When we are sitting at home by ourselves, it's easy to just turn on Netflix and watch for hours. However, there are a whole range of other inspirational activities we can do when we are alone, and although they may not be our first instinct when it comes to hobbies, they can help motivate us, keep our days interesting, and even improve our mental wellbeing. Getting in touch with yourself and learning new things is essential to growth, so there's no reason we shouldn't make the most of your free time — and hey, you'll probably start to look forward to that hour you've got to yourself.
"To fill up your day with inspirational activities is essential to helping us stay in the present moment," says life coach Stephanie Holland over email. "Far too often, we get caught up in trying to 'fix' the past which has already occurred or plan for a future that does not exist yet. So, by incorporating activities into our day that allow us to stay in that moment, we are helping ourselves to remove some fear from our daily life."
If you need some ideas of what to do on your alone time, try one of these 11 inspirational activities to do when you're by yourself.
1. Go Somewhere New
"We can get so used to only being able to do certain things with other people that we can forget that there is actually no rule against going out by ourselves," says Holland. "Instead of getting a meal to-go, sit down at the restaurant and take your time to eat. Or go to a movie or museum that you have really wanted to experience. You will have the chance to fully experience something by yourself without another person's influence. Enjoy the freedom!"
"Sometimes you just need somebody else to tell you what you already know, and you could find that a lot through books and reading," says health coach Katie Henry PT, DPT over email. "It doesn't necessarily have to be a book. It could be an article so that you find online or a postcard, magazine whatever just read and grow and expand your mind.
3. Create A To-Do List
Whether you start small and just write down your tasks for the week, or you want to go bigger and figure out your life goals and dreams, make a list of what you want to get done in the near and far future. A study from Dominican University found that people who wrote down their goals were more likely to accomplish them than those who did not.
What better way to get inspired than getting your heart pumping and spending time in the great outdoors? Research from the journal PLOS One shows that spending time outdoors increases your attention span and creative problem-solving skills.
5. Cook Something New
With no one watching, you're free to experiment with your cooking without judgment. Try a new recipe or try to come up with one on your own. Cooking at home can even motivate you to have a healthier diet, says a study from Johns Hopkins.
6. Try A New Workout On YouTube
Trying a new workout in a studio can be intimidating, but doing it in the comfort of your own home can help you get rid of those inhibitions. Switching up your workout routine can help prevent you from getting bored of exercising, and it can help benefit not only your muscles, but your brain as well.
7. Take A Hot Bath
How often do we treat ourselves to a nice relaxing bath? The bathtub is a great place to unwind and relax your mind, and you can even fill it up with essential oils to help you further destress. Try some lavender or sandalwood, and let yourself get carried away with your thoughts.
8. Discover New Music
Whether you want to break out into dance, just want to relax to some soothing tunes, or you're looking for some motivation, your stereo might hold the answer the all these things. Music can improve cognitive performance, unlock your creativity, and improve your mood, according to multiple studies.
9. Find What You're Grateful For
There's no better time to reflect on the good parts of your life than when you're alone. "Practicing gratitude daily reminds us of all the amazing things we have in our life," says Henry. "Think of one thing or person you are grateful for and write it down. Tell that person thank you or just say thank you out loud." Expressing gratitude can help you feel more positive emotions, build strong relationships, and even improve your physical wellbeing, according to Harvard Health.
10. Write Stuff Down
"My best tip is to set a timer for 10 minutes and just start writing," says Henry. "Even if you have nothing to say you can write 'blah blah blah' on a page, and eventually words will come to you. The more you write, the more creative and inspired you become."
It's hard to focus inward when you're surrounded by distractions and people, so why not take your alone time to get some piece of mind? "Meditation can be an intimidating word for some, so just think of it as sitting and being quiet for a bit," says Holland. "It can be 5 minutes or a half hour. There is no goal for meditation. There is no place you are supposed to reach or feel at the end of it. Just take a pause in your day and be with you. Whatever thoughts come up just see them and move on to the next one."
When you have time by yourself, it's nice to indulge in an activity that is not only relaxing, but can help motivate and inspire you as well. We all have different interests, so pick something that you know you'll enjoy.
Images: Pixabay (12)