During the pandemic, many of us have had to learn how to do things on our own. Personally, I think it has been a great learning experience.
It was hard for me at first and I think that for anyone who lives alone can understand that. In our normal days, we turn to others to find things to do. We go for coffee or for dinner or we go to see a show. We hang out at each other’s homes. We go on trips together.
Those things weren’t possible during the pandemic (and in some areas of the world, they still aren’t possible as their countries battle COVID-19) and there are going to be times when it isn’t possible in the future.
So, what do you do when you can’t be with other people?
Here’s some ideas for things to do when you don’t have anyone to do it with:
Feed your brain
Your brain needs nourishment and fuel just as much as your body does. It’s easy to forget that when you’re busy with everything else though, isn’t it? But in order to work at top capacity, your brain needs to be fed.
There’s many ways you can do that:
- Take a course. There are loads of courses that you can take online for free or for little cost. You can take courses for professional value or just learn something about a topic you’re interested in. Coursera is a great source of free learning, as is edX.
- Read a book. If you feel like you’re not a reader, it might just be a matter of finding the right kinds of books to read. Amazon has an excellent program for readers called Kindle Unlimited. You pay one monthly fee and read all you want for free. That way, if you get bored and find it’s just not something you’re interested in, you don’t have to feel guilty about not finishing it. Just move on to something else.
- Do some research. I keep a list of things that I want to learn more about or want to become more educated on. Sometimes it’s just a question. Sometimes it’s full blown topic. I jot them down in a note on my phone as I think of them. When I have a little time, I look it up on the internet. You can find information on absolutely anything online. Best food for medium size dogs? What’s killing my grass? Is there such thing as too much protein in my diet? All that information is out there.
- Trivia is fun. I’m a trivia junkie when it comes to my favorite shows. My daughter and I love the TV show Friends and I bought a deck of trivia cards. The only problem was, it was way too easy for her! So, I’ve been looking up bits of trivia on the show to try and stump her. You can do this with anything. Make up your own trivia cards and use them with friends.
Take yourself on a date
In my part of the world, restrictions on restaurants and other public places are easing up. That means people can start dating again — within reason of course.
If you don’t have someone your dating and your friends are busy though, you can still go on a date — with yourself!
What can you do? Here’s a few ideas for self-dating:
- Go on a picnic. Pack a basket and a good book to read. Grab your dog and head out for a walk. Find a nice tree to sit under and you have the perfect picnic date. Take it a step further and drive to the lake or a park by a river. It’s a great way to spend some quality time with yourself.
- Go out for a nice meal. Who says you need to have company to enjoy eating out? Personally, I love food so I don’t need an excuse like a date or meeting up with a friend to go to that new restaurant I’ve been dying to try (unfortunately, very few of those around here!). The only thing I need is a day that ends in y and I’ve got all the reason I need to go out to eat!
- Watch the sunrise or sunset. They happen every single day! Even if you have no one to watch it with, you can enjoy the moment. You might be able to do it from your back yard with a glass of wine or you may need to find somewhere else to watch it from. Why not make it a challenge to find the best place in your area to watch sunrises and sunsets from?
- Have a nature date. Sometimes nature is best enjoyed alone anyway. There’s no one to interrupt your thoughts. Go on a hike, visit a lake, take a kayak trip down a river — the options are endless.
It’s always nice to be pampered by someone else, but there’s no reason why you can’t pamper yourself. You’re worth it!
Here are a few ideas for self-pampering:
- Bubble bath — this isn’t for everyone but if you like a good soak it’s something you can do often. Ramp up your bubble bath game with some quality epsom salts. Add candles, music, a good book and this could turn into an hour long event.
- Learn to give yourself a proper pedicure. With the right lotion and tools, you may wonder why you ever paid someone to do something so simple.
- Did you know self-massage is a thing? You can give yourself a massage using just your hands or you can add a few tools like a tennis ball, a foam roller, or a trigger point massager to make it even better.
- Cook for yourself. When you live alone it is easy to eat soup from a can every night. We tend to only cook when other people are coming over. But why? Don’t you like food? As I mentioned, I do. I love a good meal. And I like different flavors. I’ve started cooking really good food for myself. Because I can. And guess what. No one complains about my cooking!
Other random ideas for thing to do alone
Being alone is not a bad thing. In fact, you may come to love it once you start finding things to do alone. The beauty of doing things alone is that you don’t have to keep anyone else happy. No one will mock your ideas of a good time. No one will say, “This would be more fun.”
Do it your way.
Here’s some ideas that didn’t fit into the other categories:
- Take on a project. It can be big or small. Paint a wall. Renovate something. Build. Sure, you might not be the best at it, but it will be fun. Or not. And then you won’t do it again.
- Dance. Alone. Maybe naked. It’s good physical activity, you get to choose the music, and it helps you get rid of self-consciousness.
- Write a letter of if you hate writing by hand write a long rambling email. People appreciate it when you take time to do that.
- Write your memoirs. You don’t have to write with the intention of publishing them. But start writing out your memories. When you’re gone, someone will find them and appreciate them.
- If you don’t have one already, start a journal. It’s amazing how much of yourself you reveal when you start writing things down. For instance, I’ve been keeping a journal or diary since I was 13 years old and reading them, one thing has been very apparent. I’m way too obsessed with my weight!
- Start collecting something. It can be anything. Rocks. Stamps. Notebooks (ya, that’s a thing). It doesn’t have to be something of value. Just something you enjoy.
- Coddle your inner child. Paint by number. Color. Do a puzzle. Get a jump rope and get good at it — learn some tricks even. Recite those old rope jumping rhymes. What did you like doing when you were a kid and your friends weren’t around. Do more of that!
- Go on a solo road trip. Get in the car and drive. Even stay a night in a hotel and stay up all night binge watching your favorite show, eating potato chips and chugging your favorite pop.
Got other ideas? Leave them in the comments!