Hate Being Alone? Try These 5 Tips From a Therapist

how to be alone

Do you dread weekends where you don’t have every moment filled with some kind of plan or event? Or feel stressed and lonely if someone cancels on you? If so, there is one mind shift you need to enjoy being alone.

I remember being fresh out of college, and absolutely hating the idea of being alone on a Friday night. Especially when it seemed like everyone had plans and were hanging out, meeting new people, and having tons of fun. 

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These scenarios would cause me to feel so lonely, and to have SO MUCH ANXIETY. It wasn’t just the act of being alone, but the days and hours leading up to it.

The narrative in my head would go from “I don’t have any plans this weekend” to “I have no friends and no one likes me and I’m going to die alone.” 

The idea that I could actually enjoy my own company didn’t seem fathomable.

For me, it took a while, but I eventually learned how to survive those evenings, or full blown weekends when I felt all alone. And it was when I started to shift my thinking from “I’m all alone” to “I’m spending time with myself.”

Making that mindset shift won’t just help you to feel less lonely, it’s also a great way to practice self-love.

How To Enjoy Your Own Company: Putting It Into Action

There is no right or wrong way to spend time with yourself. Sometimes, you might feel relaxed and content. Other times, you might feel sad and lonely. That’s completely okay. Always remember, our feelings never last forever. They will eventually pass.

Keep in mind, spending time on social media is not the same as spending time with yourself. Put the phone away! Focus your attention on what you’re doing, not what others are doing.

Even if you find yourself alone unexpectedly on a Friday night, don’t freak out. Just take a few minutes to create an intention for yourself, which makes being alone less scary. Here are a few examples of how to enjoy being alone AKA, “spending time with yourself.”

1. Have fun with yourself.

One of the best ways to enjoy being alone is to have fun! Dance around your bedroom. Talk to yourself, laugh at yourself, spend time in nature, or take yourself out on a date. Learn to enjoy your own company.

2. Be a source of comfort to yourself.

So you may not actually enjoy being alone when you’re feeling down. But you can make the experience a little better by practicing self-compassion.

What does this mean? Treat yourself the way you would treat a friend who is feeling down. Speak kindly to yourself. Let yourself cry, watch a sappy movie, or get a good night’s sleep. Support yourself, even if you’re having a dark moment.

3. Get to know yourself.

Reflect on your thoughts and feelings in the moment. Think about your goals for the future, and let yourself dream big! And if you’re up for it, take action to help you achieve those goals.

Journaling is a great way to get to know yourself. Here are 30 prompts to get you started.

4. Teach yourself something new.

Try out a hobby you’ve always been interested in. Get some paint supplies, and try making some art. Or take a dance class. Or sign up for some kind of lesson, like guitar, horseback riding, hula hooping – the options are endless!

You can even use this time to teach yourself new ways to cope with anxiety by downloading my Holistic Guide to Overcoming Anxiety, which takes a Mind/Body/Spirit approach to relieving stress.

5. Give Yourself a Break

This is particularly helpful if you’re one of those people who is always on the go, or if you don’t know what to do with yourself if you aren’t being productive. Give yourself permission to do nothing. Put away your to do list and try lounging around. Try to simply be with yourself. See what comes up for you.  

And I have good news for all you 20-somethings who hate being alone; with practice, you get better at it. And as you get older, spending time with yourself just might become one of your favorite things to do. 

Do you have any tips on how to enjoy being alone? If so, please share below!

Hi! I'm Paige

Cat Lover, Real Person, and LGBTQIA+ Friendly Psychotherapist in NYC 🌈

therapist williamsburg brooklyn

E-mail me at hello@paigerechtman.com  if  you have a question you would like me to answer on my therapy blog.

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