I tend to be an over-planner. I used to make multiple plans for one weekend just to ensure that I never had downtime or stayed in on Saturday night. I would often tell myself that “I am a loser” if I spend a Saturday night watching Netflix alone. I’d rather have anyone to spend time with someone, versus time alone. This was really intimidating and would cause a lot of anxiety.
A really high anxiety scenario for myself is to have a day off of work with nothing to do and no one to hang out with. When I moved to Chicago, I didn’t have many friends to just make a bunch of plans with. I would have really high levels of anxiety leading up to the day that I had no plans and no one to make plans with. A huge part of my healing journey was to start learning how to spend an entire weekend alone.
"Until you get comfortable with being alone, you'll never know if you're choosing someone out of love or loneliness."
One way I would conquer a day alone (and trying to not break my bank account) is I would make lists of all the things I could do in the city alone. It doesn’t matter if I wanted to do the activity or if I was nervous to do the activity alone, I would add it to my list. This helped me when I woke up on my day off with no plans, I could go to my list and conquer at least one thing.
In doing more things alone, I found more confidence. I found that I actually really do enjoy time alone and staying in on Saturday night. In having a list, it helped me to ease my anxiety and tell myself that I’m not a loser, but rather, I get to spend all this time with myself and that is awesome.
I know I’m not the only person that struggles with spending time alone. I realized I was at a point where I would spend time with people that didn’t necessarily support me, instead of spending that time alone, simply because I really struggled being alone. Whether you want to admit it or not, most people struggle doing things alone.
That’s why I wanted to share my list of what I do on a day with no plans:
Go on a walk/workout with music
I love music. I have some really amazing Skullcandy headphones that allow me to block out all noises. I love discovering new music and listening to artists. I will listen to it on repeat and just look at all the different shops and things in my neighborhood.
When I lived in Indianapolis, I went to a hiking trail almost weekly and would walk for hours and listen to my music. Even if you don’t live in a popular city with a lot to look at like Chicago, there’s always new hiking trails, shops, and neighborhoods to discover and it does not have to be lonely.
Go to the museum
In most cities (for teachers), they offer free or discounted tickets to your local museums. I never actually went to the Indianapolis museums and I really regret not doing that. Growing up in Chicago, I have been to most museums here, however, being an adult and having a different perspective, I am excited to use my teacher discount and check out the museums in the area.
Get your tarot cards read
I totally understand not everyone believes in tarot cards or in spirituality. Personally, I love it. For me, it is a really individual thing and I find a lot of guidance in getting my cards read by a trusted psychic. However, for me by understanding my own beliefs and my own spirituality has helped me understand my codependent tendencies and my anxiety.
This can be said for different beliefs as well. If you are Christian, join a bible study group. If you are Muslim, attend your mosque and learn more about your beliefs and culture. This helps you to strengthen your understanding of the world and yourself.
Read/listen to podcasts
Go to the coffee shop around you and read a book or put your headphones in and listen to a podcast. My personal recommendation is a podcast called “Femme” and “The Adult Chair.” Not only are you reading and expanding your mind, you never know who you will meet :)
Make your favorite food and have a movie marathon or watch YouTube
I absolutely love Youtube and anyone who understands this love knows that you could spend a lot of time educating yourself and watching videos. I love watching new Netflix and Hulu series and getting caught up with the different characters and plot.
I am also really trying to learn how to cook. Not going to lie, I am the worst cook. I have no patience but this is something I want to learn. On my day off, I sometimes will look up a recipe I want to try and make it. My next one is steak tacos.
These are just a few on a very long list of activities. It can be really intimidating to spend time alone but it truly is the only way to learn about yourself.
Let me know what you do alone, give me more ideas of what I can do alone! I love hearing what you have to say.