July 12, 2018

Image from Unsplash

Is the thought of going out without someone else a scary thought?

It used to be for me, I used to hate doing things on my own. I suffer from anxiety and I always felt if I went out on my own something would go wrong, I would embarrass myself, or people would judge me. I'm not really too sure why, and I knew deep down it sounded a bit silly to think that way but it still stuck in my head so much that I wouldn't go out by myself, unless I knew it was something hundreds of other people did by themselves, like popping to Tesco.

A lot of people suffer from something called Agoraphobia.

"Agoraphobia is a fear of being in situations where escape might be difficult or that help wouldn't be available if things go wrong.

Many people assume agoraphobia is simply a fear of open spaces, but it's actually a more complex condition. Someone with agoraphobia may be scared of:
travelling on public transport
visiting a shopping centre
leaving home" https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/agoraphobia/

Others may suffer from social anxiety, which makes it difficult for them to want to be somewhere on their own when they are surrounded by unfamiliar faces or in an unfamiliar place, or they may just feel like everyone might be a threat to them, and something might happen which could be dangerous and unexpected.

People can experience bad feelings and symptoms of anxiety such as a rapid heart beat, panic attacks and sweats.

What can I do to help me fight my fear of doing things alone?

It might not be as easy for others, but they way I overcame my fear of going out alone was jumping on a bus, travelling for an hour and going to the beach. It was a lovely sunny day, I was bored, I wanted to take my mind off things and all my friends were busy. Was I just going to stay at home and not do anything? Nope. I really wanted to go to the beach and I was absolutely terrified of going on my own, but I looked outside, I saw the sun, I picked out some summer clothes and just said to myself " Everyone else can do it, why cant I?".

I had some motivation because I just really wanted to go somewhere different, somewhere outside of the city, and circumstances meant that no one else could come with me, but why should that stop me from going? Nothing was preventing me except for myself.

I enjoyed my day, I sat on the beach, went to the pier and bought ice cream. I had a relaxed day and I was able to clear my head. It was nice and I would certainly do it again.

Remember to take baby steps, you don't need to get on a bus like I did and go to a different town or city. Just going for a walk to the shops, or getting a milkshake from McDonald's is something simple.

Here are some ideas of things you can do on your own:

  • Go to the cinema (you cant even talk to someone if you went with someone else anyway!) 
  • Go to a restaurant or a coffee shop and sit in. 
  • Go to the beach 
  • Go for a walk 
  • Go to the museum 
  • Go to a gig 
  • Go to a library/book shop 
  • Go to the gym 

Elizabeth Yuko has written a brilliant article about going out on your own and loving it.

I still dont feel like I can go out alone.

Remember though, this post is about enjoying your own company. It doesn't necessarily mean you have to go anywhere to do that if you don't feel like you can.
You can still enjoy your own company in the comfort of your own home, and it doesn't make you boring for doing that. Some people just cant hack doing things on their own, I was like that for a very long time. The thought of going to Starbucks on my own and sitting down with a hot chocolate was just a no-go, but I can happily sit at home and do things I enjoy there.
Maybe you could read a book or play a video game, or binge watch your favourite TV show?
Sometimes I like to pamper myself and have a nice long bath and do my hair nice and use a face mask, self care is very important, so take time to do this. Or you could try cooking new recipes if that's something you haven't tried before?

Here's 50 things you can do on a boring day at home.

Enjoying your own company means you're OK with being alone, and not always relying on your partner or friends or family to be around you for you to have fun and feel good. Sometimes circumstances may mean that you have to spend the day alone, and its up to you how you spend that day. If you want to go on an adventure, then that's great, not everyone will find that easy, so if you want to spend time at home relaxing, then that's great too. At the end of the day, you are your own best friend, you will be the person that is there for you when no one else is, so love being around you!

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