I Used To Be Terrified Of Being Alone—Here’s How I Learned To Love It

I used to think that being alone was the worst possible thing that could happen to me, but after going through a painful breakup and moving into my own place, I suddenly had to face one of my greatest fears head-on. It was really scary but ultimately led me to fall in love with my own company.

I faced my fear and realized I’d been afraid for no reason. When I first started college, I loved having roommates—my friends were just a few feet away from me and I never had to be on my own! However, I eventually ended up in a solo dorm room after my relationship ended and I had to I had to face my fear of living alone. It forced me to learn about myself as a person and made me totally self-reliant. It was scary at first but so worth it.

I took a break from social media. When I’m alone, the last thing I want to see is my coworker on a romantic vacation or my friends going out on a night I was too busy to join them. Still, for some reason, the first (and sometimes only) thing I do when I have some alone time is scroll through social media. I finally realized that I wasn’t missing out on anything. To save myself the unnecessary FOMO, I took a break from Instagram and Snapchat for a while. Instead of constantly checking my phone, I invested time in self-care instead.

I created a cozy living space that I loved coming home to. Having a living space that makes you feel comfortable and reflects who you are is so important. When I moved into my own place, I put of posters of places and movies that I love so I would be surrounded by things that remind me what I’m passionate about. I also hung up string lights in my bedroom. I turn them on whenever I want to relax because it creates such a cozy atmosphere. Coming home to an empty apartment doesn’t seem so bad when you love how it looks and makes you feel.

I returned to my old hobbies and discovered new passions. I figured that having some time to myself was the perfect opportunity to try something new. Instead of ordering takeout or buying pre-made food like I usually do, I tried to cook some new recipes I found on Pinterest. It was so rewarding and now I try to cook for myself every week. I also invested more time in my artwork. I love to draw but could never seem to find the time to actually do it. It was so satisfying for me to spend time doing what really makes me happy.

I reevaluated and upgraded my friendships. This was a tough one, but I had to recognize that my friends are just as busy as I am. Just because we don’t text or hang out all the time doesn’t mean they’ve abandoned me. I started to make the effort to reach out first, and a quick “thinking of you” or “give me a buzz when you’re free” text really goes a long way. It’s OK to not see each other all the time. All of the lunch dates and wine nights always make up for the time we’ve spent apart.

I stopped being so rigid and opened myself up to spontaneity. I’m someone who falls into a routine very easily—I could order the same takeout and watch the same shows every night—but doing the same things all the time gets boring and can really kill my mood. So when I found myself falling into a routine, I made sure to switch it up. I’d go try a new restaurant or go see a movie instead of staying in and watching one. Keeping an open mind helped me get excited about having alone time instead of dreading it!

I started taking care of my body, not just my mind. After a long day, it used to be so easy for me to just lay on the couch all night, but pushing myself to get up and go to the gym was so rewarding. I found exercises I enjoyed doing and felt the best for my body and I learned so much about myself. I figured out I love Zumba, so I found classes near me to go to every week. It helped me become super motivated and my self-esteem skyrocketed. Not only did my physical health improve but so did my mental and emotional health.

I got out of the house when I needed to. Cabin fever can be too real, especially when you live alone. Sometimes when I’ve been in the house for too long, I can go a little stir crazy. That’s when I know I need to leave the house to get a change of scenery. Even if it’s just going to my local coffee shop to get some work done or hitting the grocery store, it helps. Sometimes I’ll even just go for a run around the neighborhood to clear my head and get some fresh air.

I embraced single life. It’s so easy to get too comfortable in a relationship. Breaking up with my serious boyfriend left me feeling really afraid to be alone. Because I’d spent the majority of my time with him, I hardly knew who I was when he was gone. I learned to love the great things about being single that I’d taken for granted before. Investing this time in getting to know myself helped me to be more comfortable with being on my own and it helped make my next relationship stronger.

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