Alone Time

Source: picstopin.com

Source: picstopin.com

Humans are social creatures, and many cultures encourage us to live that way. Growing up, if you knew kids who kept to themselves, you wondered why. Adults who go out alone are seen as “loners,” which has a negative connotation. The only reason we see being alone as negative is because we are socialized in our culture(s) to think that way.

I recently read an article in a magazine discussing the importance of making time for yourself, and I cannot explain how significant that is for my life.The magazine article explained that as humans, our brains and bodies need that alone time to recharge. We need time with our thoughts, time to do things for ourselves, time to feel at peace with ourselves. How can we do that if we’re never alone? Well, we need to make time for solitude.

I notice that if I’ve spent a couple days around lots of people at once, I feel much more tired than normal. All I want is to relax by myself. I want to read, write, watch whatever show or movie I feel like, or simply do nothing. These are things that every person needs to de-stress.

Why aren’t we making time alone for ourselves? There are a couple obvious reasons:

1. We’re busy

2. We put others before ourselves

3. Being alone is “weird”

These reasons all make sense, but as we get older and the stressors in our lives grow, alone time is crucial. How do you expect to be productive if you never feel like you’ve had a break? In my eyes, alone time (no matter how much)  is the equivalent of 8 blissful hours of sleep. If you don’t have any alone time during the day, you missed out on a day’s worth of sleep. You become more stressed, feel exhausted, and it becomes more difficult to concentrate.

How do we get more alone time when we’re so busy? If you have trouble making time for yourself:

1.  Start small. It’s all about changing your mindset. You have to think about yourself if you expect to make that time to be alone with your thoughts. Set your alarm half an hour earlier than usual so that you get time to yourself the moment you wake up. Maybe you’ll be waking up before the rest of your family, which is ideal for finding alone time in your day.

2. Exercise. Any physical activity that gets your heart pumping is not only good for your body, but it also relieves stress. If you don’t already work out, this may be tricky because it will require more effort. If that’s the case, again, start small.

3. Go outside. Being outside and in the sunlight during the day is so beneficial.

4. On your lunch break, go out to eat alone. If you have a half hour or an hour to spare and you can go eat somewhere, just do it. If you think it would be “weird” to eat alone, you have to get over it. Bring a book with you if you need something to do, but honestly, worrying about what other people think does more harm than good.

5. If you have no time to make for yourself (full-time job, kids, lots of people around you 24/7), but you feel you still want to make an effort to have alone time, then you will have to ask others to help you. Have your husband/wife watch the kids while you go off by yourself after work, or ask someone to babysit if your spouse is too busy. If you want to make time for yourself, you will have to put forth the effort to make it happen.

Being alone doesn’t mean you’re lonely. Having that time to think, to do things you enjoy, to rest, to recharge, is so important for growing as a person. Even if you may not always feel like you’re number one on your list of priorities, having alone time will ensure that your not at the bottom of the list. If you make time for you, you will be happier and life will be just a little easier.

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6 thoughts on “Alone Time

  1. I have always understood the importance of spending time alone, but often I find the more I do this the more discontent I become with my life. Perhaps that is why so many of us feel the need for such strong personal attachments. Our happiness is linked to that of others so that we can experience life from other perspectives. WIth my current job I feel I have more than enough alone time, and to be honest I thoroughly enjoy it, but when I come home I need and want that attachment. It’s a repetitive cycle of wants, needs, desires, and balance that I can never seem to get quite right. Great blog.

    • Thanks. Your blog is great, also. Being a photographer sounds like a fun job!

      I agree that we need our attachments to others. I think it’s about having a balance between time spent with our friends and family, and then time to reflect, think, or even just relax. I can see how having too much time alone can make you discontent. For me I tend to think too much. But at least it gives me some material for my blog. 🙂

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