How to be an Introvert on a Budget

Being alone — and being lonely — are two different things. Often times when I am alone, I am content, but the same cannot be said for when I am lonely. As an introvert, I enjoy spending time with myself. This may sound unappealing to some people, which is cool because everyone is different. On top of being an introvert, I am also a student, which means my fun has financial limitations. The purpose of this article then is not to say being an introvert is the key to happiness, but rather to say that there are many opportunities for individuals to have fun on their own, without breaking the bank. 

1. Coffee Shops

Coffee shops are full of people wanting to be left alone: I know because I am one of them. Grabbing a cup lifts the coffee addict’s spirit in a way nothing else can. I love to drink coffee alone — and the great news is it doesn’t have to be expensive. I mean, I’m a big Tim Hortons fan, at this point my blood type is double-double and plus, they have affordable prices. Coffee in and of itself is an experience — if you know, you know. 

2. Books

Books are meant to be read in solitude. When I read, I like to isolate myself as much as possible and just delve into the literary world. Everything else and everyone else just fades away, even I fade away in the sense that I take on a new identity through the book at hand. I would love to read for pleasure day in and day out. Once it gets warmer, I recommend reading outside in nature, as it is inexplicably relaxing. 

3. Movies

Movies are arguably best enjoyed by oneself. I love to watch movies alone and I will happily go to the movie theatre solo, because why not? Movies don’t require company; they transport you just like any good book. Movies can be cheap too: just ask Netflix. Or an even cheaper option is to hit up your local library!

4. Trail Walks

Who doesn’t like to get outside? Fresh air can really clear your mind and nature can inspire you. Walks are good for your health, they are enjoyable and they offer a great time to think. Being alone really is a blessing in disguise, because when you’re alone it is only you with your thoughts and that can do a lot of good. Maybe a walk is just what you need to get that paper going or to finalize that big life decision.

5. Workout

Working out is great! I mean, it’s not great at first, but afterwards, you always feel great. Some people like to go to the gym together, but I personally like to hit up the gym by myself. There is nothing wrong with going to the gym alone — in fact, I think it's the norm. I’m not about to have a conversation while on the treadmill but to each their own. I use the university gym as much as possible, as it’s convenient and accessible with just my OneCard. Yoga is also highly recommended in the realm of exercise and is something you can do easily from the comfort of your home.
6. Spa Day

Self-care has “self” right in the name — and it implies that you should take care of yourself. A spa day can be as simple as having a bath or as next level as face masks and skin creams. Loving yourself is just as important as loving other people. 

7. Volunteer

There are many volunteer opportunities which allow you to work quietly by yourself. For example, try helping out at an animal shelter or a library. Volunteering is beneficial for an introvert, because you can work alone, yet still have a positive impact on others. 
8. Learn 

Attending lectures or taking lessons for fun is a nice way to mix things up. A lot of times, learning can start to become associated with stress, but it certainly doesn’t have to be. You can always learn a new skill, take a class or attend lectures which don’t have tests or assignments. You could pick up a new hobby or interest outside of your main studies. You could even consider dropping into random lectures outside your schedule and seeing if you learn anything that piques your interest. 

The truth of the matter is that just about anything you do for fun in a group, you can also do as an individual. Arguably, it is nice to have people to share experiences with, but when that is not an option, spending time with yourself is always great. Live your life! You can travel alone. You can go to concerts alone. You can walk alone. The big things and the little things don’t necessarily require anyone else but you. It’s okay (and encouraged) to have experiences that only belong to you.