This will probably be one of the more personal blog posts I’ve posted thus far, so bear with me! Something I’ve seen some people struggle with (in addition to myself) is learning to do things on their own. I don’t mean growing up and having to do adult-like things you don’t really feel like doing, I mean not having friends to go casually shopping with. Spending more time by yourself than with other people. Just not feeling that connected to people around you. Maybe you do put in the effort towards other people, but they just don’t give that same amount of effort so you’re left feeling dumb and defeated, wondering why you tried again to begin with.
I’ve been there. I’m currently there. I’ve been there the last few years. And it sucks! Scrolling through Instagram you see every other girl post cute, trendy pictures with their friends makes me wish I had that, and I know I’m not alone! Nevertheless, I’m more a less a happy person, but I wanted to write about why its important to learn to be comfortable with doing things by yourself!
You Are Your Own Best Friend
One thing I’ve learned is that you are the only person who will never let yourself down. While you may be the hardest on yourself out of everyone you know, you also know yourself better than anyone else. You know what you can handle, what scares you, what you like, dislike, everything. I’ve learned that people can be major let-downs, and it can be scary putting trust and effort into someone else, and even more terrifying when you don’t receive that same kind of effort in return.
Spending time with yourself doing the things you enjoy the most is the most rewarding feeling. Once I started doing things I liked on my own, I started to feel a lot more comfortable with being by myself and doing things by myself. I love going on walks around trails near where I live with my cameras, especially since I live near the water. (Scientists even proved that spending at least 10-15 minutes a day looking at a moving body of water was proven to reduce stress!) My boyfriend’s dogs (and him, since we live together) also help with feeling comfortable alone.
But, this post is more or less about not having girlfriends, which is important! (While I’ve had the same best friend since 7th grade (Hi, Jenn), she lives in California now so now I’m all alone!) It’s hard not having someone to go to the mall with (because I’m not going to drag my boyfriend around the mall, okay) just to have a second opinion on something! Or just someone to have girl talk with! This now sounds like I’m whining, but I’m really not! It’s just hard to grasp the idea of not really having any girlfriends and then learning how to live happily with that concept. Go shop by yourself. Go eat lunch and read by yourself. Go on a walk by yourself. Run. Do anything! Since I don’t have someone with me during this time, I often find myself writing in a journal or reading while I’m alone, just so I don’t start thinking about things I don’t want to – thanks, anxiety!
Channel Extra Time Into Fun & Productive Things
Hobbies, hobbies, hobbies! This is so important. Since the new year I’ve channeled a lot of my spare time into my blog, reading and school. It’s so important to not let yourself feel down and depressed about this happening! Especially if you’re putting in the effort to reach out to someone and they’re not doing the same. Instead of feeling sad and bummed out, wondering what you did wrong, spend your time doing something productive for YOURself. Go to Pinterest, find the cutest craft you want to make, go to Michaels and buy craft supplies and make it! Read that new book you’ve been hearing great things about! Write a new blog post (what I’m doing right now!)
Having something that will take your mind off anything during your down time is so important to me. While having someone to turn to in times of need is important (my boyfriend, for me), you are also your best support system. Writing down your thoughts in a journal, or even seeking the extra, professional help of a therapist, can help you feel more at ease with your thoughts if you feel you have nowhere to truly put them.
For example, Last May-June I went through a really personal and honestly heartbreaking ordeal. This was something only my boyfriend and my best friends (jenn & amber) know about, and that was really all I could tell because of the situation. I’m still recovering from this everyday, and I’m never going to fully be okay, but I’ve really helped myself through this by putting my really tough thoughts down on paper and in a journal. Writing things down instead of talking about them can be so much more beneficial sometimes, as it can be hard to put your thoughts into sentences, and to even say them out loud to someone!
Go Out And Do The Things Yourself!
One of the hardest things about having to do things by yourself when you wish you had someone, is actually getting up and going to do them. Go to the mall by yourself. You can go into any store you want to, stop for some Auntie Anne’s, leave when you want, do whatever you want. Go to the grocery store by yourself. Take your time, read the labels boxes even if you have no idea what they mean, try that weird looking fruit that caught your eye! Try something new you’ve been scared of. Start exercising! Like reading? Join a book club!
Take a yoga class by yourself! Its so important to just go out and DO things by yourself, even if you have to force yourself. Perhaps you’ve been wanting to volunteer at some local program – do it! Even if you go by yourself. Regardless if you’re doing it by yourself, it’s so important to just DO IT.
I promise you’ll feel weird and awkward at first, like people are staring at you if you’re sitting there eating alone. And they might be! Let them stare. You’re going to be way more comfortable by yourself, doing whatever YOU enjoy, on your own time and nobody else’s.
While I’m still struggling with this everyday, it does get easier as time goes on. I’ve since channeled a lot of my own free time into more productive things, rather than just taking naps and binge watching the same thing on Netflix. While my semester is only bound to get crazier and I won’t have nearly as much free time, I plan on taking what extra time I do have and putting more effort into bettering myself rather than others. It has always been difficult for me to really make good and solid friends, but I’ve learned to be okay with that fact growing up! I’d rather have very few people that I’m really close with rather than 10 people around me who kind-of know what’s going on in my life.
I hope this blog was helpful to someone, as this is something I’ve struggled with the last few years! Apologies if it sounds like whining at any points, I didn’t mean for that! What do you guys enjoy doing by yourselves? Would you rather be alone or with a group of friends? Let’s talk in the comments!