I feel like people’s most difficult relationships are usually with themselves, which sucks. Life is hard enough, we should at least be able to count on ourselves to not suck. It is my firmest belief that the most important relationship in your life is the relationship you have with yourself. If your relationship with yourself is poor, then it’ll affect every other relationship outside of it. You have one body--it’s important to be nice to it.
As someone who has been both miserable alone and completely happy alone, I consider myself an expert on this subject. I spend time alone because I’m awesome and have a great time with myself! This wasn't always an easy thing for me--it took a really long time for me to be comfortable by myself. Don’t get me wrong: I have friends that I love and people I enjoy spending time with. But, you know who I have everything in common with? Me. When I’m chilling alone, the only person I have to cater to or worry about is myself. It’s very freeing. Like any other relationship, it’s not always easy. There’s going to be ups and downs, some fights, maybe the occasional silent treatment, but it never lasts very long.
Which is why it’s important to “date yourself.” I know, what does that even mean? It’s pretty much exactly what it sounds like; having a healthy, kind relationship with yourself, hanging out with yourself, having fun by yourself. It’s not easy, but it’s an important thing to think about and do.
1. Give yourself a present every day.
Yes, this advice is ala Special Agent Dale Cooper from the television series, Twin Peaks. This took me awhile to get the hang of, but it essentially just means being nice to yourself. Not dissimilar to the “treat yourself” mantra first heard on Parks and Rec. Even the smallest thing can count as a present. Some days it could be a big present, like splurging on a fancy cupcake, or the littlest present, like looking in the mirror and saying something nice about yourself. Some days it’s hard to give myself a present, so I always make sure that part of my daily routine is waking up early enough to make myself coffee and sit outside. Make the effort to do something nice for yourself every day, the same way you’d do something nice for a person you’re dating.
2. Make yourself a mix CD of your absolute favorite songs.
And I mean YOUR favorite songs. Especially the songs that all your friends hate and make fun of you for liking. Keep it in your car to listen to whenever you want.
3. Keep a journal!
This is my best advice on How To Get To Know Yourself. A journal is the place where all your most intimate and personal thoughts go. You might not share these thoughts with anyone else, but it’s important that you allow yourself to have those thoughts and share them with yourself. You can do this electronically or in an old notebook or maybe your daily present to yourself could be a nice, real journal. It might take a while to open up to yourself but, like any other relationship, it’s okay to start slow. I usually take a memento from a fun thing I did and tape it inside my journal. I date it and write a couple of sentences; now I always have that memory to look back to.
4. Make your bed.
Hear me out: I used to NEVER make my bed in the morning. ‘Cause, like, who even has the time or energy to do that every day? Sometimes I forget to do this, but every morning I at least try to make my bed. Plus, by doing this you’ve already prepared your daily present for yourself, because coming home to a freshly made bed is probably one of the best feelings in the world. There’s just something about it. Even if the rest of your room is a disaster, at least the place you're going to fling yourself after a long day at class/work is nice and neat.
5. Take advantage of alone time.
You finally have the entire apartment to yourself. Everyone you live with is gone for the afternoon. Use this time to do whatever the hell you want. Blast your music at full volume, take an uninterrupted nap, walk around without pants on, the world is yours. When I’m home alone I like to sing at full volume and slide across the wood floors in my socks. It’s a lot of fun.
6. Take yourself out.
I’m serious! Wear your favorite outfit and take yourself on an adventure. It could be for a drink at your favorite bar, a solo trip to the mall, taking yourself out for breakfast, a hot cup of good black coffee, etc. Do something fun with just you. ESPECIALLY do the things that no one else will do with you. I love getting coffee and walking to my favorite bookstore. Learn to have a good time with just yourself.
7. Don’t save things for “rainy days.”
You work hard and you deserve things. Eat the cookie, have the glass of wine, watch an episode of the new Netflix show you think looks really good; life is too short to be depriving yourself of the things you love.
8. Have a daily routine.
Having your own personal routine is, in my opinion, crucial to being a person. And I mean a routine that doesn’t revolve around someone else. I mean a routine that is solely yours. For example, my morning routine is very important to me: I wake up early, make my bed, listen to my music, make coffee and breakfast, and finish my homework. If I start my day with a familiar rhythm, it usually makes the rest of my day (which usually varies depending on class and clubs) easier to handle.