t coping
If you feel that you just aren’t able to cope with the situation make an appointment to talk to a professional counsellor who can help you transition your life. Don’t be ashamed to say ‘I need help’.
Next, I discuss ways to start the living new chapter in your life with positivity and enthusiasm.