I’ve always been a bit rubbish at spending time on my own. If you ask my mum, she’ll tell you that when I was little, I was constantly desperate for her to play with me – even if it was a solitary task like drawing or watching a film! No wonder it wasn’t long before I was given a little brother to annoy instead…
Depending on my mood/anxiety levels, I can sometimes become quite panicked if I know I need to spend a few hours or an evening by myself. I know it sounds silly, but I have a lot of anxiety relating to wasting time, so I think when I’m alone I worry too much about what I’m doing (or not doing). I’ve ended up in some pretty dark places recently because of this (think hours of horrible repeated panic attacks), but I’m slowly learning to remind myself that alone time is a form of self care in itself, and is incredibly and valuable – no matter how you choose to spend it.
I sat myself down recently and took some time out to list 15 different ways to enjoy spending time alone. Even just writing these things down has been beneficial to me, so I hope that anyone else in the same position (I know you must be out there!) finds it helpful too. Yes, some of them are a little cliche, but there’s a reason for that – so I’m including them anyway!
15 ways to enjoy spending time alone
Get lost in a really good book. You might even finish it in one sitting!
Organise something: your wardrobe, bookcase, kitchen cupboards or collections.
Watch that film that EVERYONE seems to have seen except you (mine is Avatar!)
Take a long bath with proper bubbles and listen to a playlist or podcast you love (try My Dad Wrote A Porno, The Guilty Feminist or Casefile True Crime – just be careful not to freak yourself out with that one)
Start a bullet journal. If you don’t know what one is, get to know here.
Do some online window shopping (or actual shopping, if you’re feeling flush!)
Skype your long distance family or friends. I know, this isn’t strictly alone time – but shhhh.
Walk, run, or cycle somewhere. Enjoy the scenery, peace, and freedom to do whatever you like.
Pick a random documentary on Netflix and learn something new.
Write someone a letter (whether you send it or not is up to you!)
Start a yoga challenge (YouTube is an amazing resource for this!)
Re-watch something you love, be it a film, series or single favourite episode.
Dig out any old photographs, cuttings, cards, tickets etc and make them into a scrapbook.
Get shit done like cleaning, washing or life admin, but don’t forget to leave time to relax too (I am guilty of forgetting that last part!)
Message an old friend just to say ‘hey’. Ask what’s up, see how life is – reconnect with someone you thought you’d lost touch with.
Of course, your list will vary depending on your personal tastes and preferences, but hopefully it’s a good starting place if, like me, this is something you struggle with. What are your favourite ways to spend time on your own? If you have any other ideas or words of wisdom, please send them my way!