We're all guilty of wanting company every time we go out to eat or do something as simple as running errands. It can feel scary doing things on your own (and maybe even a little embarrassing), but I'm here to tell you that there's a certain confidence you gain when you do things by yourself. Despite what society may think, it's not socially unacceptable. A lot of people brag about being independent, but can you really say you are if you don't know how to do things on your own?
Here are a few activities that every person should do alone at least once in their life:
1. Go to the movies
Two-and-a-half hours of alone time just flies by when you've got an ice slushy, a tub of buttery popcorn and some ice cream bits to munch on. (Yes, that's what I do. I see you judging me.)
Going to the movies by yourself is the best icebreaker if you really want to do things alone and feel comfortable doing it. The big screen, the loudspeakers and the (hopefully) engaging movie plot, will distract you from being hyper-aware that your flying solo this time.
2. Eat at a restaurant
There's nothing more awkward than saying, "Table for one, please." That is—at first. It's nice to have a meal in silence every once in awhile. Just sit down, appreciate your food, and stop thinking about what others will think of you. Eating alone feels totally liberating. It takes a lot of confidence to feel comfortable and at ease doing it so once you master this, you've mastered the art of independence.
3. Cook for yourself
Whip up a delicious home-cooked meal for yourself. If you don't know how to cook a dish, now's the time to learn! Use the nice china and the formal dining room, and light some candles while you're at it. Then play some music while you eat, or play a movie you've been wanting to stream. Some wine helps, too!
5. Wander around a music festival alone
I know this doesn't sound like the safest thing to do so use your discretion, but one of the most freeing moments of my life was when I sang and danced to Florence and the Machine's "Shake It Out," barefoot, at the Coachella Music Festival, all by myself. It was amazing. I felt free as a fairy.
6. Go shopping
Shopping with friends is one of the funnest things to do, but it's also really nice to have some alone time when you're picking out a new wardrobe or trying to decide which makeup products to buy. You can take your sweet time browsing through every nook and cranny of a store without anyone rushing you!
This even applies to grocery shopping. You can carry that jug of milk! You can carry that watermelon back to your car! You can find a way to reach that brownie mix on the highest shelf! (Or you can ask for help, too.)
It can feel really awkward going to the gym by yourself. That's why I don't. Just kidding. But not really. Instead, I choose to do yoga and pilates by myself. While it can feel a little odd when everyone else in the room has a buddy with them, there's no better way to meditate and focus than by being alone. As for going to the gym alone; it's do-able! As long as you've got your headphones on and a device that plays music, you're good to go.
I volunteer at my local no-kill animal shelter every week and not only is it really therapeutic (I get to pet dogs the whole time!), it's also for a really good cause. Find a charity or a movement that means something to you. Take an hour every week and devote your time to it. It's good for you and it'll be good for society, too.
9. Set up a spa day
"Treat yo self!" You deserve some tender, loving and care. Get a facial, a massage or both, then hop in the sauna and steam room for some relaxation time. While this activity is also fun to do with friends, you get so much more time to center yourself when you relax in peace and quiet.
This is the only thing on this list that I've yet to do but I intend to. This doesn't mean you have to travel in a different country alone. You can start small. Travel by yourself to a different town or state, and find out where the local favorites are. Make sure to stay safe, of course, but also make sure to embrace the whole experience!
Doing things by yourself is healthy and totally acceptable. Don't feel like a social pariah when you're out alone. Embrace it. Love it. Be confident doing it. That's what independence is all about!