If you’re anything like me and grew up with siblings, you always had someone around to spend time with. You were rarely alone, and even the thought of doing something by yourself is out of this world.
While some people may fear loneliness in a romantic sense, I’ve always feared it on a different level. Growing up, I always had a sister that would tag along for everything. Errands, ice cream, and even a simple drive to nowhere. In fact, I was the person that refused to go somewhere if I didn’t have company. I know, it’s a bit extreme.
But ever since we’ve entered adulthood, I’ve noticed my friends, my sister, and even I don’t have as much free time anymore. I don’t always have someone to run errands or get ice cream with. And let me tell you, that’s been hard. But, I’m slowly overcoming it. And you can too.
The best way to overcome a fear, in my opinion, is exposure therapy. The best way to overcome your fear of being alone is by spending time alone.1. Do some digging
The first step to overcoming your fear of spending time by yourself is to figure out why you feel this way in the first place. For me, I realized that always having friends and a sister to spend time with made me uncomfortable with being alone.
Whether you’re the same as me or have other reasons, it’s crucial to know where these feelings stem from. If you aren’t sure, that’s ok too. You don’t need to know in order to get better.
2. It starts with self-love
Let’s face it, it’s easier said than done. You have to love yourself if you want to spend time with yourself. You have to be comfortable with your thoughts and be able to amuse yourself. It’s a process in itself, but it can be done.
You’ll even learn to love yourself the more you spend time with yourself. You’d be surprised how much you can amuse yourself and even laugh in public spaces (you might end up looking a little odd, but hey, as long as you're having fun).
3. Baby steps
Start off small. Grab ice cream or coffee alone. If you plan a whole day by yourself, you’ll get overwhelmed easily. Slowly increase the amount of time you spend alone until you feel comfortable and even look forward to solo activities.
4. Plan fun activities (and maybe learn something new)
If all your friends are busy and you keep yourself occupied by scrolling on TikTok for hours, you may never enjoy spending time alone.
Instead, go for a walk and listen to your favourite podcast. Start that book that you’ve always wanted to read. Try these self care challenges. Learn a new hobby. If you spend your time doing valuable activities, you’ll learn to realize how necessary your alone time is towards your development.
My journey of learning to spend time alone started last fall and let me tell you, I’ve made a big process. In fact, sometimes I prefer spending time alone. I know, that’s almost unheard of. But hey, if I can do it, so can you.