It’s not uncommon for adults to become consumed with paranoia while home alone, especially at night. These days, we’re easily exposed to daily stories of violent crime, which heightens the senses and our imagination starts to run wild.
You’re not alone if silence and stillness can terrify you to the point of feeling physically ill. Here are five ways to help cope with and mitigate anxiety while being home alone.
Lose the Fear of Being Home Alone
Monitor Your Home for Suspicious Activity
The first step to take in creating safety for your home is to install a customizable high-tech, high-quality Lorex home security camera system. This type of surveillance solution helps you monitor your property during the day and night. You can comfortably stay in any room of your house and receive alert notifications right from your smartphone when there’s unusual motion activity.
For example, if someone suspicious is at your front door and you don’t recognize them, you can call for help from where you are. A security camera system also provides visual peace of mind, allowing you to view everything happening in and around your house.
Women with a real fear of being home alone may respond to irrational thoughts with extreme rituals that can spiral out of control. Repetitive lock checking, looking out the window, keeping the TV and all lights on, sleeping at a family member’s house, inviting a friend to sleep over–these “safety behaviors” actually perpetuate anxiety and only put a Band-Aid over the issue.
Dr. Alice Boyes of “The Anxiety Toolkit” says these behaviors trap you into thinking you’ll never experience a sense of security with sensible actions. Coping mechanisms such as meditation and a different perspective can help diminish crippling fear, as well as emergency preparation or professional help.
Meditate to Combat Anxiety
Being home alone can intensify anxiety so much that you’re paralyzed in irrational fear, which can affect sleep and your health. One mental practice is meditation, which can eventually help you enjoy your own company and be at peace with your thoughts for better overall wellness.
A study by Johns Hopkins University published in JAMA Internal Medicine found that mindful meditation can help ease psychological stresses like anxiety, according to Harvard Health Publications of Harvard Medical School.
Distracting thoughts (like worrying about an intruder) have too much power, explains Dr. Elizabeth Hoge, a psychiatrist at the Center for Anxiety and Traumatic Stress Disorders. Meditation can become a practice of being able to identify a nagging unproductive worry and learn to let it pass.
Learn to Enjoy Time with Yourself
Once you can start to ease stress through relaxed posture and focused breathing to secure a restful mind, you can develop the ability to be alone–and actually enjoy it. Meditation advisor Lodro Rinzler believes in befriending yourself and acknowledging your thoughts as just that: thoughts. Then you can you can turn this alone time into a positive and empowering experience.
Feel the silence as peaceful, not sinister. Find comfort in pursuing independent activities like reading a book with warm tea or sipping red wine during a bath. This is a time to not succumb to uneasiness, but to discover contentment with yourself.
Initiate a Neighborhood Watch
The National Crime Prevention Council calls a neighborhood watch “one of the most effective and least costly answers to prevent crime” and provides a guideline of three phases to get started. This program creates connections with those nearest to you.
You can even start a private Facebook page for your neighbors where you can post updates on homeowners (such as vacations and work schedules) and communicate information about anything concerning. Creating a close-knit community can help make you feel more comfortable beyond your home.
Identity Magazine is all about guiding women to discover their powers of Self-Acceptance, Appreciation, and Personal Achievement. We ask that every contributor and expert answer the Identity 5 questions in keeping with our theme. Their answers can be random and in the moment or they can be aligned with the current article they have written. In that way, and as a team, we hope to encourage and motivate each other, thus inspiring you to Get All A’s.
1. What have you accepted within your life, physically and/or mentally? Additionally, what are you still working on accepting? Now, we’re talking about resignation, rather stepping into, embraced, and owned.
I’ve learned to accept change, sometimes we desire it, sometimes we are forced to embrace it. I’m still working on accepting, actually loving, who I am and my life fully without making comparisons.
2. What have you learned to appreciate about yourself and/or within your life, physically and mentally? On the other hand OR in contrast, are there elements of who you are that you’re still working on appreciating?
I appreciate my drive to be challenged, whether it’s at copywriting and creativity or in my gym. I’m still working on appreciating my positive qualities that others see in me, since I can turn a deaf ear to compliments and praise.
3. What is one of your most rewarding achievements in life? Tell us not only what makes YOU most proud but also share the goals and dreams that you still have.
Recently, I competed in my first Olympic weightlifting competition. Cutting weight to make a weight class and competing in a meet really put me outside of my comfort zone. I’m proud because it combined something that I’m passionate about with something I never could imagine doing.
4. Of course, we all have imperfections, or so we think. In truth, we are all perfectly imperfect. What are your not-so-perfect ways? Likewise, what imperfections and quirks create who you are–your Identity?
I stutter and stumble socially around new people and make bewildering sarcastic remarks to make up for my social shortcomings. I can be optimistically challenged with a cynical sense of humor, but can always count on the positivity of my loved ones to create a harmonic balance.
I drink too much wine, say the wrong thing, over-think what I say and love Vanderpump Rules.
5. “I Love My…” is an outlet for you to appreciate and express all the positive traits that make you…well…YOU! In fact, sharing what you love about yourself will make you smile, feel empowered, and uplift your spirit and soul. (We assure you!) Therefore, Identity challenges you to complete the phrase “I Love My…?”
I love my adventurous spirit to be outdoors, pushing myself physically with lifting or running events, hard work ethic, honesty and loyalty to those whom I love.