"My beauty comes from having my own style, living my own way, and knowing my mind." - Unknown
A few weeks ago, I wrote the post How to love being alone | becoming my own best friend while remaining a social butterfly.
As if the Universe wanted to test me, only a few days later I was suddenly consumed by sudden loneliness.
I didn't understand why, and I even felt ashamed for feeling such a way, for I had just written a post on how I grew out of loneliness. I can't even precisely remember when I once again encountered loneliness, but I allowed it to linger with me, feed me unhealthy thoughts, and pull me down.
Then one night, I decided to do something about it by compiling a list of everything I enjoyed doing, on my own.
At that moment, it hit me--there wasn't anything I enjoyed doing on my own. Not one thing.
Without even realizing it, my hobby had become social media, a place that you can only spend so much time on. I read for social media. I blogged for social media. I worked out for social media. My entire life had become social media.
And without it, I had nothing to do. I was bored and therefore mistook that for loneliness.
I asked myself, "If I didn't have social media or a blog, what would I do?"
And soon, a list of about 30 hobbies blossomed before me. Smiling and feeling more connected, I set out to make more time for each hobby I enjoyed.
I realized that, in order to beat loneliness, one must have hobbies. It's one thing to be okay with being alone, but it's entirely different when you're lonely and have nothing to do.
And when you're one hobby is Instagram, well....
Instagram can be a toxic place when you're lonely.
For the sake of this post, I shortened the list to 8 and decided to specifically choose hobbies that were free and accessible to all.
Being alone offers so many benefits, like learning to be independent while finding ways to experience internal happiness. And I do hope this post offers you some guidance to find your internal happiness, as well as some inner peace and comfort.
10 peaceful (and free) things to do on your own
1. Brew some tea
I have grown to love tea, perhaps more than coffee. There's something about turning on the kettle, preparing the tea bags and honey and listening to the water bubble and boil. The steam from the tea makes the entire space smell absolutely blissful, and each sip contains so many benefits.
Scoop some time out of your day to stop what you're doing, and brew some yummy tea.
Cinnamon Vanilla, healthy skin, is one of my current favorites.
2. Practice some yoga
I try to do yoga every day in order to stretch my tense muscles and get to a state of relaxation. Recently, I've been doing yoga on my own, without the help of a video, and I've found that it offers so many more benefits.
I love Yoga with Adriene and usually would only practice with her videos. But just this morning, I set a timer for 20 minutes and allowed my body to flow for me. I listened to my muscles and did just want they craved. I found that I got a much deeper stretch, and was able to better clear my mind and ease into a peaceful state.
If you normally practice yoga in a class or alongside a video, I dare you to try it on your own and be amazed at how much you know by heart.
Also, yoga is just overall amazing and will naturally help you find a balanced state of mind.
3. Go on a walk-in nature
I don't have much nature around me, but I still aim to walk to work or class every chance I get. I unplug from my phone and admire my surroundings, allowing my mind to wander and be present with what's around me. I look at the old homes and even the cars passing by, and I easily feel connected to my mind and body.
Going on walks is a fantastic way to experience peace and enjoy being on my own, while also sneaking in some exercise!
4. Be creative
I used to be creative every chance I got. I wrote, drew, and painted all because I wanted to and not because I felt obligated to for content. Then, when I began my author's Instagram, the creative in me seemed to fade away.
Yesterday, I sat down and colored in an adult coloring book while watching Youtube and it was honestly so much fun. I allowed my mind to relax and color my most hideous drawing to date. I didn't draw for anyone else--I drew for me.
When I'm creating, I am me, and I am at peace.
Bullet journaling is also a great way to sneak in some creativity.
Since beginning my healthy-eating journey, I've gotten really into cooking. No joke, it mostly started when I found a bag of split peas in the break room at my job, and took them home, only to have no idea what to do with them.
I went online, found this amazing split pea soup recipe, and cooked the best split pea soup ever. No lie. Jared and I took our first sip and proceeded to gasp at how fabulous the soup tasted, which was simple and healthy and composed of mostly vegetables. The soup lasted me three entire days.
But the action of cooking was by far the best part. Chopping the veggies, adding the broth, seasoning the onions and garlic... it was so peaceful and so momentary. I had to be so present in order to do everything right.
I'm aware that this isn't exactly free, but if you have randomness in your fridge or pantry already, then stir something up and yay, you've cooked!
There's something about preparing food that gives me so much bliss.
Putting away distractions and picking up a good book is the most wonderful feeling in the world. Allowing yourself to immerse your mind into the story, the words, and feeling time stop around you... reading truly is magical.
But in order for this hobby to be peaceful, it's important to not post about your reading constantly, or avoid frequent updates on Goodreads.
Books were made for you to relax and forget about everything, just for a few hours. Not to try to finish seven each month.
Take time out of your day to read, maybe a few pages, maybe more. Really take that time for you, and you alone.
7. Window shop
This is something my grandmother and I used to do when I was little. We'd go to the mall and wander through, browsing the stores we liked but not necessarily buying anything.
And let me tell you--browsing your favorite stores is somehow the most peaceful experience.
I love going into thrift stores, Target, Marshall's (my all-time favorite) and cute hole-in-the-wall boutiques. I won't buy anything but simply look and gain inspiration.
It's a lovely little thing to do on your own.
This may sound odd, but I love cleaning. I voluntarily take out the trash, wipe down counters, dust, vacuum, and do dishes. And most recently, I've begun decluttering. The act of cleaning and decluttering is in some ways like a disease--it latches on and doesn't let go for a while. You can't help but tidy any and every chance you get!
Did that make sense? Probably not. Oh well!
Try turning on some 80's jams and declutter/tidy up your space. You'll finish feeling cleaner, fresher, and maybe even more connected. And the act of decluttering offers so many benefits.
While this specific list speaks to me in many ways, I hope it also spoke to you.
It's okay to be by yourself, and it's also okay to experience loneliness now and again. But remember: the key to loneliness is finding things to do while alone. And there's so many things to do when you're on your own.
Take this time to do what you love, and cherish every moment.
I dare you to make a list of 8 things or more, that you enjoy doing on your own, without social media. Comment that list below, if you want! :)
Have a peaceful rest of your day!
Probably sipping tea,