Recently a friend of mine started dating. Normally an inconsequential thing, but this is the last of my circle of friends to date. Except me. I’ve never had a boyfriend before and I find myself on an island of one. Single has never been a truer moniker for me. So to keep the depression and feelings of inadequacy at bay I have created a FOOL PROOF list of things to do alone. These aren’t just for single people, though. If you are in a loving relationship or a mom, taking time to do things for yourself is important. So this list can help you with that too.
WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU ARE ALONE:
1. YOGA! YOGA IS RELAXING AND GOOD TO DO BY YOURSELF. I’ve been to a few classes, which is nice. However, there’s something relaxing about going into downward facing dog with no one to watch your butt in the air, since you do them at home. I watch Yoga With Adriene on Youtube. She’s the bomb. If you want to start yoga, check out her beginner videos:
2. READ A BOOK. OR 20. Pick a series and dig in. If you’re a fan of fantasy pick up any book by Ilona Andrews. If you’re not into that but like romance, Nora Roberts’s Wedding Quartet is amazing. For all sci-fi lovers Hugh Howey’s Wool is pretty damn awesome. I could go on and on. I have lists and reviews if your interested in finding a new title. Pick books that are familiar and books that will take you beyond your comfort zone. But always always always take time to read.
3. HAVE A DANCE PARTY. Because life is too short to wait for a partner. Put on some Florence & the Machine and rock out. Even if you have a partner, dancing by yourself is liberating (a lot like doing yoga alone). No one is watching so you can be as ridiculous and silly as you want. Doing one song dance parties is a speciality of mine.
4. COOK FOR THE GLORY OF COOKING AND FOR YOURSELF. I hate cooking for one, but cooking is a glorious thing and those skills deserve to be exercised. If you aren’t really a cook now, pick a recipe you like and experiment. Make something you can’t live without. I can make the BEST grilled cheese sandwich ever. And a mean chicken pot pie. Everyone should be able to cook comfort foods. (Also my mac’n’cheese is THE BOMB and my cinnamon rolls are apparently heavenly.) My mother instilled this idea in me right before I went to college. I now have a list of recipes I love and can cook a wide variety of things. If you are in a beautiful, flowering relationship or have a tiny tot this may seem unrealistic. But that’s what lunches are for. COOK LUNCH FOR JUST YOU. I don’t know, maybe that’s ridiculous. I don’t have any beautiful children, so what do I know?
5. GO FOR A WALK. A lot of times I spend my days alone and inside. Going for a walk helps get me out of the house and focusing on something outside of myself. In Shanghai it can be hard to walk and enjoy nature, but if you are near to trees and green things go there! Enjoy trees, enjoy nature and make it into a game. Loosen up. Have fun. Skip. Run. Channel your inner Anne of Green Gables and compose a poem on the spot for something you see along the way. Free the inner creative dragon.
6. SPEND TIME WITH JESUS. The best time to do this is when you’re alone. Come before him with vulnerability and honesty. Open up and allow your soul to be molded. Spend time where you are just quiet and open. Don’t speak, just breathe. Let your feelings go like Elsa in Frozen and listen. Going to church and small groups are important, but if you aren’t spending specific time with Him one-on-one then you are missing something. It’s an everyday thing, or it should be. I think my biggest problem with this is consistency. I don’t consistently spend every day with God. It’s sort of a “when I have time” thing. But there’s always time if you reshuffle your day.
Being alone isn’t the worst thing ever. In fact, it may just be the best. Taking time to be by yourself and learn who you are without anyone else around is important. You start to see what needs to change and what you really like about who you are now.