Humans are social creatures; whether we’re catching a movie with friends, clicking through Facebook or just vegging on the couch with the family, we’re often in the company of someone else. There’s nothing wrong with that, but every now and then, there’s a case for taking some time to go solo.

Here’s why: When you’re with other people, there’s always a part of you that’s preoccupied with considerations about what they want, what they may be thinking about you and what they are expecting from you. When you’re by yourself, there’s no need to worry about anything else, and the only expectations you can live up to or fail are your own. Scheduling some “me time” allows you to pay more attention to what you find important, to do what you like and be who you really are. Most of all, it allows you to simply and totally relax.

The holidays are all about warm and fuzzy memories, but this season, we encourage you to tackle some of the activities on this list, get a little more comfortable and show yourself some love.

  Photo Credit: The Glorystone via Flickr

Photo Credit: The Glorystone via Flickr

Still need more inspiration? Check out the personal essay from our beauty editor, Nicole, on how she grew to love alone time.

Catch a movie you’ve been meaning to see. It can be a second screening of that flick you caught with the girls last week, or indulge in the guilty pleasure of a movie that will be wonderfully terrible.

Eat lunch or dinner at a restaurant—have no shame in grabbing a table for one. If you need a little extra courage, bring along some reading material or a sketchpad.
Test a new recipe. If you mess up, there are no witnesses. If there’s too much food left over, surprise a neighbor or donate to a local food kitchen.
Learn something—anything—new! Enroll in a class for something you’ve never tried to do before, at school or any number of local businesses, community colleges or municipal organizations. There’s a myriad of resources online that you can take advantage of right at home on cold winter days.

Volunteer for a cause that’s meaningful to you. Get involved with a club that sponsors philanthropy on campus and in your community, or check out to find opportunities online.

Travel! Plan an excursion to somewhere you normally go alone or to someplace totally new. Some people find it especially easy to try new things and be more adventurous in a destination where they’re anonymous. Just be sure you stay safe.

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