Why are we so uncomfortable being by ourselves? Our friends are Care2 show us how to fully embrace (and appreciate) alone time.
For some people, venturing out into the world alone—like eating at a restaurant or seeing a movie—can be an awkward and embarrassing experience. It can seem that everywhere you turn, faces seem to be contorting in pity, wondering what is wrong with this lonely person and why they have abandoned the contact of fellow humans.
Of course, this isn’t really the case—most of the insecurity is all in your mind.
Once you get over your initial discomfort, spending some quality alone time out in the world can be enjoyable and even beneficial!
Here are four tips to help you enjoy active time by yourself.
Be prepared to feel awkward.
No one wants to see that new movie with you? A friend ditches you just before a party? There’s no reason you can’t do these things solo. In fact, you should every now and then.
Companions can be a security blanket for uncomfortable situations, but you don’t need it. Embrace your nerves and go for it on your own. Yes, at first you will feel awkward, but don’t worry! Adventuring on your own in this crazy world will only make you a more interesting, multidimensional, confident person. Embrace the initial butterflies and have a great time. No one will judge you—they will be impressed and intrigued. And who cares what they think anyways?
Ditch social media.
To avoid feeling exquisitely uncomfortable, it’s a great idea to bring along some headphones, a book, or a notebook and pen. Catch up on some reading, jot down some thoughts, listen to a new band—immerse yourself in your surroundings, your thoughts, your own creativity.
Whatever you do, just try not to plunge your head into the inescapable portal of social media on your phone. You should be able to enjoy yourself without striving for the comfort and companionship of anyone else, virtual or real. Just you should be enough.
Sit at the bar.
If you are taking yourself out to dinner—something you should definitely try at least once—sitting at the bar can be less awkward than grabbing a family-sized table. Bring a book if you aren’t in the mood to chat, but be open to meeting fellow bar-sitters. Make small-talk with the bartender, chat with the fellow lone diner beside you, enjoy a good meal in spontaneous company. It can be a really exciting and liberating experience—you may even prefer it!
If you aren’t ready to take on the world from a solo perspective, at least give meditation a fair shot. Spending just a few minutes a day meditating has been shown to reduce stress, boost the brain and possibly reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.
There is no right or wrong way to meditate. It’s about clearing your mind, relaxing and living in the moment. You don’t even have to sit still; you could even do it while having a mini dance jam in your bedroom! Do what works best for you.
We tend to surround ourselves with people out of fear of being alone with ourselves. Enjoy your alone time. It is a gift, not a sign of weakness. Use it to get to know yourself better, boost your creativity, decompress from life stresses, and enjoy the simple beauties in life. Not only will it make you appreciate good friends all the more, but it will make you appreciate how great it is to be YOU.
Written by Jordyn Cormier
This article was originally published with Care2; republished with the kindest permission.[image: via EladeManu on Flickr]