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Single and Lonely: 12 Ways to Deal On the Bad Days

A girl drinking wine alone because she's getting over being single and lonely.

There’s no denying that having your heart broken is one of the most painful, emotional experiences that we all go through. The once rose-colored shade you saw the world in is now cold, grey, bleak and downright lonely. Some days you’ll take a spin class, have a few drinks with friends, and feel on top of the world swearing you’re SO over it. Then you wake up the next morning with that four-drink headache, sad music on repeat, and you don’t want to leave the bed. Single and lonely, we’ve all been there.

While it’s necessary to take some time to address sadness and wallow a bit after a heartbreak, some of that wallowing can turn into self-pity and in turn, divulge into depression. The sad days suck, there’s no getting around that, but on a day you when you feel that your heart might explode or you can’t stand to cry another tear…these activities will help you deal.

1. Turn off your phone and take a break from technology.

“Self-comparison is the thief of joy,” is one of my favorite quotes. It also applies to when you find yourself mindlessly scrolling through a montage of perfectly constructed posts, pictures, and statuses.

On social media, everyone appears happier and more put together than you. But the truth is that it’s all a facade. Mary from college might have two kids, a hot husband, and somehow an amazing body, but she also might cry herself to sleep, hate her life, and wonder where she went wrong or if she settled. But it doesn’t matter if that’s the case, because when you’re feeling single and lonely, everyone on social media seems SO happy and you feel as if that happiness is unattainable.

JUST TURN OFF YOUR PHONE for a whole eight hours. Let the digital world go, ignore texts, just be with yourself and do a few of the activities below.

2. Go try that new restaurant, alone.

There’s something about dining solo that is SO soothing. You don’t have to force conversation, or talk to anyone for that matter (besides the waiter). Bring a book (because you know, your phone is off) eat whatever you want, have an alcoholic beverage and simply enjoy the experience.

3. Go to the park by yourself.

This is a little trick I used to do whenever I was totally down in the dumps after a breakup. I’d pack a blanket, my headphones, a good book, some snacks and head to the park. Sometimes I’d stroll around for a while and get some exercise in. Other times, I’d go straight to a gorgeous spot beneath a tree and relax while the music and landscape carried me away to a happier place. Nature is instantly reviving and something about just letting yourself be rejuvenates the soul.

4. Call your mom or best friend.

Some of the best advice I’ve received after a breakup is from my mom or best friend. They know you better than you know yourself, and they also see the situation from a third-party perspective and can give you (semi) unbiased advice.

While you might be romanticizing the past or your ex, these two will know how to quickly put into perspective why it didn’t work out and remind you just how amazing you are and how much better you deserve. Single and lonely no more, you got these two besties to help you conquer the world one Kleenex at a time.

5. Book a flight.

If funds allow, of course. Blame the chronic wanderlust in me, but whenever I’m sad, single and lonely, I find myself booking flights or at least attempting to plan a fun trip for the future. It gives you something to look forward to and helps you focus on what’s ahead instead of what’s behind. It also makes you feel a bit like a rebel. Because you just planned a spontaneous trip in one hour AND booked that flight to Cabo! Girrrl, you bad!

6. Buy yourself something pretty and if all else fails buy yourself a fancy cupcake. 

Jewelry, a new wallet, a shirt, just SOMETHING. My therapy on (some) sad days is to go shopping or at least go buy something pretty… even if it’s a fancy raspberry lemonade cupcake I devour in two minutes.

7. Go for a drive.

Windows down, music blasting and an open road to free your soul! The highway doesn’t judge when you’re alone.

8. Take pictures of things.

Sometimes forcing yourself to “frame” the beauty in the world for that coveted #instaoftheday actually helps remind you of all the beauty you’ve forgotten amidst your single and lonely pity party.

You can do this while on your solo park day or even when you’re just walking around the neighborhood. Hey, even take some neat pictures of your plants or really just whatever! It feels good to capture the beauty when you feel all of it has left your life.

9. Talk a walk.

Sometimes getting out of bed is the most action you can fathom during a sad day. If you’re too sad for shopping, the park, or dining by yourself (I know that can be nerve wracking if you’re newly single, I mean couples are EVERYWHERE) just go for a walk. Put on your tennis shoes, put on your headphones, and walk STRAIGHT out of the door.

Walk around your neighborhood and pay attention to your surroundings. Hear the birds chirp, deeply inhale the smell of nature, watch everything happening around you. I’ve found that a good, long walk is the cure for anything. It allows you time to be with your mind (while those endorphins are pumping from the exercise).

10. Pamper yourself to a spa-level bath.

Baths are SO relaxing, but take it up a notch with some nice bath bombs, a glass of wine, and your favorite music or book. Even if you simply move from the bed to the bath, it will help re-center your mind and hey, you’ll smell pretty amazing and your skin will be silky smooth afterwards! #treatyoself

11. Go to the bookstore.

Books are your friends and books are also amazing because they let us realize that we NEVER struggle alone. The single and lonely feeling is VERY much universal.

There are secrets, stories, characters and places to fall in love with at each turn of the page. Browse some recent bestsellers or even pick up a few classics. New books will occupy your mind and your thoughts.

12. Register for something 

A pottery or art class, wine and design, heck even coding 101. Trying new things is scary yet exhilarating, maybe you’ll fail but maybe you’ll succeed. Even if you do both, the optimism of knowing you’re pushing yourself will get you through this single and lonely phase. This is YOUR time to answer those callings you’ve put on hold.

Some of my other favorite activities include: Ben & Jerrys, a bottle of wine, my favorite music on blast, and even calling a few friends to see if anyone wants to keep me company or go for a hike.

But whatever you do, DO NOT waste the day staring at your bedroom ceiling contemplating where it all went wrong and why you’re not worthy (we’ve all been there). Get up, get out, and get moving!

The key is to take your brain to another place, to put your focus into something else. Even just incorporating these small things into your daily activities will ensure that genuine happiness and of course, eventually moving on, is a REAL possibility.

Now, don’t you feel better?

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