“If you are happy, you can give happiness. If you don’t love yourself and if you are unhappy with yourself, you can’t give anything else but that”
– Gisele Bundchen
Gisele Bundchen had it right, I believe the most important thing about being happy is loving yourself, after all can you really embrace your life if your not content with who you’re looking at in the mirror.
A big part of loving yourself is getting to know yourself, and that can be achieved by gaining a little independence. Understandably it is difficult to want to be alone and enjoy your own time, however once you really learn to appreciate who you are the world looks completely different.
I love being independent, I have not only travelled to Europe on my own but I constantly find myself enjoying a day alone in the city. Unfortunately I don’t know many other women like that. By spending time with yourself you form a kind of balance between your social life and your personal life. This allows you to really understand who you are and love yourself. As an impressionable teenager or even young adult I was lucky enough to have a strong, independent mother supporting me through life, so I naturally gained that independent streak through her. However, I know there are many young women and men who don’t have that in their lives. I cant help everyone, but all I need is to change one persons thoughts and give them a different outlook on life to achieve the goal of this blog. So here is some advice on how to be independent.
1. Go for a walk
Becoming independent can be hard, so taking baby steps may be the way to start off. Walking can be done anywhere at anytime and requires nothing more than your mind and feet. I find it relaxes me and puts me in a different mind frame to when I am surrounded by people. Begin with 10 minutes daily and start to increase it once you feel you’re ready. I would suggest early morning or afternoon as it’s the perfect way to begin or end a day. Really take that time to notice things like the flowers outside, the blue sky, birds chirping in a nearby tree and so on. Begin to reflect on your day and what you have done, or what you are going to do. It’s more about being comfortable with your own thoughts and getting use to your own company.
2. Catch a train on your own
A lot of people don’t particularly like public transport (which is understandable if you have a functioning car in your driveway), trains are busy and full of people going places. Sitting on a train alone will allow you blend in with everyone else in that carriage. Grab your headphones and tune out with some of your favourite tunes. Best way to enjoy it is by taking a seat by the window and spend the trip looking out it.
3. Go to the cinema on your own
I know it sounds daunting but this is the best way to really jump out of your comfort zone. Don’t make it horror, or anything too heavy to experience on your own, just a light comedy, action flick or romance will do the trick. Sometimes it’s just good to have a laugh or a little cry while you’re on your own. It can be done at home, but taking it that step further and going to the cinema will take you out of your comfort zone. The thing about going to the movies on your own is it is that step closer to being independent in front of people without worrying what others think. You are alone, in darkness with your popcorn and packet of chocolates and proud to be where you are.
4. Grab a book and go get a coffee on your own
This is where I get those comments from my friends like “how do you go to a café on your own, isn’t it weird?”. The response is always “no”, because to be honest, I find it relaxing. Grab your favourite book, order a hot chocolate, Coffee or whatever suits you and relax. You’ll find it’s easy to get caught up in your book. Just embrace this moment as you’re sitting there, book in hand, you’re alone and enjoying yourself. Even take a moment to notice the people sitting around you, living their very different lives. It’s strange taking yourself
4. Venture overseas
This is optional as it is a pretty gutsy thing to do, but I guarantee if you know you can do it, you will love it.
I had my ups and downs of travelling alone. There was one day I was suppose to fly out from London to Italy, so I got to the station near my hotel at dawn only to find it wouldn’t be open for another few hours. The security guard instructed me to walk to Kings Cross station (about 15 minutes away) and I would be able to get a train from there. So I walked (and at times ran), dragging 30 kilos of luggage behind me. At one point I completely broke down in the middle of the street knowing I was alone, and could quite possibly miss my plane. The funny thing was, I stood up, smiled and said to myself “okay. I’ve got this” and continued to walk. Sure enough I managed to get to the airport on time. I sat at that terminal relieved and proud of how far I had come. This experienced really helped me grow as an independent woman.
But my trips adventures certainly weighed out the misadventures, going on little journeys every time I stepped out of my hotel room had to be my favourite thing. I’m pretty sure by the end of it people were tired of seeing this girl walking around with a giant smile on her face. There was just something so amazing about being in a country on your own and having the whole world at your feet.
I hope you use these tips wisely, after all you are living right here and right now, so it is best to make the most of it.
I’m going to finish by giving you a link to some great quotes on loving yourself, use them to inspire you:
Sending love and light