The other day I was telling my friend how I went and ate somewhere by myself. She couldn’t believe it. Thought it was wild I just sat and ate a meal by myself like it was nothing. I think I was more surprised that SHE was surprised. I thought this was kind of normal? As someone who has traveled for work a lot, as a young adult I was oftentimes eating alone at hotels or restaurants. Never really thought anything of it. My friend on the other hand, is a bit nervous to do it! It got me thinking why I’m so comfortable doing this.
Doing things alone actually has some great benefits to it. Think about all the confidence you’ll get from being able to sit somewhere alone and learn to enjoy yourself. What about all the creative ideas you’ll come up with when you let your brain wander while sitting at a bar and people watching. Not to mention, being alone removes a lot of social distractions and allows you to take in more of the moment.
All of these things help to build confidence, creativity, self-awareness and more mindfulness. It takes practice and won’t be easy the first time you try it. But just with anything else you try that’s new, it takes some effort.
7 Things To Do Alone
Visit A Museum or Exhibit
I think this is a solid choice if you’re nervous to get started. A first step if you will. A museum or exhibit is meant to be consumed in a quiet space so this is ideal for doing it alone. You can go at your own pace making it the perfect activity to do without friends or family. You’ve got this one!
Eat At A Restaurant
I have always been told that if you can eat by yourself, you can do a lot by yourself. It is one of the most anxiety ridden but also exhilarating things you can do for yourself. You can try this out first by going to somewhere more fast-casual. Think Chipotle or CAVA. Before jumping into sitting at a bar alone. Once you conquer a fast casual spot, go ahead and try a real full meal. I think you’d be surprised that it actually feels good to enjoy a meal by yourself every so often.
It’s also a nice way to chat with a bartender, or the people sitting around you. It can end up being a quite social outing if you make it that way. Or not! You’re in full control. There are no rules that you have to sit in silence for an entire meal. But I do challenge you to try it at least once with no distractions. Let your mind wander and allow yourself to spark natural conversations with strangers.
Go To The Movies
The next step in doing things by yourself and this is my FAVORITE! Grab the popcorn and candy and recline in those fancy seats. Why are we always waiting for someone else to want to see a movie before we actually just go and do it ourselves? Enjoying a movie alone and not having to share the popcorn is a great way to spend an evening or afternoon matinee. This is also a really easy thing to try since it doesn’t require any socializing, you’re supposed to just sit and be quiet.
Travel To A New City
This is a tough one and one that I am about to embark on for the first time myself. This is a big one, but one I highly recommend trying once you feel comfortable. When picking a city, I vote for one that’s very walkable. These usually are more solo traveler-friendly. Less time driving around, more time just walking and exploring. Think cities like NYC, San Francisco, Chicago or Washington DC. There are so many great solo activities to do in these types of cities that you’ll be busy the entire time and won’t even realize you’re not waiting for someone else to get ready or weigh you down.
For me, I haven’t really done a true solo getaway. But I have done many work trips alone, and have visited a city a few days prior to friends arriving. Visit a whole new city solo for a long weekend. Also, a beach getaway is also glorious. Read books, lounge on a beach chair and take afternoon naps.
Attend A Concert or Festival
The next step in progress and another tough one. I just kind of assume you go to concerts with friends so you can share the experience. So I’m challenging myself to try this one ASAP. But I think enjoying a band or singer you really love by yourself is no different than sitting on your couch watching it on TV, right? You don’t really talk to anyone when you’re at a concert anyway, it’s just you and the music anyway.
This is such a great way to meet new people. Not every activity has to be done alone from start to finish. Sometimes doing something alone can mean jumping into a new hobby or activity with total strangers. You’re already going into it with similar values and interests so it’s an instant conversation starter. If you’re looking to not only stretch your “being alone” muscle but also make new friends, this is a great way to do both. Find a charity that’s near and dear to you and get involved.
Try A New Sport
Same with volunteering, trying a new sport can be great for making new friends. Everyone’s there for the same reason making it an easy way to get to know people. Join a tennis league or flag football team and then you’re working on both your mental and physical health all at once! This is also a nice way to get some fresh air and get your body moving.
What are some things that you like to do alone? As always, thank y’all for stopping by and reading. I will see y’all back here next time.