Do you know what movies taught me about being a woman? They taught me that we can sort ourselves into one or two boxes. Box A – Single, you have a kooky group of girlfriends who you will see almost every night and go to fun parties and cool clubs with. Any nights alone are sat eating cold noodles, watching tv and contemplating how utterly pathetic you are. Box B – Single, you have basically zero back story but you are about to meet the absolute love of your life (It’s Hugh Grant, by the way, it always is) and he will make you complete. Up until that moment, you will be sad, lonely and eating cold noodles.
See the theme here. No, it’s not the cold noodles, although that does have relevance. Whether you are single or in a relationship, being alone is something that we all experience, whether that be for long periods of time or for small periods of time, but the word ‘alone’ just sounds so sad doesn’t it? Speaking from a female perspective, we have no representation of a woman being comfortable and happy spending time by herself.
As most of you know, I am in a long term relationship, one that I am sickeningly happy in, like really, I even make myself nauseous sometimes but how enamored I am; but, much to my disgust, I cannot physically attach myself to him like some kind of crusty old barnacle on a ship. So when faced with time alone, what do I do? I watch endless episodes of Real Housewives, I eat an entire bar of dark chocolate and I go to bed early and sulk. That is far from my perfect existence I can assure you.
It was only last year, when Joe went on a last-minute trip to Japan, that all of a sudden I realised, I am that girl eating cold noodles and wondering why I’m so pathetic and it is all because we know no bloody different! We have no positive examples of why spending time alone can be bloody wonderful. So, I made a conscientious effort to think about what I wanted to do with my weekend, what could I do that I wouldn’t do if Joe was here, how can I make the most of my alone time. The outcome? A bloody good weekend. Even if the extrovert in me was screaming “BUT YOU’RE ALONE!!!!!”.
So, whether you are single or not, introverted or extroverted, I hope this little list helps you enjoy a bit more ‘me-time’ and leaves those cold noodles confined to the world of Rom-coms.
The Art of Being Alone
Plan your day.
I have an awful habit of spending days alone doing absolutely nothing other than watching terrible television shows, films starring Kate Hudson and drinking endless cups of tea purely from boredom. It is, not a choice, it is me going into moping mood. Instead, really think about what you want to do with your day. Sure, by all means, do the things you need to do (laundry, spring cleaning, etc) but don’t make it arduous, try to make it therapeutic rather than a task. Organise your dresser, clear out your wardrobe or have a clear-out and take a trip to your charity shop. Clear conscious, Clear mind.
Find small joys.
What makes you happy? Not the huge idealistic things. The little things. Mine include:
- Getting up early and going downstairs to watch James Martin Saturday Kitchen with a fresh pot of coffee
- Taking my dogs out when it’s cold out but dry and sunny.
- A hot bath and a glass of red.
- Exploring museums
Each of these things I actually enjoy more when I’m on my own, with my own thoughts. It’s like therapy for me. Remind yourself of what those things are for you! Take the time to enjoy them.
Get out of the house.
You don’t need to watch that third episode of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. You don’t need to sit in your crusty pyjama buttons eating those cold leftover noodles. You also don’t need to not do either of those things. You do need to stay sane however and that may mean leaving the confines of your bedroom.
Get yourself out of the house, if you have dogs then you have a perfect excuse! if you don’t, find an excuse. Need some basics from your local corner shop? Great. Been putting off that trip to the post office? fine. Just love to get outdoors and don’t need an excuse? even better!
I hope these little tips help you even in a small way. In the busy world, we live in its so important that we enjoy every single moment, even when we are alone! Let’s take away the negative stigma from that word. Let’s see it for what it is, an opportunity for me time and self-care. A break made for us and no-one else. Enjoy!
Disclaimer: If cold noodles are your happiness then you do you huns. I support all small happiness’. Except those of you that enjoy HIIT. I don’t condone that. Stop making me look bad…