When you’re alone you may think you’d be happier if you just had some company. But solitude has its charms and that’s the way to look at it if you want to feel happy on your own.
As a die hard introvert, I secretly lust after some solid me time when I’ve had enough company. We introverts recharge our batteries when we’re on our own. Extroverts actually get a charge from being around others.
But whether you’re an introvert or extrovert, enjoying our alone time is part of learning to enjoy life. Because let’s face it, we want to make the best of any situation right?
When I wrote about being suddenly single at midlife I touched on some of the life challenges that pop up to leave us traveling solo. If you’re not used to solitude, being on your own can be a complete whammy to your sense of self.
Being alone isn’t really in our DNA. As a women we’re kind of expected to be available to others as wives, moms or in some supportive role.
We certainly weren’t taught how to be alone. The role of a single woman was never explained very well. Or if it was mentioned it always came with a shrug. Single implies waiting for someone else to come along to change that status, doesn’t it? Without a wife or a mom role to play we weren’t taught how to make the most of being on our own.
By choice or circumstance we may find ourselves alone at any time in our life. The secret to being happy on your own is revelling in it. Not making excuses or feeling a need to explain, but choosing to look at our me time as a fantastic opportunity.
Being fabulous and hip over fifty is taking this life of ours and celebrating every moment. Let’s acknowledge and appreciate our own company.
Enough ado, on with the list!
Here’s 8 things that are better when you’re alone
- Eating ice cream or your favorite treat.
Let’s face it. You need full concentration when you’re attacking a cone or a bowl of luscious creamy icy perfection. Staying on top of those drips and enjoying your favorite flavor requires complete attention. I’m happy to share most treats, but ice cream? No. Way. Whatever your favorite treat is, being alone gives you time to fully savor it without interruption or guilt!
Getting into the perfect state of nirvana requires quiet, lack of interruption and focus right? Perhaps some are able to zone out in an airport terminal or coffee shop, but the rest of us need to be alone to achieve full mindfulness. Immersing ourselves in meditational bliss is best achieved without distractions. When you’re alone is the perfect time to practice your zen.
- Reading a book
Now there may be some who like to read aloud, but frankly that fits better with a bedtime story than a juicy page turner. If you try to read Fifty Shades out loud to your partner, you both may end up rolling on the floor laughing. Reading your latest cliff hanger requires truly savoring each delicious passage in solitude. Next time you have a few free hours, pull up a book on your Kindle or browse the online library.
- Binge watching
This one is relative. If your honey and you are both Jack Ryan fans (ahem) then of course it’s fun to watch and discuss together. BUT to truly deep dive into a mood and feel zero guilt at all the hours you’ve burned up watching Victoria or The Crown on the couch; alone is the only way to roll. Not having to share the remote could be one of the main advantages of being alone.
- Taking a bath
We’ve all seen Hollywood scenes of bathing together in a tub as a naughty prelude. That actually may be fun once or twice but let’s tell the truth. Who wants to share their hot water and bubbles? Don’t you want to be the only one who gets to decide how long to stay in the tub? Soaking solo can be a meditative experience that defines self care. Light those candles and make it a spa for one.
OK I know there’s many out there who love to have a “what do you think of this one” buddy to chew over the fit and style of a new pair of jeans. If you have one of those trusted besties, then go for it. But if you don’t, shopping solo is the way to go. No distractions and no one imposing their style preferences on you. You know I’m right. Plus you end up spending a lot less!
- Working out
Working out at the gym is an activity that’s easily shared with a workout partner. When you need the extra motivation, having someone else to practice with can be helpful. Exercising solo though, has the advantage of giving you more control over your workout. If you’re not the competitive type, your own workout will be based on what you want to accomplish, not on who gets it done first or best.
- Going to the movies
I’ve lost count of the number of movies I’ve seen on my own. With the exception of one freaky experience at an afternoon show (remind me to tell you later) I find it very therapeutic. You can’t really talk during the movies anymore so being on your own is no big deal. Why not pick a rom com you’re dying to catch and go with zero guilt. Choosing the one you want to see is worth being on your own.
When you’re alone it’s the perfect time to tune in to what you love. As women we’re always trying to please others. “Alone time” is the perfect time for taking care of ourselves.
What do you like doing on your own?