Four years ago, I moved to a new city with no friends and no place to stay. It was a task to even go out for a cup of coffee with no one to tag along with. Simply because we are so conditioned to need 'company'. But when I began breaking down my inhibitions, which as an introvert was quite difficult, I realised I liked being with me. It was empowering to be honest, to enjoy my own company.
There were a few things that helped make this process of 'going out' easier. Pointers that worked in my favour every time I felt overwhelmed and thought people were staring at me when I sitting by myself at a 'table for one'.
Do something you love doing with your friends
I love coffee, so I took the first step by going out to a coffee shop alone. You can try it with a good book or just take your favourite TV show. It's like Netflix and chill, but out in public. These were things I enjoyed even otherwise and it helped me distract myself from the fact that I was alone. If you love food, football or beer, you can turn any outing involving this into a solo event.
Watch a movie with yourself
I prefer going to poetry readings, plays and movies by myself where I can get good food and great art at the same time. Movies especially, are the soft spot if you are just stepping into this game. You can get a bucket of popcorn, some coke and your favourite seat. Added bonus - no one judges you for crying during the film!
Make it a self-care day to pamper your soul
Utilise this opportunity by turning it into a self-care day. Allot one day every month where you book a spa appointment or take yourself shopping. You don't even have to end up buying something, but at least you'll come back home satisfied that you had a great time, with yourself.
Dress up for yourself
Put on your favourite shoes, your favourite top and anything else that 'sparks joy' in your life. This will ease you into the process of stepping out. Because now that you look good, you're actually excited to step out. I usually put on nice lipstick and wear my favourite perfume for luck.
People watch and maybe have a conversation
Surprisingly, I have had a few great conversations with people I met at Starbucks. Its easy because coffee shops and home grown restaurants have a lot of people who step out alone to just read and write.
Go somewhere where you have something to do
Keeping yourself busy actually helps get over the anxiety of being alone. Find something you are passionate about and where you have something to do. You could go to a gaming arcade, a concert, an amusement park, a museum or even shopping.
Plan your day out without any fear!