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 I knew had plans and were hanging out, meeting new people, and having tons of fun.
These scenarios would cause me to feel so lonely, and to have SO MUCH ANXIETY. It wasn’t just the idea 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.”
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.”
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 with your phone is not the same as spending time with yourself. Put that guy 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 start to enjoy that time “alone,” AKA, “with yourself.”
Have fun with yourself.
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.
Be a source of comfort to yourself.
If you’re feeling down, treat yourself the way you would treat a friend who is feeling down. Offer yourself support by speaking kindly to yourself, let yourself cry, watch a sappy movie, or get a good night’s sleep so you can wake up the next day feeling refreshed.
Get to know yourself.
Journal and 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.
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 virtual dance class. Or sign up for some kind of lesson, like guitar, horseback riding, hula hooping – the options are endless!
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. 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.