Every media platform, including ours ¯\_(ツ)_/¯, is screeching about events taking place this long weekend. Do you cringe or feel low at the thought of hearing about another one?
Not all of us are social butterflies with a 'work group', 'gym buddies' or a close 'circle of friends' we call family. You could be new in town or have lived in the UAE for years, but there are times you find yourself with no one to call on a Thursday evening. That's ok. We have you covered on how to begin to enjoy your own company while at ease.
Stop the pity party
If someone travels with a herd of people around them, then they have to be interesting, fun, and most importantly, lucky to share everything in their lives. Wrong. Firstly, tell yourself there is nothing wrong with you. You might be a smart and successful individual and choose not to gang around everywhere you go. There is no reason why you can't enjoy time by yourself and do exactly what you feel like. There is nothing wrong in spending time alone if that is what you prefer. Do not fall prey to society's stereotypes. You might be surrounded in a crowd, but be terribly lonely, so don't be so quick to judge.
Take advantage of your time
Now that you've dried your tears and are ready to move on, let's get started. There are heaps of sales and offers in markets, malls and restaurants that are exclusive for National Day Celebrations, don't let your lethargic attitude get in the way of grabbing some exciting offers. If walking alone in a crowded mall is not your thing, order stuff online. If you don't want to sit alone in a restaurant, grab take-out and binge watch some TV – several networks offer a ton of free channels during this special weekend.
If you are not interested in spending your hard earned money, be creative. Use this time to revamp your house by adding some new decorative pieces. You can find great DIY ideas online. Paint a boring chair bright purple or indulge in glass painting. Just make sure you ask your roommate first! By the end of the weekend you will have a sense of accomplishment and feel productive. Tidy up a messy drawer or de-clutter your space. A change in scenario is maybe all you need to up lighten up your mood.
Take a free class
You could not ask for a better time to experiment with a new hobby than this weekend. Most gyms are offering great discounts now. The best part is, they mostly will always give you a free trial. So indulge in a free sporty day where you can experience a class in yoga, kick-boxing, Zumba, Maui Thai or anything that you fancy. If you enjoy it, join up! Make sure to select a place close to home and convenient for you even after the weekend is over.
Talk to family
Most of us live away from our loved ones. What better time to catch-up with mom and dad or a cousin you haven't spoken to in a while? Give them a call (on Skype perhaps) and talk to them for hours. If you have a friend you lost touch with, send them a mail and try to connect, show you care. Chances are you will forget all sense of loneliness and be reminded of all the people in your life, even if they are not physically present around you.
Count your blessings
While this might be something we only say to ourselves rather than do, it will definitely help keep things in perspective. So what if you are not part of that group of seven to go to the nearest resort. You are still a healthy self-sufficient individual with the sky as your limit. Think of people here who do not have the luxury of enjoying the weekend. Look at construction workers around you working through the day or the man standing all day in the sun holding up a road sign to keep you safe. Get things in perspective, being alone on the weekend might still not seem like the end of the world.
Sing, cook, binge repeat
Sing on top of your voice to your own personal taste of music. Google 'cooking for beginners' and actually pick a dish, go buy the ingredients and make it. Offer it to your neighbours or flat mates as a friendly gesture. Remember this is your time and you are answerable to no one on how you wish to spend it. Don't feel the social pressure of going out and having a story to tell when you get back to the office. Tell yourself you have matured from that stage.
Remember, the weekend is to relax and rejuvenate your body and mind, and get ready for the week ahead. So enjoy it in your own unique way.
- Sanobar Mistry is a published journalist and is currently a teacher in the UAE