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If living through the pandemic has taught me anything these past few years, it’s that we’ve all had to become a little more comfortable spending time alone. Without the ability to socialize outside of our household bubble, we’ve all had to learn how we want to spend our time at home and by ourselves. While being alone used to make me kind of uncomfortable (I’m more of an extrovert myself), I’m now a loyal supporter of alone time! If being by yourself still feels a little boring or isolating, here’s my case for spending the night in sometimes. 

You’ll Find Out What You Really Enjoy

Over winter break, I decided to take myself on a retreat, and I spent a few days in a cabin by myself. While the lack of human contact took me a while to get used to, I had an amazing trip. I rediscovered hobbies I hadn’t tried in months, I tried new things, and I had the chance to connect to myself and to nature. While a retreat might not be feasible for everyone, taking some time to yourself gives you the chance to figure out how you like to spend your time. Maybe you want to spend the day baking, sewing, or doing yoga — you do you! Alone time means you don’t have to compromise with anyone else. Take an hour or two out of your day to do exactly what you want to do! 

Embrace the Quiet

Being alone can be a bit scary at first. Time might feel like it’s passing extra slowly and I tend to notice the silence pretty fast. That being said, embrace the quiet! Life can get pretty hectic, so I’ve always loved to take it a little more slowly for a day or so. I get time to breathe and remember that my life isn’t a great rush — it’s okay to slow down and give yourself a little peace and quiet sometimes. 

Boost Your Self-Confidence

Doing things solo doesn’t just have to be at home, either. This past year, I’ve gotten a lot more comfortable going out by myself. You don’t have to wait around for your partner or best friend to have an afternoon off — take yourself on a date! My personal favourites are going to museums, trying a new coffee shop or lunch spot, and going on hikes. Dating yourself is a great way to boost your confidence, since you’ll remember that you’re a blast to hang out with! 

Learn to be Alone, Not Lonely

I recently listened to Finding Ease in Aloneness, an episode of Krista Tippett’s podcast, On Being. Stephen Batchelor, a Buddhist writer and scholar, discusses the difference between solitude and loneliness. He suggests that we all spend time alone to learn how to be by ourselves without being lonely and discusses the spiritual and psychological benefits of solitude. Learning to be alone is a skill, so why not take some time to sharpen it? 

Being alone isn’t always easy and it can seem a bit dull compared to spending time with friends or going out. However, you can learn a lot about yourself by doing things solo. Whether you take yourself on a coffee run or spend an afternoon painting, you might discover something new that you love. At the very least, you’ll remember that anyone is lucky to hang out with you — including you! 

Cassandra is a communications and media studies student at Carleton University and the 2021-2022 Treasurer for Her Campus at Carleton. She's a big fan of rollerskating, personality tests (she's an ENFJ!), and John Mulaney.
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