Maybe you’re navigating being single after a breakup or you’re an introvert living in an extrovert’s world. Either way, having time to focus on yourself and who you want to be is so important. Pinpointing exactly what those desires are and why you have them helps you to grow tremendously as a person (plus, it’s important to always remember that you never have to feel guilty about putting yourself first).
At the very least, learning how to make the most of your alone time is a valuable life skill. Let’s face it: stuff happens, and you can’t always control when someone will be there for you, so being able to enjoy your alone time is an essential part of being alive. Along with being there for yourself when you need some extra support, it’s also important to get to a place where you can hang out with yourself and actually relax—without relying on your phone, feeling guilty, or dealing with that nagging feeling that you’re not being “productive.”
Whether you’re enjoying some alone time after a busy workday or living alone for the first time, here are some of the best ways to have fun on your own.
Be Your Own Cheerleader
It’s easy to celebrate the successes of our friends and family members, but we often shy away from openly praising ourselves. It’s completely normal to struggle with commemorating your achievements, especially when your inner critic steps in to point out your flaws.
Celebrating yourself is essential to maintaining a positive mindset, which is key if you’re spending more time alone. Try applying how you champion others to yourself by writing down your achievements from a third-person perspective, for example, “Melissa nailed her work presentation today, even though she normally hates speaking in front of big groups.”
Addressing yourself this way helps you separate yourself from the negative commentary that might be going on in the back of your mind, and allows you to cultivate self-compassion instead of judgment.
By incorporating positive self-talk and affirmations into your daily routine, you’ll make a habit to focus on your strengths instead of your shortcomings. It might feel a little weird at first, but by being your own cheerleader, you can gain a new perspective on your abilities and boost your self-worth.
Carve Out Time For Self-Care
Sometimes, we get so caught up in our daily routines that we overlook our own needs, which can leave us feeling drained and overwhelmed during our alone time. Self-care involves carving time out of your schedule to do something that’s just for you, giving your mind and body a much-needed opportunity to rest and replenish.
When you take care of your mind, you can better cope with the stresses and emotional strains of whatever life throws at you. Ultimately, building resilience not only helps you cope with difficult circumstances but “it also empowers you to grow and even improve your life along the way,” according to the American Psychological Association. When you look at it this way, self-care becomes an important investment in your mental well-being.
Start getting into the habit of making time for self-care each day, even if it’s only 10 minutes a day. Read a chapter of your favorite book, draw a relaxing bath, or take a stroll around your neighborhood. Whatever it is that personally gives you time to rest and leaves you feeling refreshed, make time for it.
Even though you might feel like you need to “earn” time for self-care—or that engaging self-care is a version of “treating yourself”—it’s important not to think of self-care as an indulgence. Self-care is integral to our mental health and our relationships with ourselves, just like exercise and nutrition are fundamental to physical health.
Master The Art Of Going Out Alone
Tired of being stuck inside? Going out by yourself can feel really intimidating, but once you’ve mastered the art of being alone, you’ll realize that you’re totally capable of having fun without anyone by your side.
According to social scientist and author Bella DePaulo, who has extensively
researched society’s perceptions of single people, “If you know that you can do things alone, that gives you a certain power.” Moreover, according to The Washington Post, there’s actually little difference in enjoyment when people do activities alone compared to doing them with friends.
Even if you’re paranoid that other people will judge you, you shouldn’t wait for the stars to align for a new friend or partner to appear. Our busy schedules often make it difficult to coordinate plans with friends, partners, and family—but that doesn’t mean we should just settle for evenings at home on the couch.
Next time you’re feeling bored, dress up, put your phone away, and do something you love. If you’re the only one in your friend group who loves art galleries, treat yourself to an afternoon exploring local museums. Remember: if you’re doing something you love, you won’t need someone else there with you.
Get To Know Yourself Better
When we’re feeling stressed or anxious, it can be tempting to project our deepest insecurities onto other people. Instead of obsessing over whether your significant other is secretly mad at you, spending time alone allows you to focus on what’s actually happening in your life: your personal happiness and how you truly want to live.
At the end of the day, exploring different ways to have fun alone gives you the room to figure out who you are and why you feel what you feel. Once you get to know yourself better, being single or alone, doesn’t have to be lonely—it can be relaxing, fulfilling, and rewarding.