I have been single for most of my twenties. In my early twenties I broke up with my high school boyfriend. In the time after that breakup I have had some time to spend alone and learn more about myself. In this time I learned what I really wanted to do, make plenty of mistakes, and figure out the friendships that are meaningful in my life. This also meant I had time to travel, explore different projects, and experienced heartbreak. This made me learn a lot about all the different types of relationships we all experience in our lives. I was also able to make decisions about my future like going back to graduate school and continuing to pursue my doctorate.
It is not to say that being in a romantic relationship would have changed my life choices but I was able to make right choices for me because I learned what makes me happy. Without this time alone I don’t know that I would have taken the time to get to know who I am. I still have a lot to learn and a lot of room to grow but I have learned a few ways to effectively use my alone time. Here are some tips for utilizing alone time:
1. Surround yourself with positive people.
Find the people in your life that support you, love you, and will be there for you no matter what. This may take some time to figure out exactly who these people are in your life. You will begin to recognize them by how you feel as you interact with them. This means do they bring you up or do them make you feel sad? Rethink anyone in your life that does not make you feel happy and positive.
2. Take care of yourself – mind, body, and soul.
Make sure you take care of yourself. This means focusing on your mind, body, and soul. One of the best things I did was sign up with a trainer at my local gym. This not only helped me feel physically better but I had more energy and gave me a much-needed space to focus. Find something that works for you whether it is running, meditation, or yoga practice. Incorporate it in your weekly routine to make sure you are taking care of you.
3. Find what you’re passionate about.
Examine what is important to you. One way to do this is make a list and find what topic gets you most excited. Then look for ways to get involved and make this a part of your life. This may also help you to meet people with common goals and interests as well.
4. Don’t be afraid to be alone.
I have to admit it is scary to be alone. It really is not an easy thing to do but the best way to deal with it is to confront those feelings and become comfortable with them. The important thing to remember is that being alone is just temporary and will not last forever.
The four tips I mention helped me get through some large challenges (the fear of being alone) and successes (being accepted into a doctoral program). Through spending time alone I am in a happier place and realized what works best for me. It also helped me get involved in projects I cared about and created a new network of friends. I am grateful for the time I had to myself because it helped me build a new life.
Lisa Wisniewski is an educator, researcher, advocate, lifelong dreamer, and fashionista. She has her M.S. in Counseling and is completing her Doctorate in Educational Leadership.
Lisa’s community work began from her hometown which has a long history of Polish immigration. She has been featured in local and international media outlets for her work with the Polish community. In 2013 Lisa hosted the Quo Vadis Connecticut conference which attracted students and young professionals from all over the world. Attendees traveled from the United States, Canada, Poland, and Australia. The event was attended by many high profile guest from both the United States and Poland. In early 2014 she was invited to participate in the White House Forum for Ethnic American leaders. She regularly contributes to the WNPR Polish Stories project blog and participated as a panel member on a radio broadcast about the community. She was also featured in Observer magazine.
In her free time Lisa enjoys traveling, spending time with her loved ones, and a great cup of coffee. Meet Lisa here…http://www.