how to be happy alone


In need of ideas of things to do alone and tips for coping on lonely days please ?


i’m 40 and have always known I would be alone  - I’ve never felt worthy of having a partner and now after cancer, I’m sure of it.

I can’t risk putting someone through this should it return, it’s not fair on them. I feel so bad that my mum had to help me through it all (grateful too but mostly I don’t know how to make it up to her - ideas for this also welcome!!!).

I’m pretty happy alone in my own company. I don’t have many friends really either. Just, occasionally I get those pangs of loneliness so I’m reaching out for tips and advice.

Thank you all !

Also…i weirdly always thought i’d get cancer and die before 40!!

Honest, always thought this throughout life so when my diagnosis came around my 39th birthday I was like - yup! that seems on track!

Though I’m happy to say I survived! hurrah!

diagnosed with high grade dlbcl nhl around my 39th birthday. 

Had 6 rounds of RCHOP followed by precautionary 15 rounds of radiotherapy 

Received all clear and am in remission

Just passed my 1yr anniversary of diagnosis & start of chemo


Hi I too live alone aged 48 with a string of failed relationships / friendships behind me and since stage 3 bowel cancer (in remission one year) and the resulting  body / mind changes (colostomy bag / peripheral neuropathy / anxiety / tiredness) I have zero motivation of starting again with anyone. I've learnt to survive being alone by keeping my mind busy with various activities, I've wrote a list of activities I can dip into though this doesn't always work as I tend to pick and get stuck in the lazy, mind numbing ones eg watching dvds instead of the more invigorating ones such as going on a nature walk.

Having a routine to my day is essential and really helps me get through with some structure and purpose. Allowing myself to have early nights and as much sleep as I want also helps. Here is my sad lonely list of activities which needs to be developed lol:

Drawing / Colouring in while listening to music / Do a jigsaw while listening to music / Do a craft activity / Gardening / Meditation / Reading / Puzzle books / Walking out / Bus ride out / Cleaning house / Decorating / Self care / Cooking / Watch music show / Watch a film / Watch a documentary.

In terms of social interaction using Facebook helps a little and chatting to strangers whilst out walking the dog helps me feel human. I've asked my sister if I can send her an emoji every day so at least someone knows I'm alive as I can go days without talking to anyone. I used to have  very active 15yr long career doing environmental work which has come to a complete standstill since the cancer. I did most of my socialising through my work. Ive lost alot of friends since having cancer. It does get easier being alone with time as you get more used to it. I've stopped giving myself a hard time about being alone and instead Im allowing myself as much peaceful time as I need to recover from the trauma I've experienced. 

I hope you can find a way forward with coping. 


Thank you @ecowisdom

some great activities there… i am very much in the sofa / tv camp at the moment but you’ve given some great options to expand my horizons (as opposed to just my waistline!)


Thank you xx


I've just joined the forum and I see that this exchange was a year ago so I hope things have settled down for you auntiekitkat. I'm another person who is 61 and alone, never having married or had children. I had got depressed over lockdown even though I had a term-time job as a teaching assistant and was back in school or online for most of the time. I ended up taking anti-depressants as well as some counselling and then retired and was even more nervous and depressed because my mother, who has always been narcissistic and critical of me, cut me off completely in a very cruel, destructive way. I didn't get to see a GP even post lockdown because my GP surgery came close to collapse and had to amalgamate with another surgery, So after worrying about a growth on the body for the best part of the year I paid to see a private consultant and was shortly afterwards diagnosed with anal cancer. I could see on my NHS report 'red flags' about me living alone and suffering from depression. But oddly enough I haven't been depressed since then. My friends and my cousin rallied round with tremendous support to ensure that I not only got to my daily radiotherapy appointments and other clinics but also kept me company and looked after me over a period of two months. And have stayed hugely supportive since then. 

So while I wouldn't wish to have cancer it has actually been a positive turning point in my life (now that I have no sign of disease at present) because I faced up to my one and only life happening now. I decided to stop apologising for having 'failed' at life and care for myself and appreciate the love of others where I can find it without a special partner. I have been able to retire on a comfortable pension so I have the money and opportunity to take further my passion for classical music and singing as well as the many opportunities for social dance and other fun with lovely retired people I have made new friends with. I used to jog with a group of 'Silver Joggers' before my operations and treatment and I have just gone back and made a start with the couch to 5k run/walk routine in the park. I have been fairly housebound up until now but I managed a week's holiday in a Spanish villa recently and have just started planning trips to the theatre and some short break holidays in the UK. I feel determined to enjoy the life I have for as long as I have life and have finally learnt to enjoy being in my own house on my own as I am right now. 

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