Spending time alone can be really hard for anyone. Especially for someone with a mental illness. When I am depressed, I can’t stand myself. I need constant distraction from the reel of negative thoughts playing in my head, which has resulted in an actual addiction to Netflix. I literally need it to fall asleep or else I get really anxious. Even walking down the street can be difficult. I usually need to call someone so I don’t have to be alone. I used to always be upset if I didn’t have any plans after work or on the weekend.
However, I’ve started to change that. While I still often need distraction from my thoughts in some way, I’ve really started to value the time I spend by myself. I never worry about having plans because I can always find ways to enjoy myself with just me. The best part is I can do whatever I want without compromise and on my own schedule.
Where to Go & What to Do
I take myself out on dates all the time – I go to movies, the ballet, plays, festivals, shopping, lectures, museums and workshops. I already have two concerts lined up in November. I have even gone out for meals alone. On a recent trip to Germany, I treated myself to a fancy and adorable brunch in the rotating restaurant on top of the TV Tower. It was incredible.
Make It Special
I get it. It can be scary. If you want to try it, start with something easy like a movie. You won’t feel lonely there because you can’t even talk anyways. To enjoy yourself to the fullest, treat yourself. Dress up in your favourite outfit! Order dessert! Get a ticket in the front row! Get a massage! Straighten your hair! Instagram it all and make your friends jealous! The opportunities are endless.
Take Time to Reflect
The journey to loving yourself and enjoying being by yourself will be hard. To truly change your mindset, you need to ask yourself the challenging questions. You need to step out of your comfort zone. Setting aside time just to think, with no planned activities, can actually be a good thing. You’ll eventually leave with a better idea of your hopes, dreams and goals. Another helpful trick is to reflect with your friends or family and talk about your experiences.
I’m still working on it and I’ll never be perfectly happy being alone but I’m getting there.
Comment below with your ideas for a date with yourself!