For some, the thought of being alone is far from pleasant. They have to entertain themselves, sit with their thoughts, and learn how to manage that uncomfortable feeling they get when no one else is around them. This act, though, may only happen once in a while for that person who’s lucky enough to have their friends live in the same town as them; but being alone might be common practice for someone whose close friends live far, far away.
Not having easy access to connect with the individuals you care about the most can feel extremely lonely and heartbreaking. Every moment you have by yourself may not bring you joy and can be filled with a lot of resistance. But as much as you may hate constantly being a party of one, there are really great ways you can learn how to fall back in love with your moments of solitude. Scroll below to see five ways you can enjoy your alone time when your friends live far away.
1. Try to be your own source of validation
As much as it sucks to not have your friends nearby to randomly call whenever you want, there are still ways you can enjoy that afternoon brunch reservation or blockbuster movie all by yourself. As scary as it is to do these activities alone, there’s a strength within you that will come out when you allow yourself to be your own source of validation. You and you alone are a person you want to always be around, and thinking that you’re not worthy to spend time with yourself will only deter you from creating a true friendship with yourself.
The next time these negative thoughts begin to bubble in your head, try to stop it immediately and use this time to fill it with things that will make you fall in love with yourself again. Take yourself for a walk and journal in your diary in the park, treat yourself to a spa-themed bubble bath, or simply take yourself out to dinner. Just like any other relationship that’s in your life, you have to nurture, love, and give attention to the relationship that’ll never go away; and that is the one you have with yourself.
2. Do things you really want to do
When you’re alone, you have the ability to do whatever you want. Literally. No one is telling you that they don’t want to check out that museum or eat that Instagram-trending ice cream cone that you’ve been eyeing for the past six weeks. When you have the honor of being by yourself, you have the luxury of creating your own schedule to do things you really want to do — and isn’t that such a beautiful thing?
To learn how to enjoy your alone time, create a list of all the things you want to do — and get crazy with it. Doing this could get you excited to learn how to love your own company. You’ll have so many memories and stories to tell once you start knocking things off your list. While it can be exciting to watch Netflix shows every night of the week, completing these mini-adventures (no matter how big or small) can entice you to live a more meaningful, adventurous life.
3. Use this time to really get to know yourself
Being alone means that you have unlimited access to your thoughts, and if we’re being honest here, that can be scary and downright uncomfortable. However, there could be a way to become comfortable with this when you use this time to get to know yourself just a little bit more.
Getting to know yourself on a deeper level can allow you to be more empathic toward yourself. You’ll have a clearer understanding of your thought patterns that won’t be influenced by others, and it’ll allow yourself to be less afraid of actually being alone. Ultimately, while it’s great to catch up with friends, it can be just as beneficial to catch up with yourself.
4. Switch your mindset
Let’s be real: you won’t fall in love with the idea of being alone if you always have a negative connotation toward it. Being alone sometimes is occupied by the stigma of loneliness; if you’re by yourself, then something must be wrong with you. However, that’s far from the truth. Solitude is a golden time that not many of us have the luck of having, and to think that it’s a waste of time is a disservice to your mental health. By switching your mindset, you’re giving yourself the permission to enjoy the time you have to yourself. So make sure you use this time wisely.
5. Learn to live in the discomfort
One of the main reasons why people choose not to be by themselves is because it can be incredibly uncomfortable to have the responsibility of having control over their thoughts and actions as there’s nothing to distract them. But what if I told you that learning how to live in the discomfort can make you grow as a person?
Ever since the invention of the smartphone, we’ve always had this easy accessibility to be connected with the “outside world.” However, having this power has refrained us from enjoying our alone time as it has now become too painful to even deal with. Alas, there’s a way around this: to force yourself to not be connected. Yes, your friends may be a text message away, but you’re not exactly allowing yourself to be alone when you’re constantly sending them memes. Instead, try to put your phone away and do activities that will help calm that phone-induced anxiety (i.e. mediation, exercise, reading). Once you begin to find activities that will bring peace to your overall well-being, you’ll have more enthusiasm to enjoy the time you have with yourself.