Alone time. Some of us are born loners and are naturally okay with spending time by ourselves. In fact, we even sort of crave it sometimes, finding it necessary to retreat from the loud outside world and chill out. But for those of us who love parties and noise and people and excitement, being alone is super boring. We would rather take a trip to the dentist than have no plans for a weekend or have to keep our own company for an extended period of time. If this sounds like you, it’s totally possible to change. Read on to find out how to stop being so bored when you’re alone. You might even love it.
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1. Learn the Joys of Binge-Watching
Binge-watching is the most popular way to watch television these days. Embrace it and learn to love it. If you don’t already have Netflix (or some sort of streaming service) and if you aren’t as addicted as everyone else, what are you waiting for? Binge-watching is best enjoyed solo, because you can fully immerse yourself in the dramatic world of whatever series you’re currently into. If you want to laugh, commit yourself to re-watching the entire ten seasons of the beloved classic sitcom Friends. If you’re more of a dramatic person, figure out what the Breaking Bad fuss was all about or fall for the quirky and charming Orange Is The New Black. Be glad that you’re alone because no one can talk during the best parts or interrupt you – or make you feel bad that you spent your entire Saturday afternoon with your butt planted on your couch when it’s a beautiful day outside. It’s okay. Binge-watching is a perfectly acceptable way to embrace your alone time.
2. Go to the Movies Alone
The experience of going to the movie theatre has always been pretty magical. For two hours, you get to sit in the dark with a bunch of strangers and lose yourself in a fictional world. Except, these days, you’re more likely to want to just stream the movie at home instead of making the effort to go out or to shell out for a ticket and that super expensive concession stand. But in order to learn to be okay with spending time by yourself, going to the movies alone is a great first step. You’ll realize how amazing it is when you get to see exactly what you feel like seeing, exactly when you want to see it. You don’t have to see a movie that your friend wants to see for which you have no interest but have to see it because you guys already had a standing plan. You don’t have to coordinate schedules with anyone. So go ahead and try it out. It’ll be your new weekly routine, and it’s just as meditative as a yoga class. Okay, maybe not. But still, it’s a nice way to relax. And an added bonus? You’re totally going to win your office Oscar pool.
3. Focus on Solo Activities
If you do something alone that you would typically do in a group, for example working out at the gym on the weight machines and treadmill when you’re used to group fitness classes, shooting baskets when you’re on a basketball team with friends – you’re going to feel even lonelier and never want to embrace the art of being alone. So focus on activities that can only be done solo or are at least best enjoyed when it’s just you. Take up cooking and baking. Getting comfortable in the kitchen is relaxing and can even be tons of fun. You can get as creative as you want. Once you have a few core recipes down pact, you can change up the ingredients on your every whim and come up with some delicious and unique creations. And you’ll be super popular at the office when you bring in chocolate muffins or banana bread on Monday morning after spending the whole weekend baking away in your apartment.
Reading is another good solo activity. If you get into reading, you will really enjoy spending time alone because you’ll thrive on it and crave that time. But make sure that you figure out what genre of books you truly love to read. And be honest. If you love a good mystery, embrace it. If you’re more into romance, don’t be ashamed – it’s a very popular genre for a reason. If literary fiction is more your thing, go for it.
4. Get Out of Town
Some people love to travel alone, and others can’t imagine going somewhere without the safety net of having a good friend or family or spouse with them. You will definitely become comfortable being alone, and fast, if you plan a solo trip. Start small and go on a day trip to a nearby town or city that you can easily access by car or train or bus. Explore a new place, eat in a restaurant by yourself, take in the local culture. Soon you’ll be hooked and will start doing this more often. And who knows, maybe you’ll even book a trip halfway across the world and do it all by yourself.
Solo travel can be so rewarding and satisfying because, like going to a movie without a friend, it’s all about getting to do what you really want to do and not having to live by someone else’s wants or schedule. As many workaholics know, going on vacation, while keeping your typical schedule or routine -which means getting work done on the trip, is a one-way ticket to returning home even more exhausted and stressed than you were when you left. Make sure that your leisure time is truly yours and that you’re actually relaxing and resting. In order to do that, you have to live without a schedule, and when you go somewhere by yourself, you can do that much easier than if you were with others. Once you travel by yourself, staying home alone will seem like no big deal at all.
5. Do Something that Scares you
If you dread your own company, take a moment and think about why that is the case. Do you want to avoid being alone with your thoughts because you don’t want to worry about what’s really going on in your personal life? Are you afraid to admit that you’re unhappy, with your job or your life or a relationship? Do something that scares you and find a way to deal with your thoughts. Go to a yoga class for the first time, and you’ll learn to love being alone. Yoga is a great way to be alone while being in a group setting. You’ll get to tune into your body and mind, and by the end of the class you’ll fall in love with spending that relaxing, important time with yourself.
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Do you jam-pack your schedule even when you’re exhausted because you’re so afraid to spend time with yourself? Does the idea of spending an evening home alone make you want to cry? If you hate being alone and crave the company of others, follow some of the easy and accessible ideas in this how-to guide, and learn to leave the boredom behind and fall in love with spending time alone. One of the greatest gifts in life is being able to enjoy your own company. No matter what you do, get comfortable with who you are. And besides, you can always make some social plans after a few days spent alone – you’ve earned it.