Carving out a little solitude can make a world of difference. Here are some great reasons to spend more time alone. Go ahead — give yourself a break.
I consider myself a pretty social person, but I also absolutely need my “caroline” time — those periodic moments away from the world. After a business trip, a joint vacation with family or friends, the chaos of the holidays, or a week of events, I hit my threshold — beyond which I slip into an irritable, stressed version of myself. This is why I balance my extroverted life by having quality ME time. I think it’s extremely important and very healthy to spend time alone. You need to know how to be alone and not be defined by another person or thing. After spending some quality time with myself, I’m as good as new. A bit of regular solitude helps me continue to be the positive woman I aspire to be.
Solitude is the soul’s holiday, an opportunity to stop doing for others and to surprise and delight ourselves instead. We need to have some downtime, but often it’s a challenge to let ourselves slow down. As Thomas Moore, author of Care of the Soul, says, “We seem to have a complex about busyness in our culture. Most of us do have time in our days that we could devote to simple relaxation, but we convince ourselves that we don’t.” It seems there is always something that needs doing, always someone who needs our attention. “Unfortunately,” Moore says, “we don’t get a lot of support in this culture for doing nothing. If we aren’t accomplishing something, we feel that we’re wasting time.
Many of us feel compelled to measure our success in terms of acquisition and accomplishment. But even those who don’t buy into such a narrow definition of success may feel uncomfortable with the idea of claiming time just for themselves, with no agenda whatsoever. Often when we find ourselves with an empty hour, we spend that time doing chores or attending to our relationships or Facebook scrolling.
If no one’s around, we’ll reach for the phone — or the TV remote or even the vacuum cleaner. We avoid ourselves because we’re afraid of what we might find or fear missing out on life’s party (also known as F.O.M.O. , aka the “Fear of Missing Out.”). But solitude and isolation do not go hand in hand. We can retreat from the world for a time without being renounced by it. Heres a few of the benefits you get from spending time with yourself:
1. Alone time allows you to reboot your brain and rejuvenate. Constantly being “on” doesn’t give your brain a chance to rest and replenish itself. Getting away from others allows you to decompress and relax. It gives you a break from the “have tos” and allows you to focus on the “want tos.” It lets you address your own needs as opposed to everyone else’s and gives you the opportunity to rejuvenate and push the restart button.
2. Alone time gives you a higher sense of independence and increased self-esteem. Being alone and getting comfortable with being alone gives you a higher sense of independence. Relying on yourself to make choices and decisions increases your self confidence, which then permeates other aspects of your life, including the times you are in the presence of others.
3. Alone time allows for self discovery. Spending time alone gives you the ability to discover things about yourself and to get a real understanding of who you are. We have grown to appreciate the art of getting to know others, but in reality, it is even more important to get to know ourselves, our preferences, and our likes and dislikes, without other people’s influences.
4. Alone time gives you a fresh perspective. Time alone gives you the opportunity to clear your mind and weed through a lot of thoughts. This allows you to get to the heart of what YOU really think as opposed to being told or influenced by others and their opinions. It gives you time to reflect on what is important in your life and how you feel about everyday situations that need to be addressed.
5. Alone time can enhance the quality of your relationships with others. By spending time with yourself and gaining a better understanding of who you are and what you desire in life, you’re more likely to make better choices about who and what you want to be around. You also may come to appreciate your relationships more after you’ve spent some time alone.
Despite knowing these benefits, it can be a challenge to find time alone in a world that seems to never sleep. Here are a few suggestions to help you find more time to spend with yourself.
If you and your inner self have been out of touch, build a new relationship with someone who deserves attention — you. Here are a few great ideas to get you started:
Solitude is a kind of vacation. We live in a demanding world, and we demand much of ourselves. But the harder we push, the more we also need time to replenish ourselves. In solitude we discover what makes us feel alive. We can use our time alone to rest, in a complete and profound way, or we can engage in an activity that brings us joy. What a pleasure it is to dive into a project with no distractions, or to pursue our passions at full tilt.
In the end, it is important to remember that spending time alone doesn’t mean that you isolate yourself all the time. We need people and social connections are an extremely important componet of happiness. Its just about finding the balance between being accessible to others and being accessible to yourself. Spending time alone is a way to stop, re-connect, re-evaluate, and live your life on purpose. Alone time allows you to live the healthy, happy life you want with others.
Do you like to spend time alone? What is your favorite way to spend quality time with yourself? Leave your thoughts as a comment below.
Take yourself out on a date, you deserve it.
For more feel good fitness inside and out : Check out my book, Balanced Body Breakthrough and get your mind, body, and spirit in great shape so you can love your life.
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Originally published at www.carolinejordanfitness.com on November 16, 2014.
Originally published at medium.com