Single Life Blog

How to Reduce Stress When You’re Single

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These are the best ways to reduce stress when you’re single: 5 reasons why you may be stressed about being single, 10 quick, immediate ways to reduce your stress & 12 bigger, more significant changes

DISCLAIMER: I’m not a licensed therapist, nor does this constitute medical advice/therapy. All the methods and tips included in this article are from my own personal experiences and things that I’ve learned along the way about coping with stress.

Learning how to reduce stress, especially when you’re single, usually requires effort, but is also often less complicated than you think. Being attuned to yourself is a great way to simplify it, because when you know yourself well, you’re quicker to recognise what’s bothering you. And know how and what you can do to reduce stress. You’re likely blowing it up in your mind, and making a bigger deal than it has to be. Understanding what is bothering you and where it’s coming from, will help you cope and overcome your stress better. This means you need to stop blowing it out of proportion and start making sense of it instead. Let’s dive into how you can do that…

Why are you stressed about being single?

In general, stress is usually an inseparable part of being human, and there always seems to be something to stress about. Something to overthink and lose sleep over. This doesn’t mean that you have to be controlled by your stress, or let it consume you and your life. Before you start a journey towards a specific goal or a healing journey, you first need to understand what needs to change in you and your life. You need to ask yourself what the problems are, what’s bothering you, and/or what the root of it is – where is it coming from, and why? You want to know what it is you’re solving.

To do so, you need to start by asking yourself questions like – “Why am I so stressed about being single?”, “What is stressing me out in my singlehood?” or “How does my status impact my stress, if at all?”

Take the time you need to ponder over the question, find your answers, and the cause of your stress. If you need and want to organise it, you can also write them down. Knowing your ‘why’ will help you understand the root, thus giving you the ability to handle it better and find the best solutions for you and your stress. 

Here are the top 5 reasons why you may be stressed about being single:
1. Not finding a partner

Unfortunately, you can’t control how the world views singles or the stigmas about them. You also can’t know for sure if and when you’ll find someone. This causes you to stress about not being able to find someone or worry about how long it will take. The longer it takes, the more you stress. The more you stress, the less productive you get. You can overthink and obsess over what is wrong with you, and why you can’t seem to find someone. Especially if most or all of the people around you are getting married and having kids. This will not only cause you immense stress but also reduce your self-worth.

2. Being alone forever

Whether or not you feel comfortable alone, and enjoy your own company; being by yourself can get overwhelming. Especially when you don’t know how long you will remain alone, or if you’ll ever find someone (which can be a daunting thought, but an important one to face). Single life isn’t only living without a partner to share your life and bed with. Being single is also doing most, if not all, things for yourself. The fear here isn’t just being on your own, and doing things for yourself… It’s ending up doing all of it alone for the rest of your life. This is something that can cause you to settle, because it’s better than being alone forever, right?

3. Living alone

You may be comfortable on your own, and love your independent life, and still hate having to return home every day to an empty house. Or just being on your own in the house all the time. Not only having to do all the chores and cleaning up yourself… But also missing that one person you can share your days with, or end it with. You may have all the space you want to do with as you wish, but having no one to come home to, or not knowing when you will, and always coming home to an empty, quiet house can be sad even for people who love and cherish their singlehood.

4. Financial problems 

On the one hand, you have no one else counting on you for your income, and no one else can tell you how to spend and not spend your money. If you lose money or decide to make a risky investment, no one else is impacted by it. On the other hand, however, you also have no one else to fall back on or help you with your expenses. Even if you’re well off, it can be very stressful to not have someone to consult with. And it can be very scary to take financial risks and leaps on your own.

5. Stigmans & misconceptions

You probably grew up with the notion that being alone is sad, pathetic, and lesser than getting married and having kids. Even if it’s not what you want, many people around you may constantly question your decision and make you feel bad for it. Or pity you, and look down on you, making you question your life choices. The outside noise can often get very loud, and seep in deeper than you want it to. Causing you to second-guess yourself. With so many people with too many opinions about other people’s lives, is it any wonder you have such a hard time blocking them out? Or having difficulties not listening and worrying about what they will think or say?

Quick, immediate ways to reduce your stress

Once you have your reasoning and your answer to the question: Why am I so stressed about being single? You need to understand whether it is a momentary problem that just needs a quick fix. Something that comes and goes every so often that can also be tackled as they come. Or if it’s a bigger, more impactful stress that takes over you regularly, and requires more significant changes – which we’ll get to soon. Whether or not they’re a one-off, or if they come and go… These easy methods are not a magic fix, they won’t work if you don’t stay consistent with them. They won’t only relieve the momentary stress, they will also help prevent them if you manage to integrate them into your routine.

1. Daily walks in nature

I can go on and on about the studies and research about the many benefits of walking. But the best way for you to understand it, is to put on your walking shoes, choose a pastoral path, and just get out of the house. Move your body, clear your mind and enjoy nature. If you have a dog, even better. This is not only a great way to spend quality alone time, but also the easiest, most accessible way to do so, as well as reduce your stress when you’re single.

