1. Have dinner at a restaurant. You know that moment before you come to terms with being alone that you call up a friend you don’t even really like because you feel like going out to eat rather than staying in? Yeah, no. You’re allowed to eat out alone.
2. See the matinee of a really bad or embarrassing movie. Maybe you’d never admit to your Truffaut-obsessed crowd that you really want to see the new Zac Efron period weepie, but it’s fun to go to an afternoon showing accompanied only by candy and soda.
3. Pillage a sample sale. Everyone’s got their own throwdown style at a crowded, claws-out sample sale. If you go with someone who can’t take it or wants to leave early, they’ll cramp your style. Plus, it’s easier to dodge and weave from the rack of 70-percent-off maxi dresses to the marked-down denim.
4. Go thrifting. Ditto above. It takes a strong will and impressive endurance to go through a cheap-as-hell thrift store warehouse and find gems — don’t let a halfhearted friend hold you back.
5. Take a spa day. I don’t know about you, but the steam room is not a place to be social. It is a place to quietly let your pores open, avoid eye contact with the hairy dude across from you, and skim a soggy Women’s Health.
6. Get an ice cream cone on a warm summer day. Team Sugar Cone, all the way.
7. Eat at the bar and talk to the bartender. Like being out to dinner with a friend but with less pressure and the freedom to stop searching for conversation topics when there’s a lull in the chat.
8. Get a mani-pedi. Just shut your brain and social anxiety off and relax.
9. Go for a run. You’re less self-conscious about heavy breathing and keeping up the pace — and for many people, that actually makes them better runners.
10. Go to that museum exhibit you’ve been dying to see. And linger longer than an impatient friend you dragged along would let you.
11. Go on a selfie binge. No one’s judging if you do, like, 20 takes. You might not get a Seventeen cover and a one-year contract with IMG at the end of it (no thanks to Tyra), but at least you get to see and analyze your face and body from literally every possible angle!
12. Travel. No need to cater to someone else’s agenda. So often, the fights you have with travel buddies are petty squabbles about that day’s plans. Traveling alone, you get to make your own schedule.
13. Take a walk. The trees! The grass! The air! They are all whispering, “If you had brought Sasha along she would have wanted to talk about her boyfriend and you would not be able to fully enjoy us.”
14. Go jeans shopping. Because you know you are going to have to try on every single pair in town before you find the ones that make your ass look just right. It’s like applying to college all over again.
15. Go to the beach to read and people watch. From personal experience, I recommend Brighton Beach and Jacqueline Suzanne novels.
16. Drink one of those “cleansing teas” that claims to help your digestion but really will keep you locked in the bathroom for several hours. Not fun to do around others, especially if those “others” are several dozens of patrons at a bar with only one bathroom.
17. Finish a box of cookies in one sitting. While watching Veronica Mars, ideally.
18. Do three clay masks in a row. For lots of us, the weekly beauty ritual — mine includes not only clay masks, but an avocado hair mask and body exfoliant — is the perfect time to detox your mind too. And you know watching the mask suck the oils out of your face is the most disgustingly awesome entertainment.