Flying Solo: How to Do Things Alone in Davis

So there's a new movie out that you really want to see, but you feel like you're the only one interested in it. Or a new restaurant to try, but none of your friends are available for dinner! If this has happened to you, you're not alone, figuratively speaking. It's normal and even healthy to do some activities independently, outside of your social circle. 

Image source: Tenor

But literally speaking, you are alone. There's no one else with you, and that can be quite daunting at first. You might feel like strangers are staring at you, judging your solitude, or that you wouldn't enjoy whatever you were doing unless a friend came along. Luckily, I've grown quite comfortable with doing things by myself, and I have some tips to make it easier.

1. Start with the functional things.

Work your way up to things bigger things by paying attention to the situations in which you're already alone, like grocery shopping or picking up your medication from the drugstore. In these instances, you probably don't give a second thought to whether or not you're receiving any judgment from others. In fact, you might even be in your pajamas. In the daytime. You're already doing better than you think! Maybe next week you'll get a coffee by yourself. 

Image source: Wordpress

2. Get the timing right.

It's natural to feel lonely sometimes. Your goal here is to be alone, but to minimize loneliness! One of the best ways to do that is by reflecting on your activity of choice and picking the right time to do it. Perhaps you'd rather dine alone at lunchtime, before you're surrounded by an evening crowd of families or couples. You can visit your local movie theater during its weekly discount day or during a matinée showing — you're likely to spot a few other movie-watchers!

3. Make it a learning experience.

Make whatever you're doing as an opportunity to grow a little more. You might attend a poetry reading or play alone in order to expose yourself to more literature or visit a museum to learn about art or history. You could watch a film to see how it handles an important issue or dine at a restaurant to experiment with a new cuisine. Whatever you're doing, chances are that viewing your experience as educational instead of social will help you enjoy yourself.

Image source: Medium

4. Bring a non-human companion.

Pets are excellent non-human companions, but if they're not allowed in the space you’d like to go to or you simply don't have one, you have many other options! A good book or an thought-provoking podcast — like Invisibilia or Radiolab — can give you something to sink into in case you're feeling a little self-conscious as you're sitting alone. You might even choose to read about other solo adventurers, like Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson or Wild by Cheryl Strayed.

Image source: Tenor

5. Remind yourself of the benefits of being alone.

The benefit of watching a movie alone? Not having to watch that movie with friends, and actually being able to have a lively conversation the next time you hang out rather than stay silent for two hours. The benefit of getting dessert alone? No need to share! Shopping alone? You're on your own schedule!

6. Know that you’ll probably enjoy whatever you’re doing, and that nobody will judge you.

We often feel like we’ll have less fun when we're by ourselves. However, even research shows that we like a solo activity just as much as we would doing it with someone else. Additionally, people spend most of their time and energy focusing on themselves — as proven by your own worrying about yourself — and will rarely acknowledge your solitude, let alone judge it! So do what you want. You deserve a treat, whether they know it or not!

Cover image source: Unsplash, Alex Blăjan