25 Things to do by yourself + printable list


I love spending time alone. As long as it doesn’t involve me leaving my house.

Whenever my husband wants to go somewhere where I know we can expect crowds I always tell him: “but… but there are people there and I’ll have to interact and stuff“. It’s become somewhat of a running joke in my family. We’d go out to dinner and someone will suddenly look at me and say “Paula! I see people!

So yeah, I’m a bit (or a lot) of an introvert. I like having people over once in a while, but after a couple of hours, I am usually ready for my alone time. I just feel like I can’t function well if I don’t get enough alone time during the week.

At the same time though, I rarely do things alone. I have my little rituals where I read, or make dinner just for myself, or try to pick up the violin again. BUT I don’t often go out and do or try new things, all by myself.

A few weeks ago my husband was away on Saturday and as much as I love him, I had the best day ever. I went to IKEA to pick up a new desk and when I got home I went into a cleaning mode. I gave Blu a bath, did a shit ton of laundry folding, played HIMYM in the background, burned my favorite candle, had a glass of wine and put the desk together. I think it was the first piece of furniture I actually put together myself. I was literally putting the last piece when I heard Mark’s truck pull in the driveway- I was so desperate to finish it before he got home. When he came upstairs he couldn’t believe that I not only got the desk but also put it together myself. I know that this seems like such a small, stupid thing, but to me, it felt like an accomplishment. My husband is always there for me to do those things- we’ve been together since I was 17 so it felt cool to do something on my own. Even when it’s something that’s that small and stupid like buying a desk and putting it together.

I was talking to someone a while ago and I remember myself saying “If I didn’t leave my house for the rest of my life, I’d probably be happy“. As soon as I heard myself say that, I thought “wow, that’s scary“. What scared me even more, was when the person I was talking to said: “yeah, you probably would.. you hate doing things… because.. you know.. people and stuff“.

That conversation made me think and it’s what pushed me to do and try new things all by myself. I remembered how terrified I was when I first drove through New York City by myself,  went hiking alone  when I didn’t sleep all night before going alone to Boston and presenting my research at a conference back in college. All those things scared me a little (or a lot), but afterward, I always felt amazing and almost as if I accomplished something huge.

Doing things alone can teach you a lot about yourself, especially when you try something you don’t necessarily feel comfortable doing. I, for one, learned that I’m braver than I give myself credit for. Even when you already spend a lot of time alone, trying something new can be a little scary, but also very rewarding. You can find something you really enjoy doing or discover a talent you never knew you had.

Things to do by yourself

Do you like spending time alone? What’s your favorite thing to do?

  • This was such a lovely read! I love your ideas too. I want to start doing more things by myself (if my anxiety lets me haha). I use to hate spending time alone, but I quite like it now from time to time. It’s nice to just be able to do what you want and relax without any interruptions x

    Lauren | itslaurenvictoria.blogspot.co.uk

    • Thanks so much Lauren! I definitely don’t like being alone whenever I feel anxious, but thankfully that happens only once in a while now. It’s tough sometimes, pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, but it can feel very…. freeing ;)

  • Christine C.

    As much as I adore my friends, family and my husband, I think it’s hella important to take some time for yourself. I love days where my husband goes into the office and I can do what I want without interruptions and what not. Some days I like to go shopping by myself, visit a museum or just explore the city. I’ve even started dining alone AND I went to a movie by myself. HA! It’s not that I don’t like people (well…) its just that sometimes I want to do things for me and just relax! PS I am in total awe of your abilities to put together an ikea desk by yourself. That is a HUGE accomplishment, ha!

    • I totally agree Christine and I can totally relate too lol :) When my husband and I moved in together I couldn’t leave his side (I had bad depression and anxiety then) and now whenever he’s on vacation or something I’m like, you need to go downstairs and play video games or something, I need my alone time haha :)

      Aww thanks, girl! When I went to IKEA I overheard a woman say “oh what the hell, I need to put this shit together? not happening!” I thought to myself “then you’re at a wrong store, lady” haha!

  • Oh man, I just put together an IKEA desk/cabinet by myself and it was a struggle!!! I live at home and my dad is retired and my mom finishes work at 2 and they’re home bodies… so I never have alone time (eye roll emoji). I can’t wait to have alone time when I move out (whenever that may be)


    • Midway through the process I realized that I was putting it together all wrong and had a panic attack haha! Aw I sometimes miss living at home (only sometimes lol) especially when my mom and sister hang out together all the time, I get jealous! :)

  • Kat

    This is so me ! Totally ! I really like spending time alone just doing stuff I like to do . . . you are not alone in this thinking girl!

  • I relate to a lot of things you mentioned in this post, i spend a lot of time by myself but if i’m leaving the house to do something I have to go with someone because of my anxiety. I really want to try going to the cinema by myself just have to build up the courage.. great list of things to do by yourself I’ll defo keep this list in mind for inspiration of new things to try


    • I dealt with anxiety for many years (social anxiety) so I know the struggle. I started with small things like going to a grocery store. I remember first time I went to get groceries for dinner alone, my husband asked “where’s your sister?” I said she’s not here, why? He goes, “I know you didn’t go to the store by yourself” lol Only someone who dealt with anxiety would understand.

