How to love spending time alone

Photo by: Leviana Coccia
Photo by: Leviana Coccia

When Friday at 5:00pm rolls around, the last thing I want to do is go out to some crazy bar and struggle to keep my eyes open. Let’s be honest, any alcohol in my system after a long week wouldn’t help my tired self, anyways. There is nothing more pristine to me than a weekend with no plans or responsibilities. That means I can take things as they come, make last minute plans, finally try that new bakery that opened up down the street, take a walk through Toronto’s High Park or enjoy the sunshine on my balcony and read my copy of “Purple Hibiscus” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, the first novel by this acclaimed Nigerian author (who was featured in Beyoncé’s “Flawless” for obvious reasons).

Right now, my friends and I are all working and establishing our very different, but exciting, careers. My partner lives in Vancouver. My family lives 45-minutes north of me. It can be hard to make plans, and expensive, hence my boyfriend living on the other side of the country.

Over the last year, I’ve learned to love spending time alone, even though I’m not the textbook version of the word “introvert.”

Here’s how:

I create projects for myself:

When I say “project,” I don’t necessarily mean I’m taking a Car2Go to Home Depot to build a TV stand or a raised vegetable garden, though those are great ideas for someone with patience (I don’t have much). What I mean is, I create tasks for certain days. These tasks could include cooking a delicious meal for myself, booking time to get ingredients and actually making it. Or, I might want to finally hang the postcards I ordered off Etsy using a piece of twine and some clothes hangers (I may not have patience, but I definitely have Pinterest).

I keep a very detailed agenda:

Anyone in my life can tell you I’m always writing things down. When I was a kid, I would pretend my right index finger was a pen and would “write” things – what I was doing, what my mom was asking me to do, what my dad was singing – in the air. Now that I know how to print and handwrite (thank you, early childhood education!), I keep a never-ending to-do list of all the crap I have to do and a hella detailed agenda. I write down and schedule tasks even if they will take me five seconds. Oh, I have to change the water in the vases on display at home so all my flowers don’t die? Written! I have to buy toilet paper? It’s in there somewhere. Maybe this is a bit compulsive, but it keeps me busy (and organized). Then, when I’m done tasks, I check them off as complete and feel like a million bucks. Agendas are also great places to write things that you want to do. Maybe you heard your favourite radio host discussing a restaurant she tried on the weekend, but you’re not sure when you’ll be able to have an out-of-house sit down meal. Write it down in your agenda’s “notes” section. It’ll help you never forget (turning you into an elephant of sorts).

I make future plans, so I have something to look forward to:

Perhaps in three weeks, the park by my condo is hosting a free vinyasa yoga class and nearby residents can bring two guests. Or, perhaps Ed Sheeran is coming to town and I absolutely need to go. Well, I’m doing both of these things whether or not my gal pals want to come with. Once I’ve ensured I have the time for these activities, they’re going in my agenda. CONFIRMED!

I find the best company within myself:

There is absolutely nothing wrong with being 24-years-old and still using my hairbrush as a microphone or YouTubing “how to learn the ‘Get Me Bodied’ routine” so you can practice (and dance on the phone because there’s no one home).

How do you stay occupied, motivated and fulfilled on your own?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.