After years of practicing, I learned to enjoy a meal alone. Here are 7 tips for those who are nervous about eating out alone.

Village Sandbar Coffee

I continue to practice my eating skills alone.Rachel Askinashi / Insider

  • I have eaten alone a lot in the last 10 years.

  • Looking back, I think it’s a skill that requires a lot of practice.

  • Here are seven tips that we think will help everyone to eat more comfortably alone, from where to sit to what they can bring.

For the past two years, I’ve eaten a lot by myself in a restaurant for work, which is also something I’ve been doing since college. Whenever I’m told to eat alone, I always get the reaction, “Oh, I can’t do it,” or “I wish I could.”The reality is that you I want In, you can do it perfectly.

When I think about it now, I realized that it was a skill. But it’s a skill that I believe can be sharpened by anyone who is proactive in their work and feels uncomfortable along the way.

Here are some of the things I’ve learned that can help you get to places where it’s fun to go out alone.

Eating alone isn’t just for singles without local friends

If you have that idea in your head, pack the bag and kick it right out of the door.

I ate alone, in relationships, and while being offered other plans with friends I have so much. From time to time I need to take myself out and remind myself that I can work — it works very well! — As a single entity whenever I choose to do so.

And what do you guess? It doesn’t matter if you eat or go out alone. that is In a situation where no one has a relationship. In fact, it’s a great way to meet people. Maybe you have moved somewhere new or are in the process of making new friends. (Congratulations if it’s you!) But that’s a completely different tip for learning another skill.

Don’t have too much trouble with yourself

In a world where everything revolves around showing off what you’re doing and who you’re with, if you’re not crazy about it yet, doing things yourself You may feel really burdened. But it’s okay to feel awkward, push yourself, and take small steps towards becoming more self-reliant.

Try to minimize negative self-talk (direct wisdom from my therapist — welcome to share the advice I paid). If you are in the middle of a meal and you are self-conscious, that’s perfectly fine. Sit down with that feeling, admit it, then do something and move on from there. Order a meal, go to the bathroom and look at the menu even if you have already ordered. Sometimes, just switching actions can change your mood.

Remember to reduce sagging in this process, just as you would if you were learning to play an instrument. You are teaching yourself new skills by eating alone, which deserves the same amount of practice and self-tolerance.

No one is looking at you as much as you feel

When I went out alone, I remember thinking that people were staring at me and talking to me. Sorry for breaking it to you, but no one cares. Most people are crazy about thinking about themselves, eating, talking, or anything other than you.

If you feel like you have a bad dream of being at the top of your class in your underwear, you should take a look. If you’re comfortable, make a full turn and notice how many people are actually looking back at you. If so, not many.

Village sandbar

Sitting at the bar makes you feel like you’re alone.Rachel Askinashi / Insider

Start small: sit in a bar or in a public place

I think the important step here is generally to be able to spend comfortably alone in a public place. If you’re still not happy with your coffee and bagels, sitting on the bench and eating alone, it’s a good idea to start there.

But if you understand it and you want to go to a restaurant, go to the bar. In most cases, sitting in the bar is the most comfortable if you are eating or drinking alone. I can chat with bartenders, watch people from the normally high bar stools, and even make new friends with others who are eating alone.

Bar and counter seats are a great way to eliminate empty chairs across from you and avoid this frequently asked question from the server: “Are you waiting for someone?”

Feel free to bring your own props

It’s difficult to read at home, so I think going out alone is the time to settle down on the sentences I’ve saved. Bring newspapers, magazines, books, etc. Bring your notebook and put it in a sketch, scribble, or journal. Whatever it is, bring something that will help you settle into that “your time” mode.

Personally, I don’t like going out listening to music and podcasts. That’s because it feels like it’s really closed to another space. At the end of the day, I usually go out because I want to be part of my actions.

If you’re really in trouble, I’ll challenge you to a secure bet that you have your smartphone at hand. Unknowingly scrolling through Instagram and Twitter can make you forget that someone else is on the go, just as you would when you’re on the couch at home.

Woman reading in a cafe

Bring newspapers, books and even notebooks.Mark Edward Atkinson / Tracy Lee / Getty Images

Then try throwing away the props when you feel comfortable

When you have the book in your hand and it’s safe, put it in your bag. Try again and start moving away from that safety blanket.

Exchange of my favorite props can see people. I love to grab the sidewalk table and watch people pass by. “The best fashion shows are on the streets,” said Bill Cunningham, a New York Times photojournalist and columnist who died in 2016. And in my experience, eating outdoors is like getting the coveted front row seats.

Like almost everything, it will be easier and more fun in practice

It may seem really scary at first, but once you get the hang of it, it can be really liberating. In my experience, I have been given the freedom to feed myself whenever and wherever I want. It sounds like a barbaric remark, but just jumping into a restaurant to keep you hungry doesn’t make everyone comfortable.

It also helped me in other situations where I found myself alone. When a friend or date goes to the bathroom and is left at the table, I don’t want to immediately take out my cell phone and look busy. This is a tool you can use when traveling to a new location (although it’s important to include safety as a top priority and you know where you are only while you’re in the new location). I am also willing to sit and enjoy the surroundings on a sunny day than before I started practicing this ability alone.

Just because you are alone does not mean that you should not treat yourself to the experience if you can. There are many very logical and fair reasons for not eating out, such as cooking for good health and the huge amount of money it costs to eat out. The fact that you are solo should not be included in the list.

Read the original article insider