6 Ways to Enjoy Spending Time Alone

There are two kinds of people: those who draw energy from being around other people, and those who get that energy from being alone.

Okay, so some of us are also somewhere between the two.

I’ve always thought of myself as an extreme introvert, but these days I think I’m more of an extroverted introvert.  I find that I rarely “need” or crave company.

We’re not always comfortable with solitude, yet there are so many ways to enjoy spending time alone, so many things to learn and discover. Things that you can only learn through solitude. If you’re one of those people who just can’t stand to be alone, if you’re afraid to try new things all by yourself, then I dedicate this post to you.

6 WAYS TO ENJOY SPENDING TIME ALONE

FIND A HOBBY

Some of you might know that I started this blog when I was struggling with depression. I was in school, working full-time, my husband (fiancé at the time) was running his own business and working pretty much 24/7, my mom, sister, and brother recently moved out-of-state. That obviously didn’t help things as I was alone, all the time. I was on awful meds that took my depression to a whole different level. Everything was a struggle, even getting out of bed in the morning; it seemed like no one understood me. Unless you struggled with depression, it’s pretty difficult to understand. You have people telling you to just “get over it” and unfortunately, it just doesn’t work like that. I’ve always felt that loneliness is one of the worst feelings us, as human beings can experience. Not having anyone to talk to, to hug, or have fun with, or to just hear you out. Whenever I had some free time, that loneliness was all I could think of. Sometimes you might even be surrounded by people, friends, family, and still feel alone.

My husband kept telling me “Paula, you need to find a hobby, find something to do.” I was the kind of person who felt that they’re just not good at anything. How can I find a hobby, when I’m not really good at anything? I never had any hobbies, things I liked to do, never thought of having a creative outlet. The only thing I really loved to do was read about all things related to beauty. I had all this makeup and skincare products I loved to play with, but no one to talk about it to. That’s when I came with an idea to create a blog. Next, knowing nothing about it, I got into photography and found a passion for it- despite being completely clueless about it at first. Following that, I realized just how much joy writing has brought me, and there it was- yet another thing I fell in love with. All of a sudden, I didn’t even have time to think about being alone all the time, because I found things that brought me joy, things I loved doing and learning about. Every day, I had something to look forward to and that, helped me not only grow as a person, but it almost made me realize that I kind of love spending time alone when I get to do all these things I enjoy.

There is so much that life has to offer, so much we often take for granted. Finding a hobby can not only help you discover new passions or talents, but it can also help you feel less lonely. It’s a great way to befriend yourself, learn to have fun with yourself- you’re never less alone, than when alone. You have you.

Related reading:

20 Things to Start Doing for Yourself
50 Ways to Practice Self-Care
Morning Affirmations to Start Your Day
How to Find Peace of Mind + Serenity

USE YOUR ALONE TIME TO GROW

Some steps need to be taken alone. It’s the only way to really figure out where you need to go and who you need to be.”    – Mandy Hale
This ties in a bit with what I talked about in the previous paragraph. There are so many things to try, things to learn, things to discover. One of the best ways to grow is to go out and try new things, find new passions. Most of us have a list of things we’ve been putting off for years. Learning a new language, picking up a new skill, taking a dance class, doing some volunteer work. Those new experience help you grow as a person.

The great thing about living in today’s world is that we have unlimited resources to do all of those things. We can learn new things, grow and discover new passions or talents we never knew we had, all you really need is a laptop and an internet connection.

Ways to Enjoy Spending Time Alone

BOOST YOUR CREATIVITY

Creativity isn’t something you either have, or you don’t. It’s something we’re all born with. I remember always being jealous of my mom and husband who are both very talented when it comes to art, things like painting and drawing. I, on the other hand, suck at both and thus, never thought of myself as being a creative being. It wasn’t until I read Big Magic a few years ago (which is an amazing book that I think everyone should read!) that I realized we’re all creative beings. You can be creative in the way you dress, the way you cook, the way you do your makeup, the way you work, the way you raise your children- we’re all creative beings.

One of the best ways to enjoy spending time alone is having a creative outlet, boosting your creativity. Even if you think there isn’t  anything creative you can do, I guarantee that there are a handful of things you do in your everyday life where you use your creativity. Things you do differently than others. I wrote an entire post (including exercises for boosting your creativity) which you can find right here.


