There is a big difference between being alone and lonely. One concept is spatial and the other is emotional, and while they are both connected, they do not have to be intertwined in the same ideology.
With the dawn of Snapchat and Instagram, there has been a social movement to feel as though anything worth doing is done with someone else. I myself have felt the pain of missing out on a social event at some point either due to personal choice or inability to attend.
We tend to associate "summer fun" with girls in bikinis lounging by pools with drinks in hand without a care in the world. Or we imagine staying out late catching up with our high school friends sitting by a campfire with the itching pain of mosquito bites in the morning. Or finally taking that long-awaited road trip across state borders and "finding ourselves" before we go away to college.
Either way, these activities are hinged upon hanging out with other people, which is inherently a good thing, but with excess can become mentally and emotionally draining. Sometimes, we just need to spend time with ourselves, or else we risk losing our ability to know who we are and what's important to us.
And as hard as it is to say no to a friend who is urging you to go out for drinks or hang out at a party, it is actually a healthy habit to say no whenever you feel like saying it.
Sometimes we just need a social detox.
And truth be told, being alone is grounding and luxurious. And you don't have to be a recluse to enjoy having fun alone this summer, and for your life.
1. Reflect on your wishes
Now is the perfect time to assess what you want for yourself and your future. Start by asking yourself, "What moves me?" This simple question is multifold and will help you prioritize your time and activities. The power of this internal question will help you rationalize your true potential. As with any deep-rooted question, you don't have to start big to feel fulfilled. Start with the basics.
2. Pick up that hobby
Have that yearning to start doing yoga? What's stopping you? Is it you? It most likely is if you can't think of a good reason. Picking up a new hobby is a gift that you give to yourself.
3. Finally read that book you've been putting off
You know which one I'm talking about. The one you bought months ago with full intentions of starting to read it as soon as possible. And now it's been collecting a nice layer of dust and you still haven't determined when the perfect time to read it is. Well, it's now. You're welcome. Or, if you're more of an audio type of person, download an audiobook and go about your day.
4. Reorganize your living space
Start fresh and go through your closet, drawers, and cabinets. It's truly amazing what you can find that went missing years ago. And as they say, you will feel better about your headspace when your living space is organized. This is a psychological fact that we function better in an environment that is decluttered and purposeful.
5. Take yourself on a nice long walk on the beach
Consider an activity like walking on the beach and get in tune with your thoughts. While you are walking along the shores, stay in touch with your breathing, as there are negative ions which are abundantly found in nature, especially near waterfalls and the ocean. These negative ions are then absorbed into our bloodstream and are believed to produce biochemical reactions that increase levels of the mood chemical serotonin, helping to alleviate depression, relieve stress, and boost our energy levels.