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10 Things Singles Should Do

10 Things Singles Should Do

While the sanctity of marriage remains a prominent cultural aspect with global relevance, the rate of divorce remains comparatively high in developed economies throughout the world. This is creating a higher volume of singles,who subsequently have a tremendous chance to develop as individuals and significantly better their lives before embracing commitments such as marriage, home-ownership and child rearing.

With this in mind, let’s consider 10 things that you should look to do or accomplish while you are single and before you embark on a long-term relationship:

1. Travel independently and as often as possible

Travelling is a wonderful thing to do whilst you are single. It is one of the few things in life that allows you to have a sense of complete freedom, and travelling independently helps you to optimize this sense of liberty and abandon. By travelling alone you can literally go wherever you wish to in this world, without having to compromise on your experience or the type of holiday’s that you aim to enjoy.

Given that travelling abroad has the potential to expand our horizons and to help us become more rounded individuals, doing so as an individual will enable you to absorb as much cultural knowledge as possible. So long as you are able to choose suitable destinations and purchase insurance coverage that protects you in specific regions of the world, you can travel safely while becoming a more rounded and complete person.

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2. Live Alone as an Independent Adult

Similarly, living alone as a single adult enables you to learn more about yourself in a stressful, intense and satisfying manner. Above all else, it allows you to become comfortable with your own company and live happily in solitude, as you reflect on your life and consider future goals. This will make you far less likely to choose unsuitable romantic partners when you are older, or make relationship decisions that are based ondesperation and a desire not be alone. Given the stress that can be caused by romantic separation and divorce, living alone as a singleton can spare you from considerable heartache and distress in the future.

3. Establish Routines and Coping Mechanisms

They say that humans are creatures of habit, and there is a good reason for this. More specifically, we thrive on routines as it enables us to cope with the stress of our busy and occasionally complicated lives. It is particularly beneficial to develop these physical and emotional routines while you are single because, unlike when you are in a relationship, you are completely independent and only have yourself to rely on.

This is empowering, as you can develop a greater understanding of your psyche and establish routines or psychological coping mechanisms without becoming co-dependent withanother person. You can also become a more rounded and confident individual, who is able to serve as a source of strength and assistance for others.

4. Work out what you want from a Relationship

If there is one most imprtant thing that you should do while you are single, it is to work out what you want from your future partner. This is far easier to do when you are not already in a relationship, as the concepts of time and space enable you to have perspective and develop a clear understanding of what you want in a life partner. It also has additional benefits, as it enables you to break bad dating habits and create good one’s going forward. So not only will you be able to identify a compatible partner when the time comes, but you can also create a favorable impression and afford the relationship the best possible chance of long-term success.

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5. Donate and assist charities

Donating your time and energy to charity can be a life enriching experience. Helping those that are perhaps less fortunate than you, not only ensures that you appreciate what you do have, but also what you do not actually need. It may even change your perspective on the aspects of your life which are actually important to you. This is a particularly wonderful thing to do whilst you are single as you will have the freedom to donate as much of your free time or disposable income as you wish; without having to consider any social engagements your partner may wish to attend.

There is a whole wealth of volunteering opportunities out there, while there are a number of socially conscious brands that deliver initiatives that you should be aware of.By taking part in initiatives such as TNT’s Christmas drive to offer the free delivery of donated goods and items, you can help those less fortunate than yourself and aid your personal growth in the process.

6. Listen to your gut and go on spontaneous adventures

Once you embark on a long-term relationship, you can encumber a number of responsibilities including marriage, home-ownership and raising children. Although these are varied in their nature, they are bound by financial obligations and the need to budget your income in a responsible and productive manner. As a singleton you are free from such restrictions, however, meaning that you have a unique opportunity to indulge your passions and achieve more selfish, potentially irresponsible goals.

The more you invest in care-free and self-centered experiences when you are single, the more content you will become to settle down and embrace the responsibilities associated with adult relationships.

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7. Save Money on a Regular Basis

On a similar note, the financial responsibilities associated with owning a home or raising children can make it extremely difficult to save money. So while saving money while you are single may be challenging, you may never have a better opportunity to reduce your monthly expenditure, invest your disposable income and focus on your life goals.

With the average rate of disposable income set to rise in line with global economic expansion throughout 2015, singleton’s will have an even greater opportunity to save their hard-earned cash on a regular basis. Saving when you are single and able allows you to lay the foundations for future financial security, while making it easier to accomplish goals once you have embarked on a relationship, such as purchasing a home or planning a wedding.

8. Achieve the Ideal Work-life Balance

You cannot hope to save or achieve financial stability without a regular source of income, whether you are single or in a relationship. Managing your career development alongside a relationship or life as a parent can be particularly challenging, however, as you must divide the same amount of time between a wider range of activities. It is therefore important to develop your career as aggressively as possible as a singleton, while also determining a suitable work-life balance to create a seamless and productive everyday routine. If you can achieve this, you will find it far easier to embark on a successful relationship and fulfill your additional responsibilities as a partner, spouseand parent.

