At one point or another, we’re all single. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are more single people in America, 50.2 percent, than not. And, let's face it—when we’re not single, it’s easy to get lost in our relationship. It’s not like our interests and hobbies no longer matter, but sometimes they fall to the wayside. There’s plenty of songs about single empowerment out there to encourage us to let live. Even if you're solo, and would rather be in relationship, learning how to be single and happy will make your life so much better. Sure, we all know some bitter single people—and maybe we were that person once upon a time—but making a habit of being positive does work.
Experts say if we start our day on a positive note, it can determine the outcome of the rest of our day. For instance, the Law of Attraction says that if you start your day by saying “positive intentions,” it’ll continue that way, things like, “I intend to feel great today!” or “I will have a very productive day.” As hokey as those sound, they work. (Try it.)
Gretchen Rubin created a whole empire based on her bestselling book, The Happiness Project. In it, she dedicated a year to being happy. Each chapter focused on a different aspect of her life, like, “Pursue a Passion” and “Make Time for Friends." In the chapter about work and aiming higher, some of Rubin's goals were to “launch a blog” and “enjoy now.” In her chapter about vitality and boosting energy, she intended to “go to sleep earlier” and “exercise better.” By making some tweaks to our lives, we, too, can form regular habits.
“I recommend to all my friends that they be alone for a while. When you're in love, or dating someone, you filter your life decisions through their eyes. When you spend a few years being who you are, completely unbiased, you can figure out what you actually want.” - Taylor Swift
From my own experience, and those of my single friends, here are some daily habits of happy single people.
1. They wake up happy.
I know, who does that? But if you do something positive after the snoozing-for-a-half-hour passes, your day will start on the right track. One friend of mine reads for 20 minutes every morning, another does yoga, and yet another goes for a run. No matter what your morning routine is, if you do something self-enriching, it'll put you in a positive mood. Try it for a couple weeks and you'll see for yourself.
2. They take care of themselves.
Remember all those healthy habits you had before you met your ex? Well, now's the time to dig them out. I know "take care of yourself" means different things to different people. Whatever it means to you—diet, exercise, beauty routine, more sleep etc.—now's the time to perfect these things once again. If we form strong habits now, we're more likely to continue them once we get into a relationship again. Increase your water intake, try and get eight hours of sleep, go to the gym every morning (OK, every other morning), and so on.
3. They don't get hangry.
By now, "hangry" is a big part of our vocabulary, "When you are so hungry that your lack of food causes you to become angry, frustrated or both," says Urban Dictionary. We've all been there, snapping at people (or ourselves) when all we really need is some food. And a lack of food makes us more emotional, so feed yourself—carry Clif bars or bananas in your purse, do what you have to do.
4. They're aware of HALT.
HALT = Hungry. Angry. Lonely. Tired. Therapists like to tell their clients to keep in mind that "HALT" is a real thing, and one that can be prevented with self-love and self-care, by eating regularly, doing a positive behavior when angry, engaging in an activity (alone or with a friend) when feeling lonely, and getting enough sleep.
5. They appreciate their own company.
People say it, but it's true: you need to be your own best friend first before you can be someone else’s. So, no matter what you're doing—reading, running, taking a bath—have fun with it: read a new genre, run a new way (at the park versus the treadmill), buy scented bubble bath.
6. They focus on their interests.
You know how, when you’re coupled up, you have all these goals, like, “Someday, I’m going to take those acrobatics classes/salsa lessons/yoga classes.” No matter what it is, when you’re single, you have more time to go back to your own interests or try new ones. With all your newfound “me time,” you can focus on your own interests, whether that means mastering something new or resurrecting something old, like your passion for knitting scarves. (If you start now, you can knit 30 scarves in time for Christmas.)
7. They try new things.
That's all. Just one. Above, you rerouted your run. Now, you can do one new thing each day, from making your bed (something I need to try) to learning sign language (if my 9-year-old niece can do it, so can you). Maybe your ex was the chef in the relationship, so you never cooked before (not anything that didn't come in a box, at least). Yes, it's time to get online and make something from scratch. Believe me, it's easier than it sounds and, once you start, the more you'll likely do it—and actually like doing it.
8. They love their independence.
Even though you should do this while dating, too, your alone time will probably be more limited then, so enjoy it now! You're free. As the Soup Dragons sing, "I'm free to do what I want any old time, I said I'm free to do what I want any old time..." So, make the most of it!
9. They're grateful
It's no secret gratefulness is associated with happiness. Instead of focusing on what (or who) is missing in your life, happy singles, even those who want a relationship, will appreciate the amazing things they do have in their life.
10. They focus on today
The awful ex? The one who just got engaged? The one that got away? We all have them, but happy singles won't waste time rehashing the past or worrying about what the future will bring. They learn to let go and focus on the present.