The idea of spending time alone is bound to evoke different emotions depending on the person. Some of us revel in the solitude, savoring each moment; others simply can’t stand the thought of being alone for any length of time. No matter where you fall on the spectrum, what you choose to do with this time plays a pivotal role in your overall health and well-being. Only by staying mindful of your habits, can you be sure that you’re making the most out of that precious alone time.
Enjoy the Outdoors
If you’re ever feeling down, ask yourself when the last time was that you had some decent sun and fresh air.
For better or worse, most of us spend the overwhelming majority of our lives indoors. It’s true that shelter serves an essential purpose, but long periods away from nature can be to our detriment. Fortunately, there’s really no end to the possibilities when it comes to enjoying the great outdoors. Biking, swimming and running are just a few activities that are perfect for when you’re flying solo. But even taking a walk in the park is good for your health and can provide some much-needed relief from a stressful day. If you’re ever feeling down, ask yourself when the last time was that you had some decent sun and fresh air.
Broaden Your Horizons
A willingness to learn and grow does wonders for a person’s mental health. By experiencing new things, we keep our minds sharp while becoming more knowledgeable of the world around us. If you’ve ever wanted to travel, try teaching yourself some basic phrases in another language. If you’re the bookish type, consider reading something outside of your preferred genre. And for those with a little more time on their hands, undertaking an entirely new hobby or skill can seriously transform your alone time for the better. There are countless ways to keep your brain engaged, and stepping outside your comfort zone is one of the best places to start.
Creating something of value comes with a great sense of pride, and since low self-esteem is the enemy of a healthy lifestyle, it’s crucial to build up confidence in little ways.
This is a concept that can be interpreted as literal or abstract as you’d like. Making jewelry or building a shelf will benefit you in much the same way that writing a song or taking a photograph will. As a creative species, it’s vital that we exercise our creativity regardless of what we set out to accomplish. Creating something of value comes with a great sense of pride, and since low self-esteem is the enemy of a healthy lifestyle, it’s crucial to build up confidence in little ways. If making something for yourself doesn’t appeal to you, consider creating something for someone else in your life. Alone time is usually seen as an opportunity to focus on the self, but it can also be an ideal time for practicing selflessness.
When we find ourselves alone, it’s not uncommon to yearn for human interaction. Although it may be easy to reach for our devices and instantly feel connected to others, this can severely hinder the experience of being alone. True solitude means being alone with our thoughts at times, and jumping from screen to screen can fog the brain with overwhelming amounts of information. In addition to these distractions, screen time is also a common culprit of eye strain and has even been linked to insomnia. If you can refuse the temptation to turn to your devices the moment you’re alone, you will feel infinitely better for it.
Some will be happy to know that often the best thing you can do all by your lonesome, is to do nothing at all. As it turns out, there’s a reason humans sleep a third of their lives away. Inadequate sleep can result in several undesirable side effects including impaired memory and a weakened immune system. And despite naps being labeled by some as lazy or unproductive uses of time, remembering to rest when necessary can in fact help productivity by deterring the dreaded feeling of burnout. Outside of sleep, there are other forms of rest that can be beneficial as well. Something as simple as a cup of tea or a hot shower can help break up the day, leaving you feeling refreshed and ready to go.
A higher quality of life begins with maintaining a healthy relationship with yourself. Therefore, it’s a good idea to respect your time alone in the same way that you respect the time of others. Taking care of your mental, physical and emotional health is paramount, but remembering to enjoy yourself along the way is equally important. Time to ourselves shouldn’t feel like a chore or a source of negativity. When you prioritize your time effectively, time alone is time well spent.
DJ Jeffries is the Founder and Editor of the Motivation blog Led2win.com.