We are now twenty five days into January, have made it through the busy holiday season and are settling into a new year. Hallelujah!! As much as I love Christmastime, it can be exhausting! With the hustle of getting everything done, buying and wrapping gifts, making appearances to a long list of parties, and have you noticed, all the parties you WANT to attend seem to be on the same nights during the month of December? If you’re like me, when it’s over, you are just as happy to pack it neatly away until next year.
Now that things have quieted down, I was reflecting on alone time. Do you feel that alone time is good for you? Good for your psyche? Good for your soul? In general, life seems to be so hectic these days. You work at the office, you work from home and even on your vacation. And I am not even including the effort it takes to maintain your personal and social life.
As technology advances and the world moves faster and faster, many people find themselves overwhelmed with trying to keep pace. You may find that you are drained mentally, physically and emotionally. You try to get the proper sleep, but you still may feel as if you didn’t get enough rest or feel refreshed for an extended period of time.
The best way to de-stress is by doing things we enjoy; retail therapy, taking a vacation, participating in sports or engaging in hobbies, all of which are beneficial. Often times, being with friends and socializing with others, even in a “fun” environment, can pull from our energy. Being alone and reflecting, turning our attention inward, is one of the best ways to not only recharge, but to also eliminate the unnecessary stressors in our lives. Don’t ever be afraid to be alone at times
Actively being alone or engaging in “me time” for some, especially myself, means sleeping a day away or “Netflix and chillin’.” However, there is a difference between merely being alone and actively being alone. One is intentional and purposeful while the other is a matter of circumstance. When we are choosing to actively be alone, we consciously set time for reflection and to simply be with our thoughts. This means unplugging from all external stimulus.
In setting the stage for active alone time we have to remove distractions. A great way to do this is to go to a quiet spot or sit amongst nature. Go to a beach, a wooded area or a quiet park tucked away and leave your phone in the car or turn it off, to eliminate the temptation. If you can’t take an afternoon to get away, set aside the hour before you go to bed as your active alone time. Shut off all of your electronics, yes, I know how hard it is to do, but it is important to get in touch with you. If you have plans to go to lunch or shopping with friends during your free time, carve out time before or after to disconnect from the outside world and turn your attention inward. In time, it will be come a habit of nature. Being alone is not synonymous with being lonely.
Actively being alone allows you to be fully present in the now. Actively being alone helps us eliminate distractions. It makes us conscious of what we are doing, feeling and thinking. Worrying about the future, and being consumed with whether or not we will achieve our goals or create the life we’ve dreamed about makes us miss out on the beauty and opportunity that is in front of us, right now. Learn how to be alone, and purposefully decide to love yourself enough to spend time with your thoughts. Once you’ve spent time processing your thoughts, you will find that your state of mind changes. Your mood improves and your outlook is better. Your loved ones will thank you for it and you will be a refreshed, better version of yourself.
There are always going to be moments where we are simply over saturated, and getting away for a week in the Bahamas to rest and recharge is not an option. This is where we learn to make do and create our own little oasis right where we are. We have to make time for ourselves. This should not be seen as a form of weakness, where being alone equates to being a lonely person. It does not mean you cut off from your social circle and keep to yourself. Instead, it is a form of mental exercise that will not only refresh our minds, but help restore our spirits to give us the type of true rest that can keep us moving towards greater heights in life.
So, on that note .. I am thinking this might just be one of those weekends for me! Me, Myself and I, and of course, a little dog I call “Mollie”!