Today, there is no escaping everyone and their mother thanks to wonderful social media. Don’t get us wrong, it is a great way to stay connected to things that interest you, loved ones and friends. However, this constant access to the world causes us to have 24/7 interaction with other humans, making it difficult to disconnect and have time to ourselves.
Now more than ever, you may find it difficult to do things on your own. The sad thing is this difficulty to be alone stems from the fear of what other people think. In fact, research shows that people are concerned about how others will perceive them when they’re doing an activity solo. It doesn’t really matter whether you’re someone who loves their alone time or gets energy from being surrounded by people. Even the most extrovert extroverts need alone time every so often. Alone time is necessary to feel comfortable with yourself. Here are eight activities to try on your own this year:
1. Take a trip.
When traveling in groups, you put yourself at the jeopardy of missing out on something that you might really want to see but the rest of the group doesn’t, causing you to skip it. If you feel that you are missing out on things and you’re in a group , it’s time to plan a solo trip. Experts say that exploring a new place surrounded by new people—and possibly a new language—helps your brain create connections and builds resilience, strength, and mental flexibility.
Traveling alone builds a sense of independence that is vital for the growth of any human. Being able to rely on yourself opens a world of possibilities. It’s a big world, go explore it the way you want to with you, yourself, and you.
2. Cook for yourself…
Picture the most perfect meal in your opinion. This meal is made to suit you and you alone. It has all of your favorite ingredients and is healthy but still delicious. This meal and any other meal you can think of is totally possible when you cook for yourself. If you are creating your meals by yourself, the sky’s the limit.
The process of cooking yourself can also be therapeutic. After a long day of work or business, take the time to cook something that you will thoroughly enjoy. Turn on your favorite music and enjoy your favorite beverage while creating the meal of your dreams. It’s you time, take advantage of it.
3. Adopt a pet.
Pets do loads of good for our psyche. Research suggests that interacting with animals can reduce stress and anxiety, with the possibility of improving our heart health. Pets provide day-to-day structure and a sense of purpose for their humans too.
If you want to adopt a pet, make sure to adopt, don’t shop. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals estimates that 6.5 million animals enter the shelter system every year, so there are plenty of pets looking for loving homes.
4. Dance the night away.
Dancing provides a variety of health benefits, including increasing cardiovascular capacity, keeping the brain sharp, and improving balance. Dancing alone in your room gives your brain a chance to work on creativity. This is also therapeutic because you are listening to music you enjoy without worrying about the judgment of others.
5. Work out.
This song has been sung for generations now. Health experts agree that exercise is the best way to tend to your body and mind. Exercise reduces stress tremendously and working out alone allows you to really focus on what your body needs and work through any personal problems you may be experiencing.
6. Explore the outdoors.
The health benefits of nature are tremendous: Studies continue to show that being outside makes us happier, more creative, less stressed, and even physically well. However, many Americans spend the majority of their day indoors due to work with the only time spent outside being when they walk to and from their car or between buildings. Many people have low vitamin D as a result of getting too little sunshine. If you find that you only spend a solid amount of time outside when you are with a group, make sure you are getting daily outdoor time by going on walks, runs, or bike rides by yourself. This will help you feel more grounded and centered.
Ultimately, whether you end up enjoying more solo activities will depend on your mindset: If you get hung up on the idea that others will perceive you as lonely, you probably won’t have as positive an experience. But if you can change your attitude and accept a little quality you-time, it can be great for you.