“Loneliness is a sign you are in desperate need of yourself.” – Rupi Kaur, Milk & Honey.
Sometimes we choose to be left alone, and sometimes we’re left with no choice. But, just because we are alone, doesn’t mean that we have to be lonely. In this fast-paced world, FOMO (fear of missing out) is real, and it can feel like you’re always supposed to say yes to everything—you never know what experience or opportunity could arise from it, right? But sometimes, we have to start learning when to say no, and powerful opportunities and experiences can still happen, but in a different, and no less influential way: within ourselves.
Now is the time to say you’ve got plans, and you do—an appointment with yourself. Give yourself permission to recuperate. Give yourself permission to think. Give yourself permission to spend time with your hobbies. Give yourself permission to be yourself, for yourself. Below are a few ways to get started.
1—Get productive. You don’t have to tackle something major—even completing a small task can be helpful, gratifying, and stress-relieving. Organize a desk drawer, or finally get around to cleaning those makeup brushes… which haven’t seen a good soak in a year… or so… oops.
2—Learn a new skill. Find a free coding course online or learn how to determine which of your friends is a sun sign. Invest in a tarot deck, a French press, or an embroidery hoop. What have you been waiting for?
3—Write. Just write. The old-fashioned way, with a pen—not your computer. Make lists, draft some free prose, or try crafting a flash-fiction scene. For many, the scariest part of being alone is the nasty thoughts of doubt and inadequacy it can bring clawing to the surface. But sometimes, it’s good to allow yourself to feel this way and confront it, and writing is an excellent constructive outlet to help sort through those thoughts. Happy, sad, or somewhere in between, the simple act of putting a physical shape to the words crowding your brain is an act of therapy. Even if it’s just mindless scribbles, the feeling of pen pressing to paper is surprisingly cathartic.
4—Discover some fresh tunes. Spend the day surfing through Spotify suggestions, researching your local music scene, or crafting the ideal summer nights playlist. Of course, if you don’t care to bother with the hassle, I personally recommend this summer playlist (all the indie/surfy/shoegaze-y pop you could ever need, with the windows rolled down) though I may be a little biased.
6—Pick up a book. Read that book you’ve had on your “summer reading list” Pinterest board for 3 years now. If a full-blown novel seems like too much of a commitment, go for a poetry anthology instead!
7—Literally just catch up on sleep. Uh… ditto.
How do you like spending your valuable time alone? Let me know in the comments below!