As I sit here, a married woman in a relationship for well over ten years now, I often contemplate what time by myself means. The art of enjoying your own company isn’t lost on me. Sometimes, I even crave it! Luckily I have a partner who also very much enjoys time to himself, be it to paint or play video games.
Spending time with yourself is both an important and valuable skill. It can contribute to not only your self-awareness but also personal growth. Who would have thought? There’s so much hidden value in enjoying your own company that is so often overshadowed by being in a relationship. Everywhere you look we’re being encouraged to find our romantic partner instead of finding what it means to be us as an individual. So much so that many of us who find love at a young age never get the opportunity to discover who we really are by ourselves.
Me included! Between anorexia, mental illness, work and being one half of a partnership, I had no clue who I was until very recently. I for one, wish I had embraced myself and who I am a long time ago! Turns out I’m pretty groovy if I do say so myself.
Five reasons why you should start enjoying your own company.
Being able to feel comfortable by yourself is a wonderful way to foster independence. This can be in various areas of your life including financially! The feeling of having to rely on others can be smothering for some. You might feel like you can’t go anywhere or do anything without clinging to someone’s coattails. Therefore having the ability to step away from that means you’re more self-sufficient which can help boost confidence and self-esteem!
Getting to know yourself.
By spending time alone you give yourself the opportunity to get to know yourself better. It sounds odd. Surely we know who we are when alone, right? But so many of us become extensions of the people we love and hang around with subconsciously.
I’ve been with my husband for well over a decade now and for a long time I didn’t know who I was without him. Nor did I know who I was without my eating disorder, my job or anything else outside of my own thoughts and feelings. But, when I had no other option but to sit with myself, by myself, I finally began to connect better with my soul.
When you spend time alone, you can explore your thoughts, feelings, and interests without external distractions or influences. This self-awareness can lead to a deeper understanding of who you are and what you truly want from life.
Enhanced platonic relationships.
It’s expected that when we’re single we have more time to focus on our platonic relationships. That is we’re able to spend more time with our friends, family and other non-romantic loved ones. There’s more time for lunch catch-ups, and you can generally share more of your lives together. And if you have an abundance of love and support around you, then you’re better able to cope with the everyday stressors of life!
As someone in a long-term relationship, I find that so much of what I do involves my husband. But in the last few years, I’ve started keeping up with friends more, and I even make the first move, something which my introverted brain can barely comprehend! My husband may be matched with me in matrimony, but my best friend is my soulmate.
Improves our ability to solve problems and make decisions.
While it’s wonderful to have a partner to lean on, it’s imperative that we’re able to make choices and decisions without external input. But why? Being by yourself and enjoying your own company gives you the opportunity to tackle challenges head-on. It leads to more careful decision-making and removes the risk of external influence, something that can be both a blessing and a curse.
I have my husband to fall back on, and for a long time, I felt that I needed him in order to be able to make important decisions in my life. While I still consult him about joint things like the house or the car, the rest is my own decision to bear. I’ve since learned to trust in my own abilities and rely on my own judgements.
Freedom and flexibility.
Possibly the best thing about learning to spend time by yourself is the freedom it gives you. Think about it. You have all the time in the world to do what you want to do in your free time. You can structure your time how you want, indulge in hobbies and gain a sense of control you might never have had before!
Things to do while enjoying your own company!
- Pick up a book and start reading. There’s nothing quite like getting lost in a good book, or even reading some interesting articles online! Whatever you like, kick back, relax and let the words wash over you.
- Binge-watch a good TV show or some movies you’ve wanted to see! Why not even watch some of your all-time favourites?
- Go out and explore nature with a hike, a walk or a run!
- Try out some new hobbies like painting, sewing, clay work or some more obscure!
- Kick back and listen to some good music or podcasts! There are plenty to choose from on Spotify, YouTube and other podcast hosting platforms.
- Pamper yourself with an at-home spa evening! Get out the face masks, light some candles and forget about the world.
- Take the time out to practice some meditation and mindfulness at home.
- Why not exercise? Go for a walk, a run or do some at-home yoga.
- If you’re into art or history, why not visit your local galleries or museums? You can immerse yourself in culture without feeling pressured by a partner to go at anything but your own pace!
- Embrace solo travelling! Go wherever you want, whenever you want!
- Take up journaling. Write down your thoughts, feelings, emotions and experiences. Document your favourite quotes, talk about something you’re passionate about, or even start your own novel!
- Learn to play a musical instrument or, if you already play, spend some time practising.
- Take up gardening and start your own vegetable patch. If you have a local gardening club, you can also rent an allotment!
- Why not try cooking or baking?
- Get creative with some DIY projects like crafting, building, or refurbishing items.
- Why not try an online course!?
- Star-gazing is one we seldom talk about and, yet, possibly one of the most interesting!
- Volunteer your time for those less fortunate!
- Engage your brain in some puzzles!
- Why not take part in some virtual workshops?
Are you versed in enjoying your own company?
If you enjoy your own company, what do you do? Are you one for spending time in nature, or maybe you love painting? No matter what we’d love to hear about it in the comments! Have we missed something on our list of things to do? Let us know and maybe we’ll add it!