GET TO KNOW YOURSELF

If you don’t like spending time alone, chances are you also can’t stand silence, or being still. Sometimes, being alone with your thoughts can be… a little intimidating. I’ve learned that one of the best ways to learn more about yourself, is by doing things that scare you- and that includes doing things alone. In my post about creativity, I talked about my fear of water and how taking a kayaking trip a few years back, which was traumatizing, to be honest (the water was only about 4-5 feet deep, mind you) changed my life. During that trip, I nearly had a panic attack when the water turned choppy and I was convinced I was going to die. I also almost crapped my pants. Silly, I know. Yes, I can swim, but water (any water that isn’t a pool) just terrifies me- I almost drowned twice when I was little, but that’s beside the point. It was that trip that inspired me to start writing about things like self-growth and that is something that helped me to get to myself a lot better.

What lovely surprise to finally discover how unlonely being alone can be” – Ellen Burstyn 
You can be 20, 30, 40, 50 years old and learn new things about yourself, every single day. Spending time alone can help you get a better understanding of your feelings, dreams, fears. It can be incredibly clarifying and inspiring. Don’t let the silence or aloneness intimidate you. I think that journaling is a great place to start. It’s a small activity that doesn’t take up much time, but can help you find answers. It can help you get a better feel of yourself, figure out what inspires you, what brings you joy.

TAKE YOURSELF OUT ON A DATE

Go to movies, grab dinner, go to your favorite coffee shop, all by yourself. Do some people watching. Doing these things alone might feel scary or a bit… awkward at first. But think about it. You can do whatever you want; you don’t have to debate and argue about which movie to see, where to go to eat, what to order or when to leave. The only person you have to make sure is having a good time is… well… you. You are the only person you have to worry about. Go where you want to go, see what you want to see, eat what you want to eat.

GET A LITTLE LOST

Try going for a long drive, or a walk and get lost a little. Explore new places, new stores, new towns. One of my favorite places to go and get lost is a bookstore. You can spend hours browsing, exploring- all while enjoying that beautiful smell of books (and freshly brewed coffee, my favorite combo). Turn off your phone, sit in a comfy chair, read, walk through the isles. Pick up random books to browse through. It’s great when you don’t have to worry about finding someone who has time to go with you, you don’t have to worry about whether or not you can stay out longer because someone else has somewhere to be. Don’t be afraid to get lost a little- it can be so fun and refreshing.

Loneliness and spending time alone are two different things. I used to be terrified of doing things alone, all by myself. Even things as small as going grocery shopping would be uncomfortable while I was getting over my social anxiety. After I began to embrace my alone time, doing things by myself, everything changed. I don’t want to say that I’ve become a loner, but I can’t say that I don’t get excited when I sometimes get a call about canceled plans.

In life, you have to take some time to slow down, to stop, to re-evaluate some things, when you aren’t in a constant hurry. Silence, solitude, can be your best friends during those times. Don’t be afraid to embrace them.

Do you struggle with spending time alone? What are some of your favorite ways to enjoy spending time alone?


self-care | alone time | wellness | mental wellbeing | how to be alone | how to enjoy spending time alone | alone time ideas | self-growth | lifestyle blog | ideas for alone time | wellness blog ideas | alone time ideas | enjoy spending time alone
  • Hayley Martin

    I really enjoyed reading this! I have always been someone that isn’t afraid to go and do things on my own. I also love going for a drive – even if i’m on my own. Recently though I have been feeling really alone, I quit my job a few months back and am now setting up my own business. I didn’t realise how much I would miss the social aspect of my previous job! As much as I hated going there everyday – I had really good relationships with my colleagues. The job got me into a rut as I was working over 12 hours a day and rarely saw my friends, but because of this my social needs were being met a work. As now, I am really pushing myself to make plans and see my friends and go and do things! I didn’t think it would be a challenge but it definitely as been. I also have been making sure to not get in a personal rut so I have been taking time to read, have pamper nights etc

    Hayley | hayleyxmartin

    • Thank you, Hayley! Long drives are one of my favorite things, too :) Wishing you best of luck with your business- it’s great that you’re pushing yourself to make plans to go out and do things. When you work for yourself, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and get into a rut. It takes a lot more effort and self-care is definitely one of those things you have to remember to do, even when you’re very busy. x

