For some of us, the idea of being alone is a bit intimidating. With how interconnected the world is, we’re very rarely truly alone. Instead of reaching for your phone or computer to chat with a friend the next time you’re alone, try these things to make the most of your time alone to better yourself and learn more about what makes you YOU!
Have you ever noticed how much you do when you go visit a new place? When was the last time you explored your local area? Go exploring on your own and discover some new things to do! Find an opportunity for adventure wherever you can and learn to enjoy these things on your own.
“So often we get wrapped up in making every outing a social event, but it can be refreshing to do something just for yourself by yourself,” says Caleb Ulffers, CEO of Haven Athletic. “Go check out that new coffee shop, see a movie, or walk around a new area of town you haven’t explored yet. As you venture out more frequently on your own, you’ll find ways to enjoy solitude in new ways that will leave you feeling refreshed.”
“There are so many activities that we shy away from doing alone simply because we’ve grown accustomed to doing it with others,” says Ray Leon, CEO of Pet Insurance Review. “Going out to eat at a new restaurant or for a hike can be a wonderful experience if you can overcome the initial hesitancy of doing it on your own.”
Having time to yourself to evaluate where you are and practice mindfulness while setting goals for the future can be a fantastic use of time. This is something that should be done on your own anyway since nobody else should be influencing your goals and dreams. Take some time to yourself to appreciate where you are and set goals for the future.
“Goal setting and meditating on thoughts about the future are great practices to get into the habit of doing,” says Anamika Goyal, Head of Architecture & Design at Cottage. “You may have different goals for different areas of your life – and that’s okay! Take time to meditate and think about how you should be spending time and prioritizing things so you don’t stand in your own way of reaching those goals.”
“Allow yourself to dream during your time alone,” says Katy Carrigan, Chief Revenue Officer of Goody. “Implementing time to practice goal setting and making the most of that time alone to feel productive and positive about where you are and where you want to go can put you in a better state of mind about things that you’re currently dealing with. When you can remove yourself from the daily stresses and problems and focus on the big picture, those things often start to feel like smaller hurdles.”
It’s easy to lose the motivation to do things you enjoy as you get caught up in pursuing a career. We have so many other things we can occupy our time with on digital devices that can seem easier to use during downtime. However, if you’re not fulfilling yourself with those activities which are often mindless and lack a clear result, is it really a great use of your time?
“So many of us in the workforce lose sight of the things we used to enjoy because we get burnt out by the time we have time off,” says Kiran Gollakota, Co-Founder and CEO of Lightyear Health. “This leads us to start identifying ourselves and our purposes by our careers which is not always something that we want to do. Find an activity or a hobby that you enjoy and can bring fulfillment to your life.”
“We’re paid to do our work because it’s not meant to be a fun activity. If it was something that was meant to be enjoyed and considered leisurely, you wouldn’t be getting a paycheck,” says Karim Hachem, VP of eCommerce of Sunshine 79. “It’s a great thing if you love your job, but even the best jobs can be draining on some days. Find a hobby or activity that you can do on your own to decompress after particularly stressful or long days on the job. This doesn’t have to be something that you’re a professional at, but something that brings you joy and allows you to enjoy your time alone.”
We often seek so much of our validation from others and their opinions or support of us. Instead of relying on others, learn how you can appreciate yourself for who you are. Spend some time alone learning to love yourself and do things that allow you to feel confident and proud of who you are.
“It’s easy to lose the appreciation you have for yourself in the shuffle of everyday life,” says Alexandra Fennell, Co-Founder of Attn:Grace. “With social media, we’re constantly comparing ourselves and our lives to others. It’s important to remember that there is only one you and you’re doing amazing things! Learn to love yourself and be proud of what you’re doing in life.”
“Spend your time alone learning to love yourself,” says Ari Evans, CEO of Maestro. “We’re part of a society that is always chasing after ‘likes’ and external sources of validation. Learn to be proud of who you are as an individual without needing that validation from others. Sure, that support can be nice at times, but many of us rely on that much more than we should. Learn to love yourself first.”
In conclusion, there are a bunch of great options you can take advantage of to embrace solitude and make the most of time alone. Being alone doesn’t have to be an intimidating or boring experience. In fact, it can become a thing to look forward to if you’re following some of the advice above.
Learning to appreciate yourself for who you are now is a great first step in spending time alone and embracing solitude. If you’re constantly filling your time alone with negative self-talk or destructive thinking, you won’t grow. Instead, learn to love yourself and think of different ways you can grow in the future with goal setting.
Another option you have to embrace solitude and time alone is to explore. Go on adventures and learn what you like to do on your own. Don’t be intimidated by doing something “unusual” by yourself like going out to eat or to a movie. Trying new things on your own can be eye opening and allow you to experience things in a new way.
Finally, you can look for a hobby. Hobbies are a fantastic way to spend time alone and bring joy to your life. Find an activity that you used to love or even something you’ve always wanted to try but never made the time for. You may discover a new passion!