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Mental Health

4 Tips to Get Over Your Fear of Spending Time Alone

I used to hate doing anything alone. I would drag my sister with me to go grocery shopping, to the mall, to the post office – you name it. If I absolutely had to go alone, I would plan out my every move in advance before I made it to my destination. My heart would race and nausea would overtake me. What if I ran into someone I know? What if I embarrassed myself? I couldn’t bear those thoughts for too long. My best friend claims that my anxiety about being alone is because of my Pisces moon, but that’s besides the point. 

Thankfully, my fear of being alone has lessened significantly recently. After almost a year of being constantly with my sister during the pandemic, I got way too accustomed to doing everything with her. But, when my sister went back to college and I remained at home to do the spring semester virtually, I found myself not only overcoming my fear, but actually enjoying the time I spent alone. Now, back on campus, I feel empowered to do anything I want or need to, even if I go by myself. 

So, how can you overcome your fear of being alone?

  1. Speak to yourself using positive words. 

I found that I am less anxious after the realization that my thoughts don’t have to win. I tell myself repeatedly that I’m confident and that no one is analyzing my every move. Everyone just wants to get their grocery shopping done. Confidence really is key here. You will eventually believe it yourself; it’s still a work in progress for me. 

  1. Face situations you normally would feel anxious about head-on.

When the weather started getting nicer last spring, I started going to my local park to sit and read. Before, just the thought of walking in front of people alone to find a spot would have made my heart beat out of my chest. Since challenging myself to reach outside of my comfort zone, it quickly became something that I actually look forward to. 

  1. Don’t be too hard on yourself.

Some days are harder than others, and that’s normal. It’s okay to cancel plans with yourself sometimes — you can always reschedule. The path to success is never linear, so take care of yourself first!

  1. Talk to someone about it. 

Whether it be a therapist, your friend, or a family member, it’s healthy to let out how you feel — and it could also help you better understand why you feel the way you do. Remember, you’re never alone.

These four tricks are what helped me overcome my anxiety about spending time alone. Using these strategies may help you achieve that too!

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Amita Khurana

Columbia Barnard '23

Amita is a junior at Barnard College double majoring in Political Science and Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies with a minor in Dance. In her free time, she enjoys doing puzzles, listening to podcasts, and dancing.
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