How to Be By Yourself

Since the Festive Season has involved separateness rather than togetherness and it is extending for some time into the New Year, I was inspired to share some tips on how to do that, especially for those who are used to the togetherness. In the past I’ve written articles on how to handle holiday-season parties as an introvert and how to sneak out of holiday-season parties when you’ve had enough. This year, I’ll share with you some tips on how to create a party for one and get the most out of it. Even if you live with other people, they may start to annoy you after a while for no other reason that they’re just being themselves and you’ve had enough of that, so you may be looking for some alone-time anyway and to have a party for one.

Don’t Be Scared

I have had a lot of practise with this topic over the years, so I am now what I could be considered an “expert”, and not just because I’m calling myself one. For some, being by oneself can be scary. I think this is mostly because we can’t escape ourselves and we’re worried about being alone with our thoughts. “What if I think of something that is weird, and then the next time I see somebody they know I’ve had weird thoughts?” Thankfully, nobody can read another person’s mind – not that I’m aware of anyway. If there is anyone who can read your thoughts I imagine they’d have lots of training and practise doing so, and would not be very accurate. They certainly would have a tough time with mine simply because of how many thoughts I have in my head at any given moment and because of how often I change my mind. We introverts spend a lot of time alone with our thoughts, so we know how scary it can be. Some of us actually prefer our inner worlds to the outer world sometimes. In any case, the advice is to be brave, draw on your courage, and don’t be scared of yourself. You’re probably not that weird compared to anybody else. Weird is normal.

Be Yourself

When you’re by yourself you really get to be yourself. Dance like nobody’s watching because nobody is watching. If you feel like singing, or telling yourself stories (talking to yourself can be quite entertaining) nobody is likely listening, but make sure the doors and windows are closed just in case one of your neighbours become overly concerned.

Dance

This really is a great time to try out some new moves. Under previous circumstances, I went out salsa-dancing and that meant dancing with other people. Now, it means I put on some salsa music and practising my moves by myself in my bed room.

Play Games

There are games that you can play on your own that involve cards; real playing cards rather than online games if you’re so inclined. A real deck of cards has zero ads popping up in the middle of your game and requires zero electricity to play, provided it’s daytime and the sun is out. Yes you might have to buy a deck of cards, but I imagine that at some point on the past somebody gave you a deck of cards (probably a co-worker or your grandma), you thought “what am I going to do with this?” and threw it in a drawer somewhere. Go to that drawer now, find that deck of cards and start playing! There’s also more than one kind of solitaire card game, so once you find that book of card games somebody gave you which was also stashed away, do some exploring and teach yourself a new card-game. If you’re really feeling isolated, take objects from around your house and set them up for a game of cards. When you go to play for them, keep in mind that it’s not cheating to look at their cards (if you get to this point, maybe you’re not worried about that anyway).

Of course there are tonnes of online games that you can play, and these can be interactive. It’s a great way to interact with your friends, especially if they’re already watched all of the episodes of that new show being streamed online and they’re “bored”.

Write in your journal

You know, that one with the blank pages that you’ haven’t used yet. Think of all of the stories you have to tell that haven’t been told yet. If you suspect that “nobody wants to hear about it”, then write about it in your journal. Incidentally, it’s good therapy when you haven’t got anyone around to yell at or if you were to yell, your neighbours would hear and call the authorities. You may even learn about yourself and over time see how your thinking changes. And in case you’re worried about an outside someone someday reading those pages and you want to get rid of them, any remaining anger can be used up by tearing up the pages. It could also be a great excuse to use that shredder that you bought for your home office, which doesn’t get used. Or, write a blog article and fill it with unsolicited advice. That could be fun too.

Finally Clean up and Organize

Here’s another idea for using a shredder: Get to finally clearing up all of your old paper work and shred anything that you don’t need to keep anymore. It could be printed photos of exes, embarrassing photos of yourself that nobody should see, or old paper work. Just check the time frames of how long important documents should be kept before you get carried away.

Dealing with FOMO (fear of missing out)

Being by yourself may cause you to feel like you’re missing out on what’s happening in the outside world. Rest assured, there’s not a whole lot going on right now that could be considered “fun”, especially if you’re naturally someone who likes to hang out with groups of strangers or relative strangers in places like shopping malls or dance clubs. Still, you may feel like you’re missing out. I mean, there’s got to be an online party going on somewhere. And maybe you’re totally over it and can’t take one more minute of “connecting online”. So, the FOMO sets in. Well, this is where you get to tap into your own creativity and realize that you’re interesting enough all by yourself. If you started a journal, go back to it a few days later and read what you wrote. That’ll prove it to you, particularly if you didn’t hold back writing about your true thoughts about events or certain people, which you may not be able to mention in front of people (because you’re polite).

And if we go back to the dance-party idea, what’s stopping you from putting on your favourite song or style of music and dancing your feet off? Find that creativity and imagination and remember what it feels like to be dancing with other people watching but pretending that they’re not.

Do Nothing

Have you ever done this before as an adult? Just sit and do nothing. No dancing, no singing, no watching of movies, TV shows videos, no playing of games, no talking. Do absolutely nothing. Just sit there without doing anything at all. Just keep blinking or your eyes will dry out. So, you’re doing nothing other than breathing and blinking. Enjoy that for a few minutes. It’s great, isn’t it? You don’t need to even pretend that you’re doing anything. All that pressure you were feeling to do something – then didn’t end up doing for whatever reason – is gone. You got tired of the pressure, you got tired of pretending and you just stopped. Good for you!

And now that you’ve got all of these wonderful ideas, I’m going to take my own advice and do one of these things. Maybe I’ll even do some other work.

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E-mail kathryn@kathrynreichheld.ca Hours Contact me anytime and I'll get back to you as soon as possible.
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