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Friday, May 24
The Indiana Daily Student

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COLUMN: Four ways to enjoy being alone

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While college is the time to find new friends and go out whenever you please, sometimes you may feel like you just need a break. It can be hard to get a minute to yourself. Not everyone likes to be alone, but I think everyone needs to prioritize checking in on themselves every once in a while. Here are four of my favorite ways to spend quality time with myself:  

Take a walk with a podcast 

Once you’re done with classes and homework, grab your headphones and go on a long walk. This is a great way to wind down and finally put the stressful week behind you. Try listening to a podcast instead of music. For me, an interesting conversation always encourages me to walk longer than music would. Some of my favorite podcasts are Smartless, Armchair Expert and The Goop Podcast. I like to walk for about 45 minutes to an hour, which is usually as long as a podcast episode. Once you get home and take a shower, you will feel at ease with yourself.  

Takeout food and your favorite film 

After your peaceful walk, grab your favorite snacks at the grocery store. If you get stumped trying to think of good options, chips and salsa, pretzels and hummus, and chocolate covered pretzels are always delicious. You’re going to want a post-dinner snack when you’re relaxing on the couch. You can’t enjoy a cozy night by yourself without takeout, so make sure to call and schedule a pickup order at your favorite restaurant in Bloomington. My favorites are Feta, Ami and Chubbies Diner. Put on one of your favorite movies when you get home and eat your delicious takeout on the couch.  

Seek solace away from screens 

After the movie, let your eyes take a break from screens and try out a new activity. Amazon and Target are my go-to places for unique craft activities. You could buy a beginners’ knitting kit and make a comfy scarf or hat. If you’re not interested in knitting, you could buy a canvas and some paint from Hobby Lobby. Whenever I'm unsure of what to paint, I look for inspiration on Pinterest and YouTube. You could even purchase an adult coloring book or a paint by numbers book, which are both available on Amazon and at Target. According to Mayo Clinic Health System, coloring calms the brain and relaxes the body, which can improve better sleep and even create more focus on mindfulness. If you don’t enjoy sitting in silence, put on a show or music in the background. These activities are great ways to relieve stress and anxiety.  

Spa treatments  

Everyone deserves a relaxing spa night in the comfort of their own home. While it may feel more special to go to an actual spa, it’s pretty simple to create the same experience at home — and much cheaper. First, set the scene. Grab some candles and have a few hot towels ready. Once you have created the perfect ambience, dress in your favorite pajama set or comfiest robe. Make sure to gather a cleanser, face mask, under eye mask, exfoliant and feet scrub. Cleanse your face before using the face mask, and you can put on the under-eye mask after. While you wait for the masks to set in, put on a show or find a new book to read.  End your spa treatment by taking a bubble bath or using a feet scrub. This is a great way to end the night, as you will feel refreshed and ready for bed.  

 

Everyone can use a relaxing night in, especially if you need to de-stress from a busy week. Spending time alone encourages independence and can even improve your confidence. In college it’s easy to surround yourself with people all the time, but it’s important to find enjoyment in alone time.

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