on solitude: 8 ways to hang out with yourself

While I consider myself to be a friendly and social person, I also consider myself to be an introvert.  I thrive on being with people - up to a point - and then I need silence to reflect or simply appreciate without the chatter of others in the background.  It's like a social rest for me - it allows me to recharge, and then arrive refreshed and present when I am with people again.  

Growing up this way, and encountering all sorts of people, I've found:
a)  many people don't know how to be alone
b)  many people are introverts, and are ashamed of it.

But being an introvert is a beautiful thing.  Even tapping into the introverted side of your personality, you'll find that it puts you in touch with the quiet and cerebral part of you - it tunes you into the place of internal knowing that everybody has.  
And, a solo adventure is one of the best ways to spark creativity and new ideas.  It's one of my favorite things to do.  So, I've compiled a few of my favorite ways you can get in some quality time with yourself.

I.  Simple and easy:  Get up, step outside your door, and go on a walk.  Or get in your car, or your bicycle, or motorcycle, or boat, or whatever, and travel to a park you've never been to before.  Walk around, listen - to the birdsong or the stream, take in the air, touch the ground.  Use your senses, and most importantly tell your brain to hush. 

II.  Gather together some art supplies and paint in the park.  I love to go to public spaces and make tiny watercolor paintings, but you can do anything!  Knitting, drawing, sculptures - you name it!  Find a nice tree to sit under, or a beautiful view to look at and let yourself go.

III.  Wake up purely with the intention of treating yourself.  Make a sweet and indulgent breakfast and enjoy it without shame.  Here I made chocolate chip, almond, and coconut pancakes and was so happy to take in the morning light with my coffee and then bites from these fluffy buttermilk things.

IV.  Pack yourself a picnic and enjoy it somewhere outside.  On this day I was working an afternoon shift at the bakery, so in the morning I put together a little salad, put them in my backpack along with a few pieces of fruit, my journal, a blanket to sit on, and a book.  I biked over to the nearby beach and happily enjoyed my food while watching the ebb and tide of the Pacific, or watching the sailboats breeze by.  I was in the best mood when I finally went to work.

V.  One of my favorites: take yourself out on a date!  Dress up, put on something that makes you feel attractive, or fun, or try taking on a new character for the night - then treat yourself to the best date.  My favorite way to do this is to dress up, get a slice of cheesecake or overly decadent chocolate cake and then go to the nearest independent movie theater.  If you've never been to the movies by yourself - I highly recommend it - especially if you find a charming fine arts theater nearby.
On this date I put on my favorite dress and boots, and walked over the bridge to a local bakery and got a hot chocolate and a pot pie, then quietly enjoyed them on the outdoor patio.

VI.  Solo bike adventures where you gather wildflowers to decorate your home!

VII.  Take yourself swimming!  Everybody's got some sort of swimming spot nearby.  Bring a towel, a book, something refreshing to drink, and swim by yourself.  This photo above was taken recently here in Vermont.  It may be one of my favorite days since I've been back.  I dedicated an entire Sunday to this specific dreamy waterfall in Vermont.  I would swim until I'd had enough and then would retreat to my rock nest and read until I was warm enough to swim again.  I even ended up meeting a few sweet people and some pretty cute dogs in the process.

VIII.  Um, ice cream?  Go to your local coop or market and simply buy yourself a tiny pint of a flavor you've never had before.  Take off your shoes and enjoy it somewhere outside, or curl up in your bed with a movie and your favorite flavor.

What are your favorite ways to spend time with yourself?


  1. Hello! I've just discovered your lovely blog!

    We live in a village in the French Pyrenees. One of my favourite things to do is walk in the fields above the village at dusk, away from the holiday makers and the hustle and bustle as I wait for the stars to come out...

    1. that sounds so lovely! I would do that all the time!

      and thank-you!

  2. Fellow introverts ♡

    In the last year, I've really embraced my introverted nature. I'm all about your celebration. Introverted and proud! I also like that you point out that introverts can be social too. I'm the same way and I feel like people often confuse being introverted with shyness. It's also funny how sometimes extroverts go through a phase where they spend more time by themselves and declare that now they're introverts, I feel like as much as this may flux, introverts have a consistent need for time by themselves in order to refocus and process the world.

    Anyways, here's some of my favorite alone hangouts:

    Going to museums/art shows by myself.
    Camping for a night by myself. I live in the woods and this is really easy for me to do, but I bet anyone can set up a tent in their backyard.
    I like to take a few minutes through out the day in addition to my regular practice to meditate.
    Practicing playing music by myself, never for an audience ;)

    1. Milla I love your alone hangouts!
      I think I'm going to steal the museum and camping by myself one.

  3. I've never been ashamed of my introvertedness; its pretty awesome.

    I remember in my early teens when my parents finally gave me the freedom to go places on my own I went on sooo many selfie dates; exploring the city and discovering new shops, going to concerts, buying desserts and sitting outside...I felt so free.

    I still love the freedom of being alone with nobody to please or entertain but myself!

  4. i love this. i've often found that those i connect with the strongest are those who are okay spending time alone with themselves, who enjoy their own company.

    i actually really love cleaning my apartment by myself. putting on some music, some old clothes that i still look sexy in, and latex gloves and i'm good for a couple hours.

  5. I like it, it's one of those surprising Leo-sun things you don't expect - this part of the cycle, we're lionesses out on the hunt, working alone to bring something back to our family village. I've been going on solo-walks and drinking wine in the park, then going swimming in the lake. Cuddling with kitty, and listening to nostalgic music.

  6. i LOVE this post!! many of these I do and it's nice to see that you do too. recharging is sooo necessary. I'm finding that I need to force myself to socialize. I have two little ones and when they go to papas I just wanna be alone and bask in the quiet moments of freedom. and icccce cream! xoxo m

  7. great post! i rarely get time alone (i have 4 children) but i like all these ideas :) i'll take 30 minutes to myself every so often and i'll read or play my ukulele.

  8. Oh wow. This is totally me. Hahaha! One of my favorite ways for now is reading a book outside, under the sun. :D


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