      Try to go see a movie during the week in the morning- there usually aren’t many people there at that time and it feels more comfortable. Baby steps! xx

  • I love spending time on my own, it’s time I really cherish

    – Natalie

  • Fridays are my days off and most of my friends and family are at work so I get the day to myself to just relax and get all my errands done. I love reading a book with a nice cup of tea and cook. I can make as much of a mess in the kitchen because no one is trying to use it as the same time as me!

    Emily | http://emilytrinh.com

    • Sweet! That’s like having your alone time already scheduled in your calendar so it doesn’t feel like you’re missing out on anything :) I love to cook too, it’s one of the most relaxing things to me! :)

  • I used to dislike doing things alone, but as I get older, I enjoy it. I love going places and hanging out with my own thoughts. Taking a long drive is one of my favorites.

    Trish http://www.thetrishlist.com

    • That’s something that I leaned to love and cherish as I get older, too. I love taking long drives in fall- everything is just so beautiful that time of year.

  • Doing puzzles is actually fun… there, I’ve admitted. Everyone can call me a 16 year old grandma now XD
    Aleeha xXx

  • I love spending time alone, but one thing I was thinking on today was starting a volunteer project with myself as a great way to meet new people and just give back. Since I work for in fundraising for a nonprofit, I always feel like I’m already giving back but I want to do something more hands on.

    People watching in the park is also so great in the springtime!

    xoxo – Kelly

    • I think that volunteering is such an amazing idea, especially if you can get involved in your community. It’s definitely a good way to do something on your own, while also meeting new people.

      I love people watching, too! :)

  • I really enjoy spending time with myself! I think it is super important to make sure I have a balance of me time and time with friends! Great suggestions! Thanks for sharing!

  • Kelly Bingham

    I love the hike idea! I think getting amongst nature is important and to do it on your own, I think, would be such a refreshing and renewing experience.
    Kelly xx

    • I agree Kelly. There really isn’t anything that compares to being alone in nature. Even if it’s just sitting on a grass in your backyard, looking at the sky. It’s so peaceful and really makes you appreciate nature.

  • I can do pretty much all of those things except eat by myself. I don’t know why! I actually ate most of my meals alone in college, but I can’t do it now. I also struggle if I know I’m going to be at a social event where I don’t know anyone. Great list! Also good for you for pushing yourself, even though it can be uncomfortable at times.

    • I struggle with social events where I don’t know anyone, too. I only did it a couple times and 90% of the time I ended up having a good time. But I also kept wishing I was home haha :)

  • Crystal

    Perfect timing! i was just telling my husband today that I don’t get enough alone time. So he took the kids out of the house for a couple of hours. I’m sitting here in peace and quiet with a tall glass of ice water and candle just reading. Doing whatever I want. I can SO relate to this! Alone time is important so we can hear our own thoughts. Thanks for sharing these great ideas! I’m gonna have him read your post! ????

    • Aww your husband is so sweet! That sounds so lovely, I think that for a lot of us spending time alone has become a bit of a luxury, so it makes me so happy to know that you had such a lovely and peaceful time hanging out by yourself. :) xx

      • Crystal

        Thanks sweetie!

  • yeah, I am also a very introvert person so when meeting new person, I get to get so nervous especially guys…

    • Meeting new people can be so stressful, especially if you like to overthink a lot (like me haha!). I find that the more I push myself to do it, the easier it gets.

  • Victoria

    Oh gosh, I’m literally the worst at remembering/getting the courage to do things on my own. I am a lot like you- I tend to prefer alone time although lately I have been aching for some company but alas, I haven’t bothered to make any friends in my town so I don’t even know where to start. It’s a dark hole that I’ve dug myself in.

    • We moved to our house eight years ago, and I swear my husband knows everyone in town. The coffee shop owner, the guy from the gas station, the lady from the bagel shop, the local barber. I still don’t know all of our neighbors’ names haha :) I find it so stressful sometimes to interact with others, but I do try to push myself here and there.

  • I had a reasonable amount of courage when I first moved to the Boston area by myself. I’d take trips downtown alone on the train (public transportation scares me). My bf eventually moved here 3 years later and I settled into letting him do things for me and not really needing to even leave the house except for work. He does all of the grocery shopping, for instance. I’d love to get back into a spot where I could do the grocery shopping myself, or have us each do different things while we’re at home. Thanks for this, Paula!

    Jenn │ Beauty by Jellybean

    • Girl, you’re so brave, you’re my hero! That’s something I always dreamt of doing ;)

      My husband did the same for me for many years. I suffered from depression and horrible anxiety many years ago, and even doing small things like going to the store were just not possible for me. Once I got out of depression I started by doing small things, like going to a bakery and making breakfast on Sundays, etc. It’s hard to get out of your comfy routine, but small changes feel great, too. xx

  • I do a lot of things by myself, but it wasnt always that way. While I am not necessarily an introvert, I do spend so much time with people at work and then have my kids when I get home that I prefer time spend alone to unwind. A good balance is needed, but one evening at the weekend I prefer to have all to myself.

