When coming to university, I didn’t anticipate how much time would be spent in my own company. Whether it’s commuting to lectures or days at the weekend, you can find yourself alone.
It can be easy to feel lost or isolated, but with time, you can learn to appreciate your own company and find happiness and comfort within it.
Here’s what I’ve learnt about how to enjoy your own company.
Learn that this is completely normal
As humans, we naturally seek company. Whilst it is detrimental to completely isolate yourself from your friends and family, learning to enjoy time by yourself is also crucial.
There is an important difference to be made between being alone and feeling lonely. Being alone doesn’t have to be a negative thing. Feeling lonely is the complete opposite, and it is key you reach out to people if you find yourself like this.
Embrace your alone time
Instead of feeling lonely or isolated, see it as an opportunity to recharge and connect with yourself. Use this time to reflect on your goals, emotions, and values. You may find that you’re more in tune with yourself.
Be wary of social media
Social media can be an instrumental tool but also a curse. It goes without saying the necessity of tailoring your feed to see things that inspire you, rather than do the opposite.
We are more connected than ever before but remember to stay in tune with yourself too. Take time in your day to put away your phone (or technology in general) and disconnect when you’re by yourself. Even if it’s only thirty minutes in the evening, it will help you learn to relax and normalise being in your own company without any distractions, helping to avoid feelings of FOMO (fear of missing out) which social media can promote.
Keep yourself occupied
I find that listening to music when I’m in my own company is one of the best ways to busy my mind, without having those internalised thoughts that everyone is judging you (when really no one cares what you’re doing). Some might prefer to be with their thoughts – whatever floats your boat!
Having something to do if you’re going out to eat or have a coffee by yourself can help as well. Whether that be a newspaper, book or journal – you’ll feel more comfortable.
Try something new
Learning something new can be a great way to find happiness in your own company. This could be learning a new language, trying a new hobby, or taking an online course. Learning not only provides a sense of accomplishment but also helps keep your mind engaged.
Take yourself on a date
We’ve all seen those TikToks or Instagram reels of solo dates. Having this philosophy of prioritising yourself and feeling comfortable when enjoying your own company is so important. Schedule in these solo dates in the same way you’d organise plans to meet up with friends or family.
There’s plenty to do in Manchester that you can enjoy by yourself.
Manchester has so many great theatres, and it doesn’t have to be an expensive night either:
- Palace Theatre – tickets for some productions start at £13 (including Hamilton!)
- Royal Exchange Theatre – all performances have at least 20 Under 30 tickets for £7, previews are half price and banquette seating is £10
- Manchester Opera House – tickets for some productions start at £13
- HOME Theatre – tickets start at £10
- Contact Theatre – tickets for students start from £5 for some productions
- The Lowry – tickets for Under 30s for some productions are £10
The city has some world-class galleries, with something for everyone from contemporary exhibitions to historic artworks.
We all saw the queues outside Manchester Museum when it first opened, but there’s lots of other museums on offer too.
- Manchester Museum
- People’s History Museum
- Science and Industry Museum
- Manchester Jewish Museum
- Imperial War Museum North
It’s so special being able to enjoy your own company.
However, as mentioned above, loneliness is different from being alone and if you’re struggling with loneliness, please check out the following resources:
- University of Manchester Counselling Service
- Health Assured 24/7 helpline and app
- Papyrus: 0800 068 41 41. (9am – Midnight)
- The Samaritans: 116 123 (24 hours a day)
- SOS on suicide: 0300 1020 505 (9am – Midnight)
- Manchester Crisis Line: 0800 953 0285 (24 hours)