2. Listen to music and sing along

There are many scientific reasons why music lifts our spirits and reduces our stress. But the simple fact of the matter is that putting on your favourite songs will cause you to automatically feel better. It will cause you to sing along, maybe even dance a bit. All of which are great mood boosters. It also distracts your mind and overpowers the loud thoughts that may be tormenting you.

3. Stretch your body

There are many different types of stretches you can do to relieve your stress. All you have to do is choose the ones best for you. They’re not only great for reducing the tension in your muscles, but in your overthinking and stressed-out mind as well. Stress in your mental health is also intertwined with the tension in your muscles, as they can be a cause and effect.

4. Dance around the house

Dancing around like you just don’t care, not only gets your body moving, it also distracts you and your mind, and even helps it let go. This can also lift your spirits by being silly with yourself, without having to worry about anyone who may see you. It allows you to just let go and go crazy if you need to, and release everything that’s bottled up inside us. 

5. Breathing exercises

Often, I find myself so stressed that I even forget to breathe – or more accurately, I stop taking in deep breaths. Or I don’t take moments to just breathe in some much-needed air, and nothing else. You can do it at any time, from any place you may be. There are many different breathing techniques you can try, all of which will help you calm down and reduce your heart rate.

6. Therapeutic activities

Find small, simple and enjoyable activities that resonate with you. Something you don’t need to overuse your brain for, thus allowing it to not work even more than it already is. It also helps you to relax and think of nothing. These are usually monotonic/artsy activities or ones that help you feel in control, like: Puzzles, sudoku, cooking/baking, cleaning, decluttering, laundry, reorganising a cupboard/shelf, pottery, drawing, etc.

7. Journaling

Often you just need to release the nagging thoughts racing through your mind. There’s no need to start spilling all your guts, nor are there any rules to abide by. Just grab a pen and paper and write. Whatever you’re feeling. Your thoughts. What you’re worried or scared about. Why you’re stressed, etc. There’s no wrong or right, the goal is to just let it out, and hopefully also let it go.

8. Talk to a friend

Just like with journaling, you probably need to get it off your chest. Telling a friend helps you feel like you’re not alone in it, even if they don’t have any solutions for you. Often, you don’t even want or need advice, you just need someone to listen to you. This also helps you make more sense of it and put it into perspective. It also helps it seem much smaller than you thought it was.

9. Guided meditation

I’m not huge on meditation, but I found within it what works for me. Whether it’s putting on some relaxing music and focusing on the melody, the words or anything else. Or finding a good guided meditation on YouTube, and letting your imagination run with it. This is also a great way to get your nagging thoughts out of your mind for a bit, and feel more relaxed. Thus you’ll be at a better vantage point to deal with them after. 

10. Self-care & pampering

This is a great opportunity to take a step back and recharge. You can’t keep going on an empty tank, and often, sleeping, exercising and eating well isn’t enough. You need that extra oomph for a much-needed boost. Find what you love; face masks, baths with oils/salts, long showers, doing your nails, foot baths, massage chairs, etc.

Bigger, more significant changes

If something in your single life is stressing you out regularly and is impacting the quality of your life, productivity, or self-relationship… You likely need to either change, remove or add a routine/habit in your singlehood. Sure, it’s important to have the small things you do here and there whenever you have time, or when it’s needed. But none of it will work if you don’t address the bigger picture and issues that are holding you back. Yes, they may require effort and hard work, but if you don’t do something about it, it may be even worse down the line. Also, it gets easier with time. 

1. Journal regularly

This means you’re not only journaling when you desperately need to let go of your nagging thoughts. You’re incorporating it into your daily/weekly schedule on good AND bad days. Consistently. You can write about your day, what went well and what didn’t. Let out all your thoughts and feelings (again, the positives & negatives). And release your frustrations and anger, as well as your excitement and enthusiasm. Write about your aspirations and dreams, and where you are in your journey. What you achieved and what further steps you need to take. This will not only help you de-stress but also monitor your progress and feel more ‘on top’ of things.

2. Live a healthier lifestyle

When you let toxins into your body, it will react accordingly and you’ll feel it. When you eat greasy food, you won’t only gain weight, but you’ll also likely feel icky about it and with yourself. It’s not to say you can’t at all, but everything with moderation and balance. Your body is your fortress, and you are the only one that can take care of it. You don’t need to be fanatic about it, just give it the much-needed nourishment and treatment. When I workout regularly and move my body, I not only feel physically stronger but emotionally too. I feel better about myself, more relaxed in general, and just happier.

3. Focus & emphasise what you have

One of the biggest sources of stress is concerning yourself too much with what others are doing or have. You see where others are, but not all the hard work they did to get there. And then feel bad about where you are or what you have or lack. You devalue anything you’ve got because it all seems insignificant when focusing on what others have that you don’t. It amplifies theirs and reduces yours. Instead, when you hone into what you have, it not only enhances it, but also helps you see more than you thought there was and start appreciating it. 

