The Art of Living Alone and Loving It | Jane Mathews

Summary of: The Art of Living Alone and Loving It
By: Jane Mathews

Introduction

The book ‘The Art of Living Alone and Loving It’ by Jane Mathews sheds light on the challenges and opportunities that come with living alone. Offering relatable experiences and practical tips, the book encourages its readers to embrace their ‘soloist’ lifestyle and make the most of it. Living alone can be a refreshing and fulfilling experience, provided you have the right mindset, engage in self-discovery, and develop a strong sense of purpose. Through this summary, readers will gain insights into managing relationships, maintaining health, managing finances, and dealing with solitude.

Embracing the Solo Life

Author Jane Mathews’ experience of living alone after a sudden split with her husband made her realize that society is designed for couples and families. Initially challenging, Mathews eventually turned her solo life into a fulfilling journey that made her feel joyous. She inspires others not to let the stigma of living alone stop them from making the most of it. Living alone doesn’t necessarily mean one is alone in the world. Instead, it is an experience that millions around the world can relate to. Though it comes with certain challenges, managing those with the right frame of mind can make it enjoyable. Mathews now leads a satisfying life with herself, and you too can learn how to embrace the solo life with joy.

Finding Happiness Alone

The key to enjoying living alone is mental strength. Developing a positive mindset, defining one’s self, and finding purpose are essential for overcoming loneliness and achieving happiness.

Living alone comes with unique challenges that can be daunting. However, having a positive attitude is crucial to overcome these obstacles. Leo Tolstoy once said, “If you want to be happy, be.” While this statement might seem oversimplified, it highlights the importance of cultivating a positive mindset when living alone. While a positive attitude doesn’t make problems disappear, it can help in making them more manageable.

To enjoy living alone, one needs to be proactive and possess mental fortitude. The first step is defining who you want to be as a person. By writing down three adjectives that you want to define you, you can start acting out those behaviors. For example, if you want to be kind, engage in a good deed. Acting like the person you want to become will slowly transform you into that person.

One of the most significant challenges of living alone is loneliness. Most individuals experience loneliness at some point, and living alone only exacerbates the issue. While loneliness is inevitable, it doesn’t have to define your life. To overcome this negative feeling, identify situations that prompt loneliness and avoid them. Alternatively, plan ahead by finding activities that you enjoy. Also, think of loneliness as solitude – an essential component of finding oneself.

To find purpose while living alone, focus on developing an “ikigai,” a Japanese term for finding your reason for existence. Identify what you’re passionate about, what you’re good at, and what you want out of life. Then, find an activity that satisfies these criteria. By doing something you enjoy, it can help you focus and take your mind off negative feelings. It is essential to remember that finding purpose is an ongoing process. Perseverance is key to achieving your goals.

In conclusion, living alone presents several challenges, but happiness is achievable. Developing mental strength, defining oneself, and finding purpose are critical to overcoming loneliness and achieving a fulfilling life. Cultivating a positive mindset is essential to achieve happiness. While it isn’t easy, it’s worth it, as Tolstoy reminds us, “If you want to be happy, be.”

Prioritizing Relationships When Living Alone

Living alone does not make you a hermit, but it is essential to take care of yourself and maintain meaningful relationships with family, friends, and yourself. Mathews emphasizes the importance of valuing and loving yourself, maintaining contact with family, and making and keeping friends. Rather than prioritizing romantic relationships, one should strive for happiness independent of a partner.

Living alone does not mean living as a hermit, but it does require maintaining meaningful relationships. The key message in Liz Mathews’s book is that all relationships change when you live alone, including the one you have with yourself. The most important relationship one can have is with oneself. To cultivate that, Mathews suggests creating a “self-esteem scrapbook” filled with messages from loved ones and things that bring a smile to one’s face. By focusing on one’s qualities and what one loves about themselves, negative thoughts can be kept at bay.

Next, family relationships are important, as they are the ones that often remain strongest throughout life. Although everyone comes with their individual baggage, maintaining contact with family can be rewarding. When it comes to friends, one must recognize that some may come and go, especially when experiencing major life changes. Mathews suggests focusing on those friends who offer support and empathy and helping them in turn. Making new friends, especially ones in similar living situations, can be particularly meaningful.

Finally, Mathews deprioritizes romantic relationships and encourages finding happiness without a partner. One’s happiness should depend on oneself, not on the presence of another. It may be surprising that only a quarter of married people in Australia report being happy in their marriages. Instead of believing that happiness is inextricably linked to being with a partner, one should focus on fostering a healthy relationship with oneself.

Living alone requires effort but is far from isolating. By prioritizing oneself, family, and supportive friends, and engaging in healthy relationships, one can build a fulfilling life regardless of living situation.

Living Alone and Your Health

Living alone can increase the risk of death by 32 percent, but it doesn’t have to be that way. This book highlights the importance of taking responsibility for your own health and offers tips on how to stay healthy.

Living alone is becoming increasingly common in today’s society, but the unfortunate truth is, it can come with some health risks. A study conducted by Brigham Young University found that living alone increases the risk of death by 32 percent, which is the same as being obese. So why is this the case?

One possible explanation is that people living alone are more likely to develop unhealthy habits. They are less likely to visit the doctor regularly and exercise less frequently. The good news is, these are habits that can be changed with a little effort.

The key message of this book is that, as a soloist, you are entirely responsible for your own health. But staying healthy when you live alone can be challenging, especially when it comes to eating well and exercising regularly.

The book offers practical advice on how to overcome these challenges. It advises readers to build up a repertoire of healthy recipes that are easy to prepare and delicious to eat. It also suggests finding an exercise routine that you enjoy and sticking to it regularly.

Staying on top of your health can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. By accepting the extra responsibility that comes with living alone and taking active steps to stay healthy, you can live a long, healthy, and happy life.

Seize Control of Your Finances

After a divorce, the author realized she had no idea about her financial situation. This inspired her to take control of her finances and feel empowered. Many women struggle with financial control in relationships, but living alone presents an opportunity for financial freedom. Despite financial challenges faced by women, it is possible to achieve financial security through a detailed financial blueprint. This blueprint involves acknowledging your emotions about money, determining what financial security means to you, and creating a plan by comparing your income and expenses. Taking control of your finances can be daunting, but the sense of liberation it brings is worth it.

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