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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at CWU chapter.

With fall slowly coming to an end and the holiday season approaching it seems like everyone is settling down. During this time we constantly see families, groups of friends and couples spending quality time with one another, and you may find yourself feeling left out. I have felt lonely quite often during this time. As friends move on to new chapters in their lives, you may find yourself alone more often and this can make it hard to go out and do things on your own. I am here to tell you to embrace that feeling of loneliness and spend quality time with yourself.

At first, it may seem awkward to do things alone, but with time you will come to find that being alone is a great way to learn to love yourself. You learn who you are, and you have the chance to try new experiences in your own way. The best way to begin this journey is to take this opportunity to date yourself. Take the time to learn about what you like to do, what your goals are and what you believe in. If you aren’t sure where to begin, try one of the suggestions below!

Who Doesn’t Love Coffee???  

One of the easiest options for a date is to go to a coffee shop so why not start with spoiling yourself with your favorite latte? Coffee shops offer the perfect ambiance for spending time with yourself. There is always a bustle of people, music, and activity. Grab your favorite drink and take a seat and just observe what is going on. Are there students studying in the corner booth? A mother and daughter sharing cake pops together? Are the baristas happily chatting about their weekend plans over the sound of the espresso machine? Take in everything that is going on around you. As you sip your drink, take note of how the activity around you makes you feel, and remember those feelings as you go about your day.  

Hit the Town  

Many towns host events each week that are the perfect chance to get dressed up and explore your city. See if you can find a gallery opening at a museum, an art exhibition or perhaps a concert downtown. No matter what event you choose to go to, dress to impress (yourself) and get out there! Local events are a great way to get involved in your town and try something you might never have thought of doing. You may discover you like folk music after going to a concert at the bar or learn that you really aren’t a fan of Gauguin after seeing his work at the art exhibit. Local events make it simple to try new things and learn what you do and don’t like.  

Move Your Body  

If you only have a little time for yourself, try taking a walk. Getting outside and breathing in the fresh air can help you clear your mind of judgment and refocus on what you really want. During your walk focus on breathing. Notice the leaves falling down around you, or the sound of birds chirping. As you walk think about what you are thankful for in your life and what makes you happy. What makes you, you? These walks will help you learn about yourself, with little to no distractions. Something about being out in nature is calming and allows you to be open and honest with yourself.   

Stay In  

Another great option for a date night is to cuddle up on the couch with a blanket, bowl of popcorn and a good movie.  You may be thinking that this is an activity you do frequently but to make this purposeful, put away your phone and any other distractions. Put in the effort to be fully present at each moment of the night. Carefully decide what movie to watch, and fully immerse yourself in it. While you watch the movie, consider what is happening and why. Let yourself be sad or upset by what is happening. A movie night is a great way to get in touch with your emotions without judgment from yourself.   

Dating yourself is such an important aspect of life and these days, many people are too busy to take the time to enjoy their own company. It may be challenging to be fully alone with yourself, but it will get easier the more you practice. Start simple and don’t be discouraged if you find yourself feeling uncomfortable. Sit with that uncomfortableness and consider why you are feeling that way. We need to learn to love ourselves for who we are and one way to do that is to spend time alone. The more we love ourselves the happier we can be.  

As a side note, if you are planning to take yourself out on a date, please let someone you trust know where you are going and when you will be back. I fully believe that women are able to do anything they want to do, but we do live in a scary world right now. Please remember to be safe and take precautions before you go anywhere alone! 

Kassandra is a 5th-year student at CWU, majoring in Studio Art. She is double minoring in General Business and in French. Kassandra loves reading, photography, and exploring the outdoors. This is her first year writing for Her Campus.