4. Self-care routine

You can’t feel good about anything if you don’t feel good about yourself. And you can’t feel good about yourself if you don’t take care of yourself. Whether it’s your personal hygiene, grooming, cooking for yourself, working out, or some extra pampering. You need it all, and you need to find the right balance for you, without taking shortcuts or skipping steps. When you do, it signals to yourself that you’re not worthy or it’s okay to neglect yourself. Which just adds to the icky feeling of not being put together or being stinky.

5. Educate yourself on the topic

Knowledge is power, and you often stress over the unknown. It all seems bigger and scarier when you don’t know anything about it. So, take the time to understand what is stressing you out and why. Then read about it or watch videos, with much caution of course with the sources you use. Whether it’s books or articles by professionals who are experts in the field, who can give you a good understanding of what it is you’re facing, and even some solutions. Or videos by people who’ve been through what you have. Of course, always make sure to adapt it to YOU. Don’t just copy-paste, cause that won’t work.

6. Maintain a social life

I bet you also tend to lose yourself in your hectic life and barely have time for anything, right? I know this excuse well, but with some effort, there’s always time to be made to see your people. Especially when you’re feeling overwhelmed. Just being with people you love, doing things you love and enjoy, can do wonders. Yes, you need to be alone and spend some solo time, but you also need to balance it out with a social life. This also helps you create a support system. And when you have a strong one, it gives you more confidence. It also reduces your stress, just knowing you have people who have your back.

7. Get out of the house

My anxiety and stress are usually at their peak on days when I barely leave the house, if at all. You feel like the four walls are closing in on you, especially when getting barely any fresh air. You’re also likely barely moving your body and just sitting all day long in front of screens (which in itself can cause stress and strain). Make a habit of just going for walks around the block or in a nearby park. Sit on your balcony or in your garden to drink your coffee. Find small ways throughout your day to go outside, be in the fresh air and sunshine.

8. Take regular breaks

Similarly, you want to take more and more regular breaks throughout your day. No one can keep their focus or productivity all day straight. Certainly not while also being efficient and making your work effective. Even just giving your eyes some off-screen time and not making your body sit and be static all day. Get up and move, even if it’s just to walk around the office or your house. Do some stretches, make yourself a drink, or interact with people around you. Just shut off your brain for 5-15 minutes, it can do wonders.

9. Make time for yourself

Not only do you not make time to just be with yourself, you are also likely avoiding it as much as you can. Which is only adding to your stress. Whenever you need to spend time alone you feel miserable and lost. Instead of seeing it as a punishment, make it an intentional choice. Make time in your schedule to spend QUALITY alone time, and don’t bail or cancel on yourself. Learning to love your own company is a huge relief, you’ll feel better about yourself and your life. Also, you’ll also attract better and be a better presence for others.

10. Find your hobby

One of the biggest reasons you avoid alone time and feel bad about yourself, is because you don’t have hobbies. You feel like something is missing, but you can’t always do things with others or only work. Hobbies will help you utilise your alone time, develop skills, enjoy your own company, and give you extra value to your life. You become a more interesting person to others, and have more to share. You can also meet some great new people through your hobbies (by going to classes/workshops for example).

11. Reduce your screen time & social media use

There’s nothing quite as stressful as spending your whole day in front of screens. Working on your computer, then checking your phone, and binge-watching on TV. Especially when you see people on social media “looking perfect” and doing “perfect things”, you feel bad about what you’re doing. Or not being perfect. It makes you compare yourself even more to something that’s likely over-filtered or fake. It creates a sense of FOMO and causes you to conform even more. So take designated time every single day, and every so often spend a day without at all. Oh, and understand that not all you see online (especially on socials) is as it seems.

12. Get support

You may need more help than you can provide for yourself. I used to think this made me weak and would feel ashamed of my anxiety and needing help. I discovered, however, that it couldn’t be further from the truth. It is a strength, it takes an immensely strong person to acknowledge it, and even more so to ask for help and do something about it. Find what works best for you; Hire a coach, advisor, an agent, or seek out a professional in the specific field that you’re struggling in.

So, now what?

Now that you’ve got your reasons why you’re stressed in your singlehood, you can pick and choose the methods and ways that work for you. Now you need to ask yourself what you can do to make yourself feel better about it? What good things in your life can you focus on instead? How can you improve your situation with things you can control? Stress is often a product of over-obsessing and focusing on things you don’t have/are missing, or can’t control. So the best solution is to focus instead on all the things you can control in your life. For example, you can’t control when you’ll find a partner, but you can control what you do about it and how you fill your life up in the meantime. You can’t control other people’s actions, thoughts or beliefs – only you’re own, so focus on them and what you can do right now.

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Stay safe, stay healthy and stay strong!
Michal B.L.

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Hey there! My name is Michal, I was born and raised in Israel, currently I live in a small city near Jerusalem. I'm a certified life coach, and in my Single Life Blog, I write about single life in all its glory and share Single Life Lessons to help you embrace yourself and your singlehood. I offer tips and advice for a better, happy single life, how to be independent, feel comfortable in your own skin and company, and how to not chase toxic people - all of which are based on my own 7-year single life experience.