Winter time is often the season for nights in. The long dark evenings lead us to hibernate indoors with the excuses of saving money (or trying to do so) and the dreary weather at the forefront of our reasoning for this. Friends may even cancel plans on us, leading us to feeling secretly happy as we can now stay in guilt free and save even more money! As great as this can be on occasion, Winter time can also cause many of us to feel rather lonely. As human beings we are innately social creatures, regardless of whether we are introverts or extroverts. We instinctively crave the company of other human beings. In fact, being comfortable in our own company is possibly one of the most difficult things that I myself have had to work on. In the past, I really struggled with enjoying my own company and would do everything I could in my power to keep my social plans from been rescheduled or cancelled. I would feel quite distressed in even anticipating an evening in on my own, for when these hours approached, I knew I would feel both lonely and simply bored of my own company. As dramatic as it sounds reading this back to myself, I think this is such an important lesson we each should learn and with the first month of the New Year over, there is no time like the present.
Since my late teens and throughout my early 20’s I have learned (at times the hard way) how important it is to be happy with our own company. Often in relationships or friendships we find ourselves baffled when we realise that at times our partners or friends know us so much better than we know ourselves…something that I have definitely experienced in the past! It seems a very strange thing to comprehend, how someone who isn’t us, can actually predict or understand what’s going on in our own minds before we can.
In between studying or working, I always viewed time that I spent not doing something as time wasted. If you read my blog post The Magic Statement you’ll know that I went into some detail about how I re-discovered what my passions and interests were. Since doing so, I can truly say that I have had such a better relationship with myself. I have also done a complete 180 degrees in my thinking and behaviour, in comparison to me at 18 years old. Now six years on, I actively seek time alone and what’s more, I really enjoy it. So from the fun to focused, I thought I’d share some of the things I really do when I’m home alone!
- Doodle – From adult colouring books, doodling designs to drawing a rose in my notebook for the 1000th time, when I’m on my own I “try” to draw. I by no means, am good or talented in drawing … and I’m really not just saying that! At school, my art teacher and I both mutually agreed that unless abstract art was an official A-Level, I wouldn’t put my energy into it. However, the child within me still really enjoys colouring and finds it therapeutic. P.S. I still have to try really hard to stay within the lines.
- Pamper – I feel like that us girls have 3 types of showers. The quick body shower, the slightly longer hair and body shower and finally the pampering shower. This is in effect, a collection of at home spa treatments. Exfoliation, face masks, hair masks, hair removal, moisurising, painting nails, you name it, it’s the full nine yards of pampering. When I’m alone, I love to spend a couple of hours just doing this. Not only do I smell good but I get the most rested sleeps afterwards too.
- Try on clothes in my wardrobe – I love fashion. I love clothes. If I’m perfectly honest, I have found ways of cleverly storing them in my bedroom, to make space for all the completely essential items in my closet. Occasionally I like to dress up and give some TLC to these items that I simply just don’t wear enough. Say what you will, but I find clothes as a great way of expressing the different parts of my personality and style. Even if I’m just putting outfits together in my bedroom!
- Watch interviews – I thoroughly enjoy listening and learning about other people’s stories. As a teen, I was a drama enthusiast. As I got older my love for the arts and entertainment shifted a bit, but I still can’t get enough of watching interviews.
- Read the news – Every night before bed I read various news articles. At University I found that although I was studying at a higher level, I became cut off from the real world, the more engrossed I became in my little bubble. I try to work daily on being more consciously aware of the world around me.
- Be active – I love a good walk and the fresh air.
- Write – Blog posts, love letters, notes on my phone, schedules and to-do lists for the week, future business ideas no matter how adventurous as they may seem, I write as much as I can in many different forms. It helps focus my thinking and is very cathartic.
- Podcasts – On my commute into and on my way home from I work, I listen to various podcasts. Please share with me any recommendations!
- Sleep – When I am alone and have no weekend plans, I take advantage of an early night. During the week, I tend to average about seven hours sleep a night, however I love to get somewhere between eight to ten hours sleep if I can on the weekends. I am an early bird and I know I feel my best after an early night’s sleep.
As cheesy as it sounds, being happy in your own company gives you the opportunity to build strength, confidence and to really get to know yourself. Whether it’s doing something silly and embarrassing like your own fashion show in your room, or actively participating in a hobby, you only have one life and the relationship you have with yourself, is the most important one of all. You speak and listen to that person all day, every day; it’s worth giving yourself the time and energy in figuring out how to be happy by yourself.
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