Step 1: Set aside at least half an hour a day, (or a week if that is more realistic) to spend completely on your own if you can. If you can’t do that, try getting half an hour before the other people in your house wake up or after they go to sleep. This is not a time for screens or other forms of entertainment. This is a time for quiet reflection; a time for you to actually hear your own thoughts and become comfortable with the silence. If you can’t stay still, use this time to take a walk, or do some yoga; your mental and physical health will thank you for it.
Step 2: Take yourself on dates; If you’re uncomfortable at first go out for coffee or cake (or both?!) or whatever other small treats you enjoy. Work up to lunch or a movie, or even both, all by yourself. There’s no need to miss out if you have no plus one. You are a whole number on your own!!!! Pamper yourself. Take yourself for a massage or facial, or to get your nails done. If the budget allows it take yourself to a hotel for the night, order room service and massages and read magazines, listen to music and enjoy your favourite cocktail or a sundae in the spa. Sleep in!!! If the budget is a bit smaller, spend a night in your home alone, eat your favourite snacks, have a bath with candles, watch DVD’s or trashy television and give yourself a little makeover. You are worth it.
Step 3: At least twice a week take the time to ask yourself – “what has been going on with you, and how have you been feeling about it?” Take the time to journal your answers.
Practice forgiveness with yourself first and foremost. Instead of being critical, change that self-talk to “I forgive you because I love you, we all make mistakes.” If you wouldn’t say it about a friend and wouldn’t like them to say it to you, don’t say it to yourself. Ever! Stay honestly connected to yourself. This may be the most important one!
Step 4: Set SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time- based) goals for yourself and help yourself achieve them. Remember that you and you alone can achieve your goals. Celebrate your successes (be proud of your achievements) and be accountable and forgiving of any setbacks. Do not make excuses. Make time or make excuses, the choice is yours. So is the outcome! "Future you" will thank "current you" for the effort. Make one small step towards your goals every day if you can or at least every week. Check and journal your progress and any ideas you have to help further yourself.
Step 5: Say no to others whenever you want to, without justifying or over explaining. No is a complete sentence. Say yes to yourself as often as you can, but only if the "yes" brings you further towards your goals and not away from them. In that case saying no to yourself is equally as important as saying no to others!
It’s all about balance. Spend as much time alone as you need to without feeling lonely and as much time with others as you need to without feeling drained. Too much of either one can become addictive, and a way to avoid yourself or others. We may be so busy that we crave time alone, yet feel uncomfortable with the silence. Alternatively we may spend so much time alone that we crave company, however don’t know how to seek it or let social anxiety ruin it.
The idea is that you get comfortable spending time on your own so you aren’t let down when people cancel, decline or are too busy for you. Assuming you already know and accept it isn’t about you personally; there is no need for dwelling or negative self-talk. It can be an opportunity to spend some time catching up with yourself, and enjoy whatever it is you love, all on your own. It will probably help you be a better, more forgiving, understanding and patient friend to others too. Think of it this way; if you don't enjoy your own company, who will? And if you like yourself, others will take your word for it and follow suit.
Your Best Friend ForNever