It is normal and necessary to need alone time. At times we may want to be alone and at other times, this idea may seem strange or scary. In our culture today it may feel odd to make a dining reservation for one, however without spending time alone, we do not get the opportunity to get to know ourselves. By spending time alone we learn how to become more attuned to our minds and bodies, better understanding our wants and needs as well as unhealthy relationships and patterns that may need to end. Here are some ways to enjoy your own company and in turn get to know yourself:
Get To Know You!
Being alone forces you to become your own friend. You learn more about who you are, what you like to do, what you do not like to do, and what you need to do to be successful. Just like we get to know others, it’s important to learn about ourselves. Start by showing curiosity and compassion toward yourself as you would a friend. By knowing ourselves we understand our own thoughts and feelings as well as behaviors, which leads to better ways to cope when challenging situations arise.
Make Time for Your Wants
Figure out what your “thing” is, we all have one. Take some time on your couch, in a coffee shop, on the train, to write down all your interests. Read them over and try some out: music lessons, running, taking an art class. Whatever it is, make time for your “thing” on a regular basis.
Here’s where we get you out of your comfort zone to try something new. Take a solo trip, consider it time with your new best friend: Yourself! This might seem difficult, but doing this gives you the chance to spend quality time with yourself in a new environment and opens up opportunities for you to continue to learn about yourself. Pick a destination that interests you and book a trip!
Dinner for One
Again, difficult to do, but make a reservation for a restaurant you’ve been wanting to try. You may judge yourself for eating alone and it may feel strange at first, but you deserve to enjoy your own company at an awesome restaurant. Order your favorite drink and treat yourself!
Chat with Yourself
We all have an inner voice that speaks up regularly, it’s okay to talk back. We often try to ignore the inner voice when surrounded by others, but when you are on your own you don’t have to. Listen to your inner voice and be kind to it.
In spending time with yourself, you learn more about who you are and develop more autonomy and independence. Through this process you will be better able to develop and maintain healthy relationships. Knowing what you want and what makes you happy on your own, you can feel content and positive until you find those qualities in healthy relationships as well.