This past week has left me feeling a little low. Work has been particularly stressful and, even though I’d really rather not, I’m thinking about returning to school for my teaching license. I loved my time as a student, but after getting my master’s, I thought I was done. Turns out that without certification, finding a teaching job is nearly impossible.
One of the only nights where I didn’t feel this stress was last Thursday night. And I know exactly why. B went to a Twins game with a friend and I, unusually, had the whole night to myself. Turns out some alone time was just what I needed.
After taking Audrey to the dog park and hitting the gym, I brought a magazine to my favorite Asian restaurant and ordered a meal for one. It was a simple way to spend the night and even though I’ve done the same thing with B loads of times, taking just me out for dinner felt like a treat.
In fact, new research supports that having time alone is critical to feeling recharged and happy. Maybe that’s why 1 out of 4 Americans—more people than ever before—are living alone. The Journal for the Theory of Social Behavior supports this, explaining that solitude is different from loneliness and important to our health.
So, what’s the secret to having fun alone? For me, it’s doing something I enjoy. In Bristol I lived alone and spent more time by myself than ever before, but I never tired of taking myself to a gallery, boutique or show that B, or other friends, had no interest in attending. Treating myself to these things was fun because it felt both independent and indulgent.
How do you have fun alone? Have you ever gone to a movie or restaurant by yourself? I hope so!