    Linda, Libra, Loca: Beauty, Baby and Backpacking

    • I got used to doing everything by myself when I moved out of my mom’s house. My family moved out of state, my then-boyfriend now husband worked 24/7 while I worked and went to college. Four years of that and I got so used to being alone, it’s hard to unlearn that :) .

  • As soon as you have kids, alone time is almost impossible :)) Yesterday my husband and boy went to the park and my baby girl took a nap so it was nice to have some “alone time”. Made myself coffee and had time to catch up on blog post.

    • Aw that’s so sweet! It’s nice that you get to sneak in some alone time, I’m sure it’s precious these days! :) One of my friends locks herself in a pantry with wine and cheese whenever she needs a break, while her partner watches the kids :)

  • I’m so similar, being around other people tires me. Of course I have my husband and kids who are with me 24/7 but I don’t need to see my friends more often then once in a while and I love spending quiet time on my own.

    I only recently passed my driving test and I feel so good about being able to go somewhere on my own without having to ask husband to give me a ride :) x

    Mummy’s Beauty Corner

    • I love my alone time too! I sometimes even need a break from my husband, but I think it’s much healthier than me unwilling to leave his side back when we were dating haha! I was a clinger lol

      Ooo that’s amazing congrats Dagmara! Must feel so good! I remember when I got my license I wanted to drive everywhere, even to a store that’s right around the corner haha! That’s awesome, so happy for you! xx

      • Thank you :) Yes, it’s amazing, like a new freedom has been given to me, haha! Although I’m still a bit scared to venture somewhere far I don’t know. x

  • Your description are all so spot on! I’m always denying that I’m an introvert because I do enjoy getting out & be social, but after doing that a lot I just need to be on my own. I think the best description for personality like ours are extroverted introvert! ;)

    • Yesss! I hate it when people say that introverts hate people- not true! Well, for the most part, anyway haha!

      Extroverted introvert- yes, love it! That’s exactly how I’d describe it! :)

  • This is great!! Number 24 hahaha!!
    I’ve been spending so much time alone, and this just gives me new ideas of things to do.
    I spend most of my alone time youtube-ing/ making videos, which is greatttt but i think i could totally do these 25 items too!! The experience may make for more youtube videos haha!!

    ♡ Carina – Blog // YouTube

    • Haha yes! Actually going out and doing something new is totally different form watching youtube videos. But binge-watching youtube is super fun too! :D

  • I love this post! I love to do things alone or together with my husband. When I am alone I get so many ideas either! I love nr 13 :)

  • Great ideas! I do things alone all the time, and the first time is always the hardest, but you grow accustomed to it. I’ve traveled to other countries alone, and have no problem going solo to the movies. In fact, I think a trip to the movies is a perfect solo activity since you can’t talk or interact much anyway!

  • Natalie Redman

    Great post! I love doing things alone. I’m so comfortable in my own loneliness. It’s very liberating!


    • It really is! I used to complain about spending so much time alone, but now I can’t imagine it being any other way :)

  • Belén Martí Sánchez

    I feel you :) I love people but girl I am such an introvert! Also I don’t know how to do small talk I always end up talking about deeper thoughts… Any tips? Currently I am suffering with anxiety and I am going to go all by myself to horse riding lessons as that is supposed to help! Kisses from Spain

    • Oh God, I do the same thing! I can get so chatty sometimes and it annoys the crap out of me. Have you ever read The Power of Now? (http://amzn.to/2mApJ6n) That book taught me how to listen and be more in a present moment- to actually try to hear someone out, rather than subconsciously try to out-talk them or stir the conversation into a more “deep” direction, as you said. It’s not easy to do for someone with anxiety (I had bad social anxiety for years, I now rarely get panicky but it still happens) but with practice, it’s totally possible.

  • Sarah Flandro

    I agree. I definitely enjoy my alone time. I don’t like going out much either. I’d rather spend the time at home with my fiance and our kids than go out and have to interact with people, LOL. ;-) Alone time is definitely necessary too though, especially with kids. If you don’t get any alone time, you’ll lose your sanity after dealing with kids all day. haha. ;-) I am following you now and would love if you’d follow me back when you get a chance! Looking forward to reading more from you. :-)

    xo, Sarah

  • I know exactly how you feel! Me and my sister were just talking about this and both agreed that if we spend a day with a friend etc we need at least three days to ourselves after that.
    I absolutely love the list! I’d love to wake up early and watch the sunrise every day :)x

    Anu | Based On blog | Bloglovin

  • Loving this list hun! I really enjoy spending time alone as well. Its so healthy for me. And going to bookstores is one of my favorites. As well as photography of course ;)

    Hope you have a good rest of your week! <3

    xo, mikéla / simplydavelyn.com