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

Yes, the title does say “solo” but not lonely. 2024 is the year for us girls to be comfortable and content in our own company. We don’t always need to surround ourselves with others to keep ourselves happy. To be truly happy, we need to enjoy our time with ourselves just as much as the time spent with other people. With this in mind, here are several ideas for a solo and restorative night-in.

The Location

A night-in implies that you will be at home. However, if your home isn’t somewhere that sounds enticing, then make it something you truly look forward to coming back to. Try cleaning up your space a little and lighting a candle. Turn down the lights a little bit. Lay your fluffiest blanket onto the couch or bed. Make your space something that depicts the very definition of cozy

The Outfit

All people are different, but is it really a night-in if you are wearing an uncomfortable outfit? Honestly, you don’t need to be wearing jeans or a scratchy sweater. This is your time to unwind, so make sure to wear loungewear or go straight to pajamas. Both types of clothing will surely do the trick. If you are looking to add even more aesthetically pleasing vibes to your night, then wear matching pajamas or loungewear. Don’t spend too long on your outfit choice, but it’s alright to wear something that is both comfy and cute.

The Food + Drink

You can begin your night at any time. However, I enjoy beginning mine with either food delivery or cooking a comfort meal. Throughout the night, don’t hesitate to eat a few snacks. That is perfectly okay and expected.

For the drink, you should always have a water bottle or glass nearby. But we wouldn’t be girls if we didn’t (most likely) have multiple drinks around us. For me, I enjoy pairing a soda with my meal or even iced tea. For you, choose one (or a few) that would pair nicely with your meal and evening.

The Activities

Since everyone is different, I’m going to toss around several ideas for a quiet and relaxing night. For starters, go for a movie or a TV show. There is nothing better than curling up on the couch and watching a rom-com or your favorite TV show. It’s alright to put away the assignments or work for one night. You are entitled to a break from all of your stress.

If you aren’t really a movie buff, then curl up with a book you haven’t had time to read yet. Take your time and just relax. You aren’t in any time restraints to finish the book for a class or anything.

For the crafty/artsy person, try coloring in the adult coloring books. I’ve found that coloring is very soothing and therapeutic. Disclaimer: don’t get upset if you color out of the lines; it’s okay. Also, you could try knitting or crocheting. While learning to knit or crochet might seem difficult, platforms like YouTube and Instagram make it a lot easier for people to learn. 

The Self-care

Make sure that you do things for you. Rinse off your makeup and put on a face mask. Paint your toes and nails. Just do something that will make yourself feel even that much better.

All in all, don’t be afraid of your own company. Let yourself decompress and refresh for the next day. If you want to extend your solo night even more, try disconnecting from social media for a little bit.

Autumn Bunzell

Illinois '27

Hi there! My name is Autumn Rose, and I'm from Utica, Illinois. I live minutes away from Starved Rock State Park. I attended LaSalle-Peru Township High School which consists of only about 1,200 students. Within my family, I'm the youngest in a close-knit household, and I have an older sister who I absolutely adore. As well, I have a golden retriever and a grey tabby cat. Currently, I'm a first-year neuroscience student at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. Both the physical and psychological aspects of the human brain fascinate me. In addition, I'm interested in nutrition and how this field can be applied to neuroscience. There is a field labeled nutritional neuroscience that studies how the consumption of food, minerals, and supplements impacts an individual's cognition, mood, and overall brain health. Outside of the classroom, my hobbies vary tremendously. Music wise, I listen to Bryce Vine and Bazzi, but I also love Etta Mae, Arethra Franklin, and Frank Sinatra. As I do my morning routine, I listen to health and wellness podcasts on Spotify. In between classes, I do yoga and Pilates. At night, I love to do some skincare, and then crawl into bed with one of my books. Typically, I partake in crocheting and baking in the colder months. As a side note, my favorite season is fall because of the cool weather and all of the pumpkin/apple candles, foods, coffees, etc.