  • I’m sadly not at the stage of going out much by myself, but everything else you mentioned is exactly what I do what I’m alone:) Great post, I always enjoy reading what you have to say. Ps: There is a word for someone who is in between introvert and extrovert, or they switch between the two, and they’re considered an ambivert ! xxx

    Melina | http://www.ivefoundwaldo.com

  • Kate

    Really interesting read Paula! I’m someone who has always enjoyed being alone. In fact, I kind of had to be forced into being social as a kid! Hopefully I’ve achieved some sort of balance now. x

    Kate Louise Blogs

  • I discovered I am an ambivert, so I need both, people and alone time. With the kids and the work now though, time alone has become very precious, because the hours I get on my own are limited. Working on the blog or on videos is how I spend most of it.

    Linda, Libra, Loca: Beauty, Baby and Backpacking

    • I’m sure that having children changes everything- it’s one of those things that terrifies me about parenthood haha :)

      • You learn so many amazing things about yourself that despite all the hardship having kids is truly a blessing.

  • peonies passionfruit

    Great post, I am most definitely an introvert and draw energy from my alone time although I can be extroverted when the occasion calls for it.

    Eme x

    http://www.peoniesandpassionfruit.com

  • Ana

    I think that we all need to spend some time alone with ourselves because it’s when you really gets to know yourself. Loved this post! xxx
    http://fallingforablog.blogspot.com.es/2017/09/ontrend-pearls.html

  • Great tips, love how inspiring this post is! I’m an introvert at times, so time alone is something I love!

    Anika xo | anikamay.co.uk

  • Natalie Redman

    I do love being alone. It’s nice to feel comfortable in your own presence.

    http://www.upyourvlog.com

  • Good tips! I love to be alone…it gives me more inspiration.

  • I’m a shy extrovert, which at first seems like an oxymoron but it is very much a thing. Being shy has nothing to do with being introvert, it is only that they correlate 9 out of 10 times. But I agree, most of us are somewhere in the middle of the spectrum :)

  • I love being alone, just some time to myself to work, make plans and relax!

    Danielle xx
    http://www.fashionbeautyblog.co.uk/

  • Hayley Willetts

    I’m so surprised at how many people enjoy their alone time. I enjoy it to an extent, but do become extremely anxious when I’m alone for an extended period of time. I get swallowed up in my own thoughts and find it quite stressful! This has been a great blog to read, and I’ll be sure to give some of your suggestions a go. Thank you :)

    • I’m the other way around and get very anxious if I don’t get to spend a lot of time alone, although many years ago I couldn’t stand being alone because just like you, I’d get lost in my thoughts and find it quite lonely. I’m all for embracing it now though and making that “alone” time more productive and healthy :) Thank you so much for stopping by, Hayley!

  • I love being alone! It’s just something I really enjoying, but I guess it’s a balancing between alone and with other people!

    http://www.petiteandpretty.com

  • Sara

    I’ve dealed with really bad times having a depression and I felt so much your words. Fortunately, it’s over but I still have some of those “fears” of being alone, specially in public. At home, I try to have everything organized so that it doesn’t mess with my head and I really enjoy those moments alone at home. Feels so conforting to the soul.

    • So happy that you’re doing better now. I can totally relate to fear of being alone in public. I remember how anxious I’d get even when grocery shopping, it was so exhausting. Hope you’ll be able to to get over it, like I did. It just takes some time ;) Sending love!

  • Emmalisa Tilli

    Oooh my gosh! This is sort of similar to my recent post, but my angle was more about how to survive being lonely and still build a network….. I was inspired from someone just saying “I’m lonely” and that made me feel sad. I think you have to spend time with yourself to learn, identify and establish yourself as an individual before creating and forming friendships/networks with people. You are quite spot on with your points here!

    • You definitely need to spend time with yourself in order to grow. I had to learn “networking” as that wasn’t really something I was comfortable with haha :) But it turns out that once you open up, you get to see that there are a lot of people out there who share so many similar interests and hobbies. Thank you so much, Love! x

  • Being alone sometimes is so refreshing! Sometimes its good to be your own best friend!
    Cloe X http://clxelouise.blogspot.com