There is a big difference between being alone and being lonely. One concept is spatial, one is emotional, and while the two are connected, they do not have to be intertwined. Somehow it has been hammered into our heads that anything worth doing is done with someone else. When you think of “summer fun,” you think of girls in bikinis holding hands as they jump off the docks. You imagine park picnics and parties with friends. The hardest part of having fun alone is unlearning this image of what fun looks like. The truth is that being alone is grounding and luxurious. Whether you’re a raging recluse or just looking to fill your Tuesday mornings, learning how to have fun alone this summer is a skill that will make your summer (and your life!) more fulfilling.
- Go outside!
Having fun alone begins with a concept I can best describe as putting yourself into the world around you. So often we feel hesitant to leave our space without a real plan, but some of the most rewarding time alone is spent wandering. Let your mind go, explore the nature your home has to offer, take a road less traveled! If you’re unable to go too far from home, take a blanket out to a peaceful patch of grass. Prepare some lemon-infused water and grab your books and headphones.
- Bring some personality into your space.
Putting yourself into the world around you also means infusing your space with your personality. There are tons of DIY projects you can do to make your space more “you.” Tapestries are great for decorating large wall spaces, and can also double as blankets for one of your picnics. If you prefer to keep your walls nice and white, take this time to clean up and get organized. This is not a shove-it-under-the-bed kind of clean. This is a take-it-all-out-and-sort-through-it kind of clean.
- Dive into yourself.
Luxuriate in your character and identity. This may sound a little abstract but it can manifest itself in many ways, the most obvious of them being indulging in things that make you happy. Get some block puzzle and play it, figure out what really makes you comfortable in your alone time, and do it often. After a long school year, you deserve time to pamper yourself and your tired mind.
- Spend time with your own projects.
Now is the time to finally pour your mind power into one of your ideas and not one of your teacher’s ideas. This doesn’t mean you have to begin sketching the next Mona Lisa, it means that you have the time to set a goal and to work towards it. Whatever your project is, it comes from you. Now is the time to pay attention to that. It will take discipline and maybe even a structured schedule, but it will feel so good to do without the looming specter of the school year’s homework load.
Having fun alone this summer means getting to know yourself and the world around you. With a strong sense of self, you will be ready to go out and socialize when it feels right for you.