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  • Writer's pictureSherri M. Herman

How to Enjoy Alone Time

Don’t you love going out to eat by yourself? No, of course you don’t. Almost nobody does. Because you know what happens? Your mind bombards you with thoughts about being a loser, a loner, a weirdo, and the list so goes. You are consumed with ideas of how other people must be judging you negatively. If your thoughts weren’t such a problem, how do you imagine your solo experiences would be different?

woman enjoying smoothie happy alone

Learning how to deeply enjoy your time alone does not mean you’ll end up doing everything alone forever. Furthermore, enjoying your alone time doesn’t mean you’ll never again enjoy being with other people. I know you want to spend time with other people and you want to enjoy it... and I want you to. That's why I'm here to help.

I've developed a genuine appreciation for solo activities, leading to greater enjoyment and fulfillment in my interactions with others. I’ve come to appreciate both my alone time and my social time. But it didn’t always come easy. For much of my life, doing things with other people felt just as uncomfortable as doing things alone. Living that way felt like living in a torture chamber that I didn’t know I was in. I felt terribly alone and lonely at every corner.

What truly worked for me was changing my relationship with my thoughts. I learned how to stop taking every thought literally. I learned how to let my thoughts roll across my mind like clouds floating across the sky, particularly the unhelpful ones. I didn’t try to get rid of the clouds or try to turn them into roses, but I learned to just let them float on by. Once I learned how to do that, everything changed. Am I perfect at it? Definitely not. Do I still get hung up by an occasional cloud? Absolutely. But my experience is about a thousand times better than it used to be. 

When I stopped giving so much of my attention to all of those clouds and believing that they're all factual and permanent, it created space for real enjoyment. Now, when I go out by myself, I enjoy the opportunity to observe my surroundings, allowing my curiosity to guide me as I take in the sights and sounds around me. It gives me an opportunity to be more present and connected with myself and my direct experience of the moment. As a result of these practices, I have become more present and connected when I do spend time with other people.

As you reflect on your journey towards embracing solo experiences, consider this: just like a cloud floating across the sky, your thoughts may drift in and out, but they do not define you and they certainly don’t hold the truth. By learning to let these thoughts float on by, you create space for genuine enjoyment and fulfillment in your alone time. While the path to embracing solitude may not always be easy, it offers the opportunity for profound freedom and connection with yourself. 

As you continue on this journey, remember that each moment spent alone is an opportunity to cultivate a deeper sense of presence and connection, both with yourself and with the world around you. So, embrace your alone time with curiosity and openness, and allow it to enrich your experiences, both solo and with others.


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