Being alone is something you can’t avoid. Sooner or later you’ll have to face it, so why not now, and why not learn to love it?
- Take yourself on dates. It doesn’t matter if you’re single or dating, there will be a time when literally everyone you know is busy. You have two options. One, you can stay home and feel sorry for yourself, watching Netflix for eight hours and eating a pint of ice cream, a box of Girl Scout cookies, and a frozen pizza. If that doesn’t sound appealing, you could just go out and have fun anyway. Take yourself on dates! I’ve taken myself go-carting, to the movies, and out to dinner. Yes, the waiter looked at me like was a widow. I order two desserts and ate them all by myself, but spending time and money on yourself can be SO healthy. Not only do you avoid the self-pity but you remember that you are your own person. You don’t need someone else to make you worthy of new experiences.
- Become your own friend. Most of the time when we can’t stand being alone, it’s because we don’t like our own company. It’s hard to spend quality time with yourself when the only voices in your head are negative. Learn to be kind to yourself. Ask yourself questions you’d ask a friend and truly listen to the response within yourself. You’re the only one you can always count on, so treasure and nurture that relationship.
- Figure out why you’re afraid of being alone. This is the only way you’re going to get over it, and it can be really heavy stuff. Just tackle one thought at a time. Notice where it comes from. Ask yourself why it’s there and what it’s saying to you. Does it really have power over you? Is it really true? Then let the thought float away. Remember: everyone has baggage but the sooner you deal with it, the sooner you can make peace with yourself and start enjoying your time alone.
- Get out of your head. It’s easy to obsess about stuff when you’re alone and that can take all the enjoyment out of your time with yourself, so take a break. Focus only on things you can see, hear, taste, or touch. Just get out of your head and experience the world. Don’t let your thoughts take you over.
- Reframe how you think of alone time. Extroverts are real people but I’m not one of them. That being said, I do know quite a few and a lot of them just plain don’t like being alone. It’s not that they can’t, they just don’t like it. For extroverts, it can be important to think of alone time as self-care. It’s not just a waste of time. Being alone with yourself helps you figure out who you are and how you view the world. It helps you take inventory of your emotional health and decide what changes need to be made.
- Turn off your phone. Alone time doesn’t count if you are on your phone. It’s actually anti-alone time. Imagine if you were sitting in your room by yourself and a hundred Instagram models walked in and started telling you about their cool new sponsors and every music festival ever. You get the point. The purpose of being alone is getting to know yourself, giving yourself the dignity of attention, and you can’t do that if you’re focused on everyone else.
- Don’t make food your company. Sometimes when I’m uncomfortable with being alone, I try to fill the void with Rice Krispy treats or pizza. It doesn’t work and only leaves me feeling guilty. Learn from me and maybe don’t go too nuts with the calories.
- Lean into the uncomfortable feeling. At first, a million thoughts will cross your mind. Did I leave the stove on? I wonder why squirrels can’t commit to crossing the street. I bet I would look hot as a blonde. It might seem like chaos, but the more comfortable you get with being alone, the more it will feel like an escape from your busy life. Just take a deep breath and remember that it will get easier.
- Start a journal. This is a great way to clarify your thoughts. It doesn’t seem like such a madhouse in your head when you can write out every idea that’s swirling around up there. When you write them out, they’re not as big and overwhelming. Journaling can help you get past the worries and get to the stuff that really matters.