As someone with a decidedly introverted personality, I spend quite a bit of time on my own. I have wonderful friends and delight in spending time with them, as well as with my family members, but I also very much enjoy (and actually kind of require) quite a bit of time to myself to feel refreshed, rejuvenated and truly content. This has led to the development of my own sort of activity "arsenal" for days when work is done and solitude is the order of the day - whether it be by choice or by happenstance.
Exploration can, for me, take many forms. Sometimes it's discovering a new place, or rediscovering an old one. Sometimes it's taking a run down a new dirt road, or a hike through the woods. Sometimes it's poking around in a dusty old antique shop looking for treasures, or wandering in and out of local boutiques and shops. One of my favourites? Clambering up and over rocks and sand, around inlets and jutting points on my beloved Island in spring, summer or early fall.
Take the time to learn something new, or work at developing and honing a skill you might already have. Right now I'm continuing to work at learning German, so I will often do a few lessons, or pick up one of my German books to refresh myself. Or, for something completely different, I'll check out some hair or beauty videos on Youtube and teach myself how to do look. I'm also currently working on learning this Schubert Impromptu as an ongoing project. There is always room for self-improvement, and often my best progress in any area is made during days to myself where I have the chance to devote the entirety of my attention to the task at hand.
Solitary days are perfect for taking in experiences and really being able to focus on them completely, without distraction. One of my favourite activities, when I lived in Ottawa, was to visit the National Gallery and spend as long as I liked looking at paintings, sculptures, presentations. Taking as long as I wanted in each exhibit without the guilt of keeping someone else waiting was freeing. Other experiences I've enjoyed alone? Lectures, recitals, plays, concerts - the options are endless.
Creativity and imagination are wonderful things, and one of my favourite things to do if I'm on my own is to exercise those two aspects of my personality. Whether it be through painting, photographing, creating a mosaic, jotting down thoughts in a journal, testing out new songs on the piano, attempting a craft or DIY project, or trying a new recipe. There are so many ways to express oneself and there's nothing better on a solitary day than to let those creative juices out!
One thing I have often observed in my nieces and nephews is their fascination with the world, their joy, and their love for play and fun. I feel like, as adults, that we rarely slow down enough to enjoy the simple things, to let loose and simply play! Most often, for me, that means getting out and doing something that gets my blood pumping, like going for a run, swim or bike ride. But I will say that one of my favourite playful moments was a day last summer when I headed to the beach after work and was the only one there (save a man walking his dog). It was a gorgeous night, the tide was out, and the water was amazingly warm. I ran out into the waves and threw myself into the water, floating along and letting the waves carry me back to shore and it was THE MOST FUN. Give yourself the chance to just enjoy, play, and simply have fun. It's seriously the greatest thing.
If you're an introvert like I am, perhaps you've got your own list of favourite solo pastimes - if so, I'd love to hear them! And for the extroverts in the bunch? Don't be afraid of alone time! I promise, it can be pretty fantastic! That said, the nice thing about all of these activities is that they are equally great - in a different way - when enjoyed with friends or loved ones.