9. Learn New Skills or Achieve Academic Goals

In addition to addressing your work-life balance, you may also want to use your time as a singleton to pursue new skills and academic achievements. This is far harder to do when in a relationship, due to the cost of private or adult education and the amount of time that is required to learn effectively. Not only do you have a clear career focus when single, but you also have the time and disposable income to acquire specific skills and qualifications that will boost your fledgling career. So while some people may consider age to be the primary barrier to learning new skills, it is in fact individual life circumstances and the pressures of embarking on a romantic liaison.

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10. Spend time with your Closest and Dearest Friends

Friendship is a powerful and persuasive bond, but one that can suffer when you devote time and effort into building a romantic relationship. It is therefore crucial that you spend as much time as possible with your closest friends while you are single, as this can be easily balanced alongside your working schedule and any recreational hobbies that you may have. This not only enables you to live in the moment and make the most of your long-term platonic relationships, but it also helps to create viable routines for spending time with friends and loved ones in the future.

Featured photo credit: Kafubra via en.wikipedia.org

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Last Updated on March 30, 2020

What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

Have you ever walked into a room and felt like your nerves simply couldn’t handle it? Your heart beats fast, you start to sweat, and you feel like all eyes are on you (even if they’re really not). This is just one of the many ways that being self-conscious can rear its ugly head.

You may not even realize you’re self-conscious, and you may be wondering, “What does self-conscious mean?” That’s a good place to start.

This article will define self-consciousness, show how practically everyone has faced it at one point or another, and give you tips to avoid it.

What Does Self-Conscious Mean?

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, self-conscious is defined as “conscious of one’s own acts or states as belonging to or originating in oneself.”[1]

Not so bad, right? There’s another definition, though — one that speaks more to what you’re going through: “feeling uncomfortably conscious of oneself as an object of the observation of others.” For those of us who regularly deal with extreme self-consciousness, that second definition sounds about right.

There are many different ways self-consciousness can spring up. You may feel self-conscious around people you know, like your family members or closest friends. You may feel self-conscious at work, even though you spend hours every week around your co-workers. Or you may feel self-conscious when out in public and surrounded by strangers. However, you probably don’t feel self-conscious when you’re home alone.

How to Stop Being Too Self-Conscious

When you’re in the throes of self-consciousness, it’s nearly impossible to remember how to stop feeling that way. That’s why it’s so important to prepare ahead of time, when you’re feeling ready to tackle the problem instead of succumbing to it.

Here are a variety of ways to feel better about yourself and stop thinking about how others see you.

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1. Ask Yourself, “So What?”

One way to banish negative, self-conscious thoughts is to do just that: banish them.

The next time you walk into a room and feel your face getting red, think to yourself, “So what?” How much does it really matter if people don’t like how you look or act? What’s the worst that could happen?

Most of the time, you’ll find that you don’t have a good answer to this question. Then, you can immediately start assigning such thoughts less importance. With self-awareness, you can acknowledge that your negative thoughts are present and realize that you don’t agree with them.[2] They’re just thoughts, after all.

2. Be Honest

A lie that self-consciousness might tell is that there’s one way to act or feel. Honestly, though, everyone else is just figuring life out as well. There isn’t a preferred way to show up to an event, gathering, or public place. What you can do is be honest with your feelings and thoughts.[3]

If you feel offended by something someone says, you don’t have to smile to be polite or laugh to fit in with the crowd. Instead, you can politely say why you disagree or excuse yourself and find a group of people who you relate to better. If you’re nervous, don’t overcompensate by trying to look relaxed and casual — it’ll be obvious you’re putting on a front. Instead, nothing is more endearing than saying, “I’m a little nervous!” to a room of people who probably feel the exact same way.

On the same note, if you don’t understand why someone wants you to do something, question it. You can do this at work, at home, or even with people you don’t know well. Nobody should force you to do something you don’t want to do.

Also, even if you’re willing to do what’s asked of you, there’s nothing wrong with asking for more clarification. People will realize that you’re not a person to be bossed around.

3. Understand Why You’re Struggling at Work

Being self-conscious at work can get in the way of your daily responsibilities, your relationships with co-workers, and even your career as a whole. If you’re facing some sort of conflict but you’re too nervous to speak up, you may be at the whim of what happens to you instead of taking some control.

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If you’re usually confident at work, you may be wondering where this new self-consciousness is coming from. It’s possible that you’re dealing with burnout.[4] Common signs are anxiety, fatigue and distraction, all of which can leave you feeling under-confident.

4. Succeed at Something

When you create success in your life, it’s easier to feel confident[5] and less self-conscious. If you feel self-conscious at work, finish the project that’s been looming over your head. If you feel self-conscious in the gym, complete an advanced workout class.

