It’s a Saturday night and I’m sitting on the couch in my pajamas watching Everwood while my husband is out of town. For some people, it sounds like their perfect night. But for me, I hate being alone and bored. It’s like I have FOMO (I think that’s a term kids today have given it)…fear of missing out. Ever since I was a child, I’ve always been active and very rarely had a relaxing night in on a Saturday. Back in the day, Saturday was my night to go out and get into something. Now, I sit here eating chocolate and takeout while I cuddle with my dogs and get lost in some 90s or 20s TV series. Lame, right? Agreed.
It totally sucks to feel so alone and dependent upon my husband. When he’s not around (which is very rare), I almost don’t know how to function. It definitely doesn’t help that I’m away from all of my friends and family. The only people around are co-workers that I’ve only started to develop friendships with. Plus, they have families, kids and a life.
So, the question is…how do I combat this loneliness that’s taken over?
- Come to terms with the fact that staying in on the weekend is OKAY. I HATE staying in on a Friday or Saturday night, but I know that my body needs it sometimes. If you have severe anxiety like me, you need rest to avoid panic attacks. I believe that the more I learn to just relax, the less I hate it.
- Create your perfect relaxation strategy. To combat #1, you need a relaxation strategy that makes you want to stay in. Currently, mine is to watch a cliche TV drama while taking a bath with no lights on besides a candle and a wax warmer. Then, hop in my husband’s overly large pajamas and raggedy t-shirt to lay on the couch with my dogs and play Dunk Shot on my phone or write a blog like I’m doing now. This is probably not your ideal relaxation night in, but it works for me. And hey – whatever works to prevent anxiety attacks, right!
- Find a hobby. If you don’t have a hobby already, then it’s time to find one. Unfortunately for me, I’ve yet to find anything I’m super passionate about that I feel comfortable doing on my own. With anxiety, it makes it tougher to do things outside of my comfort zone. However, after this lonely weekend, I’ve created a list of hobbies for me to test out. These include: blogging, scrapbooking, pen-paling (is that a word?!) and online memory book making using Shutterfly. Yes, they sound ridiculous. And yes, I think I made some of those up, but it’s somewhere to start.
- Create a support system. When my husband goes out of town, it’s very difficult for me because I don’t know very many people around. This can cause terrible anxiety leading up to his departure. That’s why I’ve made it my mission to make friends and get to know my neighbors. Just this last Christmas, I made fudge pies (a secret family recipe) for all three of the families in my condo building. This way if anything were to happen while my husband was away, then hopefully they wouldn’t mind helping me out. It’s nice to know people are close by for emergencies.On top of this, I’ve ventured out of my comfort zone to make friends with the ladies at the office (which I’m actually working out my two week notice). For example, one of my friends had a gender reveal party today. My anxiety and laziness was telling me not to go. Instead, just to stay on the couch all day and do nothing. But, a little voice in my head said you need to make friends or you will be lonely. So, I went out, had a great time with the group and now have people to fall back on if I need anything.
I would start by taking small steps to fix your loneliness. Pick one of the things above and focus on that for a month or so. Currently, I’m focusing on the relaxation part. Let’s hope I make it through the rest of this very lonely weekend.