11 Best Things to Do Alone

Spending Valentine’s Day solo this year? While it can be challenging to be alone on this most cloying of holidays, the opportunity for dedicated alone time can actually can be a beautiful gift. So many of us struggle with self-love, locking ourselves away into relationships so that we don’t have to deal with the uncomfortable process of growing and morphing into the person we truly want to become.

The fact is, the less comfortable you are with being single, the more work you still need to do on yourself. Your singleness doesn’t define you. Stop trying to escape the fear of loneliness. Instead, embrace the space and freedom to be unapologetically yourself. Doing things alone is uncomfortable, challenging, but so incredibly rewarding.

Here are 11 ways to show yourself some love—on Valentine’s Day, on Single Awareness Day  and all year long…

Treat yo’ self.

Whether on Valentine’s Day itself or on the 15th (Single Awareness Day), take yourself out for some pampering. Get a massage, buy yourself something nice. You don’t have to go into debt buying that fancy boat or designer boots you’ve always had your eye on, but indulging in small treats that are purely for pleasure is a really easy way to show yourself you care. If you’re short on cash, take a luscious bath, sit by a cozy fire or try cooking yourself an elaborate meal. Stop settling for bland, sad little meals when you’re alone. Pull out all the stops for yourself. Make a beautiful vegetable curry or some extravagant tacos with homemade tortillas, guacamole and salsa. You deserve it.

Give back.

If you don’t quite know how to celebrate and love yourself yet, show love to others. Help out at animal shelters, serve at soup kitchens or do some work for your favorite nonprofit. Volunteering to help those who need it will give you that fuzzy feeling inside letting you know that you made a difference in someone’s life. You’ll feel a sense of connection and community, and it’s way more gratifying than sharing an overpriced chocolate lava cake in a stuffy restaurant out of Valentine’s obligation.

Senior man on his mountain bike outdoors

Get physical.

Take a long walk or hike. Go biking, swimming or rollerblading. If you’re a little sad about being alone, don’t just reach for the potato chips. Get your body moving. Any type of exercise offers an endorphin rush that can brighten up your outlook and make the world appear less isolating.

Get reacquainted with you.

Slather yourself in coconut oil for some healing self-massage. Get down and pleasure yourself. Journal about your goals, dreams, fears and most insignificant of thoughts. Most of us spend our lives stuck in Drive. We never settle down into Neutral or Park to reassess our lives, who we’ve become and what has changed. It takes a lot of conscious work to truly understand who you are. And you can only do it when you are alone.

Delve into a new hobby.

Have you ever wondered how kefir is made? Always wanted to learn German? There are plenty of excellent courses online (even free ones) that can help you get started on your latest and greatest endeavor. Take advantage of your glorious alone time to improve yourself. The more you learn and expand, the greater the love you will have for yourself.

Travel confidently.

Get out and see the world. Whether it’s taking yourself out to dinner in the city or taking an impromptu flight to Iceland, traveling alone offers a valuable shift in perspective. Go to a local event, confidently. Find a comedy night, local concert, open mic or story slam. Don’t be ashamed to be alone. Go out and have fun. Talk to strangers. Be exposed to new ideas and things. Or, if you’re an introvert and socialization isn’t your thing, set yourself up in a corner nook and doodle in a journal until the show starts.

Yes, it is really uncomfortable to travel alone. You really have to put yourself out into the world without any sort of buffer or safety net. But it is in these uncomfortable moments that we grow the most. Take yourself to a museum or movie. Plan a solo trip overseas. Talk to strangers. Have experiences. Try new things. When you emerge at the other end, you’ll love the person who comes out even more.

Handsome senior man standing on couch, dancing. Studio shot.

Dance around your house.

We all need to let loose sometimes. With no one else around, you can strip down to your skivvies and let the music take control. If nothing else, it is a fun and effective way of relieving all that stress you had about spending Valentine’s Day alone.

Find solace outdoors.

If you are looking for a haven where you can be alone without judgement, there is no better place than out in nature, where nothing is expected of you. Taking a hike or walk outside on your own is the ultimate way to commune with nature. Watch the sunrise and sunset on the same day from a beautiful vista. Try meditating in a nearby field. Let your imagination run wild on a stream-side walk. The outdoors is the best place to experience alone.

While away the hours in a cozy bookstore.

There is no better place to let the hours flutter by than in a private corner of a used bookstore or library. Find a comfy seat, pick up an interesting book and read away. Find company in the interesting characters you read about. Let your imagination run wild and relish in the joy of non-verbal literary companionship.

Woman listening to music lying on grass

Do some writing or journaling.

Write about the things going on in your life. Think of all the people and things you are grateful for in your life and muse on them. Practice writing positive affirmations to remind yourself of how incredible you are as a unique individual. You have tremendous value and purpose. Being single absolutely doesn’t change that. Heck, you could even start a blog if you wanted! Just let those thoughts flow.

Binge watch your guilty pleasure show.

If all you want to do is watch Netflix, enjoy yourself. Indulge in a little laziness. There is nothing wrong with going Hans Solo for a night. Of course, you could also read a book. I find cracking open Harry Potter once in awhile for a reading binge is even better than Netflix. But be warned: Harry Potter ends up consuming me way longer than binging through all the seasons of a favorite show. It’s addictive. J.K Rowling is a witch.

Being single isn’t a bad thing. Get over the societal expectations of having someone to share Valentine’s Day with. You have yourself. In the end, that’s the most important person you can have. Show yourself all the love, whether you’re in a relationship or not.

Do you find it challenging to be single on Valentine’s Day? Any additional ideas for activities you love to do alone? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments section below! 

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94 comments

Carole R
Carole Ryesterday

Thanks for the ideas. I like to lie down with headphones on and listen to my favorite music.

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Ian T
Ian Tyesterday

If you share your life and home with an animal, then you are not single.

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astrid s
astrid syesterday

ty

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Tara W
Tara Wyesterday

Never heard of Single Awareness Day before.

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Carol S
Carol Syesterday

Love the person you're with. I gave myself flowers :)

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Clare O'Beara
Clare O'Beara1 days ago

work out on the Wii Fit

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Clare O'Beara
Clare O'Beara1 days ago

make a treat and do something around the house to earn it!

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Clare O'Beara
Clare O'Beara1 days ago

Clean out the cupboards and declutter, get rid of stale memories at the same time

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Clare O'Beara
Clare O'Beara1 days ago

Computer games like Civilisation or Oblivion, all evening

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Clare O'Beara
Clare O'Beara1 days ago

Great time to read, even better with a cat

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