Exposing yourself to what you’re scared of and then succeeding at it in some way (even just by finishing it) can do wonders for your self-esteem. The more confidence you build, the more likely you are to have more success in the future, which will create a cycle of confidence-building.

5. Treat All of You — Not Just Your Self-Consciousness

Trying to solve your self-consciousness alone may not treat the root of the problem. Instead, take a well-rounded approach to lower your self-consciousness and build confidence in areas where you may struggle.

Even professional counselors are embracing this holistic type of treatment[6] because they feel that the health of the mind and body are inextricably linked. This approach combines physical, spiritual, and psychological components. Common activities and treatments include meditation, yoga, massage, and healthy changes to diet and exercise.

If much of this is new to you, it will pay to give it a try. You never know how it will impact you.

If you’re feeling self-conscious about how your body looks, a massage that makes you feel great could boost your confidence. If you try a new workout, you could have something exciting to talk about the next time you’re in a group setting.

Putting yourself in a new situation and learning that you can get through it with grace can give you the confidence to get through all sorts of events and nerve-wracking moments.

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6. Make the Changes That Are Within Your Control

Let’s say you walk into a room and you’re self-conscious about how you look. However, you may have put a lot of time and effort into your outfit. Even though it may stand out, this is how you have chosen to express yourself.

You have to work on your internal confidence, not your external appearance. There’s nothing to change other than your outlook.

On the other hand, maybe there’s something that you don’t like about yourself that you can change. For example, maybe you hate how a birthmark on your face looks or have varicose veins that you think are unsightly. If you can do something about these things, do it! There’s nothing wrong with changing your appearance (or skills, education, etc.) if it’s going to make you more confident.

You don’t have to accept your current situation for acceptance’s sake. There’s no award for putting up with something you hate. Confidence is also required to make changes that are scary, even if they’re for the better. Plus, it may be an easier fix than you thought. For example, treating varicose veins doesn’t have to involve surgery — sometimes simple compression stockings will take care of the problem.[7]

7. Realize That Everyone Has Awkward Moments

Everyone has said something awkward to someone else and lived to tell the tale. We’ve all forgotten somebody’s name or said, “You too!” when the concession stand girl says to enjoy our movie. Not only are these things uber-common, but they’re not nearly as embarrassing as you feel they are.

Think about how you react when someone else does something awkward. Do you think, “Wow, that person’s such a loser!” or do you think, “What a relief, I’m not the only one who does that.” Chances are good that’s the same reaction others have to you when you stumble.

Remember, self-consciousness is a state of mind that you have control over. You don’t have to feel this way. Do what you need to in order to build your confidence, put your self-consciousness in perspective, and start exercising your “I feel awesome about myself” muscle. It’ll get easier with time.

When Is Being Self-Conscious a Good Thing?

Self-consciousness can sometimes be a good thing[8], but you have to take the awkwardness and nerves out of it.

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In this case, “self-aware” is a much better term. Knowing how you come off to people is an excellent trait; you’ll be able to read a room and understand how what you do and say affects others. These are fantastic skills for people work and personal relationships.

Self-awareness helps you dress appropriately for the occasion, tells you that you’re talking too loud or not loud enough, and guides a conversation so you don’t offend or bore anyone.

It’s not about being someone you’re not — that can actually have adverse effects, just like self-consciousness. Instead, it’s about turning up certain aspects of yourself to perform well in the situation.

Final Thoughts

When you’re self-conscious, you’re constantly battling with yourself in an effort to control how other people view you. You try to change yourself to suit what you think other people want to see.

The truth, though, is that you can’t actually control how other people view you — and you may not even be correct about how they view you in the first place.

Being confident doesn’t happen overnight. Instead, it happens in small steps as you slowly build your confidence and say “no” to your self-consciousness. It also requires accepting that you’re going to feel self-conscious sometimes, and that’s okay.

Sometimes worrying that there is a problem can be more stressful than the problem itself. Feeling bad for feeling self-conscious can be more troublesome than simply feeling it and getting on with the day.

Forgive yourself for being human and make the small changes that will lead to better confidence in the future.

More Tips for Improving Your Self-Esteem

Featured photo credit: Cata via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Merriam-Webster: Self-conscious
[2] Bustle: 7 Tips On How To Stop Feeling Self-Conscious
[3] Marc and Angel: 10 Things to Remember When You Feel Unsure of Yourself
[4] Bostitch: How to Protect Small Businesses From Burnout
[5] Psychology Today: Self-conscious? Get Over It
[6] Wake Forest University: Embracing Holistic Medicine
[7] Center for Vein Restoration: What Causes Venous Ulcers, and How Are They Treated?
[8] Scientific American: The Pros and Cons of Being Self-Aware

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