Friday nights are my jam! They mark the end of a long work week and the beginning of the freedom the weekend brings. You can usually find me out celebrating the arrival of the weekend somewhere with friends, but I also feel totally justified lazing around the house, getting some writing done and feeling no guilt for indulging in that
bottle glass of wine that’s been sitting in the back of my fridge for a week. Wait who am I kidding wine doesn’t sit in my kitchen for a week :/
A couple Fridays ago I found myself home alone with nothing to do and nobody to celebrate the coming weekend with. It was the most liberating feeling I’ve felt in a long time! I didn’t know what to do with myself, should I read a book, write in my journal, get lost in all the pretty stuff on Pinterest? The possibilities were endless!
In the end I grabbed a glass of rosé, pulled out some of my fave DVD’s and had a movie night all by lonesome ( I even took a picture to commemorate the occasion, see above). However lonesome I wasn’t, I loved the “me” time, I felt relaxed because I didn’t have to entertain or pick a movie that appealed to someone else and besides I kinda like myself so spending time with myself was easy 🙂
All of this alone time got me thinking about other cool things I could do by myself. I mean, a lot of couples have date nights, so why not come up with a “solo date without a mate but I’ll be straight” night? I began by compiling a list of things that I could do alone but that wouldn’t make me feel lonely, and well you know when I start compiling lists around here I have to share it with you guys.
But before I begin I’m going to need you to be open minded about this list. There may be things on here that you don’t think are enjoyable, however, the point of this list is to gradually make you comfortable with doing things alone. I’m not going to suggest going out to dinner at a 5 star restaurant right away because if you’re like me that was absolutely terrifying the first time I did it.
So instead of throwing you in the fire, I’m going slowly guide you there. Here’s my list…
1. Visit a Museum
Museums are generally places where people are far too distracted looking at pretty art to be worried about who’s with who. So if you have an irrational fear of being judged for going out alone, don’t fear. People are probably far too busy judging the art to be worried about judging you. Plus a lot of museums have tours you can go on with larger groups so you could just blend in with that 6th grade class on their field trip. Sure you may look creepy but you won’t look lonely.
2. Go to a Movie
Movies are dark, nobody is paying attention to who is sitting with who because guess what! Everyone is probably too busy paying attention to the movie! So treat yo self! Go to that romantic comedy your boo probably rolls his eyes at every time you mention. Plus you don’t have to worry about getting caught because your purse is stuffed with snacks for 2 ( now you know what they charge for popcorn at the movies is robbery so don’t look at me sideways).
3. Go On a Romantic Picnic
OK hear me out before you roll your eyes. Is there a park near you big enough where you can find a secluded space, lay out a blanket and just relax? If you don’t know I urge you to find it! Picture this-You at the park on a lovely crisp Fall day, a pre-packed lunch,I(‘m thinking a sandwich, or a salad and maybe a tumblr of wine) and a good book, relaxing under a beautiful sky. It’s a little slice of heaven. You have nature all around you, and most likely if there are loads of people, they’re much too busy playing with their kids or walking their dog to notice you. I love experiencing nature alone, I love to take it in and notice things I probably wouldn’t notice in the company of another person. Hanging at the park is perfect for this!
4. Sign up for a Class
Is there a skill you’ve been dying to learn but can’t find anyone who shares your interest?Floral arranging, photography, underwater basket weaving? Whatever it is, look online and see if it’s currently being offered at the local community college or art space near you. You’ll find that most times these classes are all attended by folks who are also solo. Plus you may make a new friend with the same interest in the process.
I’m of the opinion that when you’re down in the dumps one of the best things you can do is to take the focus off of yourself. Volunteering is the perfect way to do this and what’s even more perfect is that you don’t need anyone to do it with. One Thanksgiving I felt I didn’t have a lot to be thankful for ( I can be a bit dramatic at times) so I volunteered at a local shelter. I was way too busy helping out to be worried about what I was going through and after having spent time with people who had REAL WORLD problems I realized mine were small and I was straight trippin! So find a charity close to your heart to volunteer your time, or be of service to someone you love. You don’t need anyone’s company to do that!
6. Go to the Library
It’s common knowledge that you have to be quiet at the library so for that reason alone this would be a great date to make with yourself. Plus library’s are so cool because everything there is free! You can take your laptop there and use up the wifi for free, check out a book for free, some library’s also let you check out movies…FOR FREE! Plus I just love the history of a library, all that wealth of information at your fingertips, don’t judge, it’s exciting for a book dork like me 🙂
More spiritual then religious,however, I respect the beliefs of everyone, and if you belong to a church, synagogue or religious group, I urge you to try heading to a service by yourself. In the past when I’ve gone to church service with friends or family I’ve often worried about being judged for getting emotional during a sermon or staying after to ask for prayer. However when I went alone I felt a lot more open to the lesson that was being taught. I felt closer to God in those moments by myself and when closing my eyes for prayer I didn’t once sneak a peek to see who was peeking 😉
8.Go Somewhere Busy & People Watch
One of my favorite things to do when I lived in New York was to people watch. I could go to a sidewalk cafe and sit on the patio for hours just looking at the people rushing by. I’d make up stories in my head about their lives or where they were going and just get lost in the moment. People are so interesting to me, and if you pay close attention to them you may find out a little about yourself.
9. Go on a Bike Ride
I love riding my bike around my neighborhood, wind in my hair, going at the slow and steady speed I’m comfortable keeping, not having to keep the pace of someone else. I will admit it, I am not the most athletic person, so when I start a physical activity I usually like to start by myself so that I can test my endurance without feeling embarrassed for being so slow. Bike riding alone is one activity I really enjoy doing because not only am I able to keep at my own pace but it’s also a meditative activity in that if you find a nice path without much traffic you can really get lost in your own thoughts or lack thereof.
10. Create a Vision Board
Vision board parties have been popping up a lot lately, in fact I have an annual one with some of my girlfriends over the New Year. However I have one girlfriend who never attends. I asked her about it because it’s an activity that I know is right up her alley. Her explanation floored me and now I think I may adopt it. She said that creating a vision for yourself is a personal thing, one that requires you to really look within yourself and ask yourself what you really want. It’s hard to do that when you have a house full of people around you. You know how you hear something that rings so true but you don’t realize it until you hear it for the first time? Well that was one of those times and now I totally see why she doesn’t attend. I’m not saying that I won’t attend a vision board party ever again, I’m just saying I can totally see how creating a vision for yourself, by yourself could be really fun. Plus you’d get all the good magazine clippings first 🙂
So what do you think of this list? Are there any activities I’m missing? Are there some you think you’d be comfortable trying? Let me know in the comments below!