I went through a time where I literally felt I couldn’t do anything alone, this was due to my anxiety and the feeling I would have a panic attack and wouldn’t have anybody around to help me and get me out of the situation. I began to constantly rely on having somebody with me, wherever I went, whether it was to the shops, whilst driving, I needed the safety net of somebody else to be able to go anywhere. It gave me pause for thought, I had taken being able to do things alone and making time for myself for granted previously.
Recently I have been encouraging myself to change this and I woke up one morning and felt like taking myself out. After months of barely being alone outside of my home, I decided to take myself to a local museum and art gallery. There is something so tranquil about art galleries and museums, and it felt so good to just take the day at my own pace and do something for myself. I paticularly love visiting gardens too, just taking in the calmness from being around nature.
It is important for your wellbeing to have the balance between socialising and knowing when you need time just to be alone. It highlighted to me how valuable it is to have bonding times with ourselves and how precious it is to get to know yourself, your own hobbies, your own opinions, not clouded by what everyone else is doing or saying.
We see functional activities such as food shopping ok to do alone, but not the less functional things such as going to the cinema, eating at a restaurant or going to a concert. Generally solitary activities are staying in, binge-watching Netflix, but maybe you don’t need to resign yourself to an evening on the sofa if you actually want to go and do something but have no-one to go with. Book that exhibition, take yourself to see that band you love, travel to that country you have always wanted to see – the world is your oyster! You may even meet new people and spark up new conversations.
I wanted to write this post as an encouragement for not only those who suffer with anxiety and struggle to leave the comfort of your home and those safety nets around you, but for others who don’t make time for themselves. Even if it isn’t going out, find a new hobby or a new exercise such as yoga. Don’t feel guilty for giving yourself time, sometimes we need the silence over the noise to reset our minds.