“Mayday” is universally known as a distress call, but what do you do if it’s coming from deep within your soul? What if your soul is calling for a timeout? Would you give it the alone time it needs, or would you power on and dismiss it, after all, we’re all so busy with our day to day lives, right? Wrong. Everyone needs time, and whether it’s taken in the car while waiting to pick up kids, or in the shower where it’s just you and your thoughts, I think you’ll be surprised at how easy it is to find when you really look for it.
As an only child, I’m no stranger to alone time. Without the built-in playmates of siblings, I spent endless days playing by myself in my bedroom, climbing in trees outside my window, and making one-sided conversation with my stuffed animals. Although solitude was part of my regular life, it was something I couldn’t make total peace with — I desired companionship more often than not and found myself at the neighbors house which was always loud and always full of people. As I gained more freedom in my teen years, I made it my mission to be alone as little as possible, a mindset that carried well into my early adulthood. It wasn’t until after college graduation, when I moved to Chicago and knew all of three people, that I was forced back into a quiet bedroom (this time my apartment) to spend time in solitude and discover the benefits of alone time. It’s also why I started writing my first book. Amazing things can happen when you quiet down and take a listen, and that is my hope for all you.
Here are a few reasons why alone time or quiet time as the mom in me calls it, is good for the soul.
FOSTERS DEEP THINKING
Ever feel indecisive and scattered? It could be due to your lack of alone time. As Psychology Today pointed out, when you don’t make time for deep thought, your ability to be productive and think creatively takes a nosedive. Spending time by yourself creates an environment in which you can allow yourself to think without distraction.
IT RECHARGES YOUR BATTERIES
Even the most hardcore extrovert needs a little down time. Taking a break from the social scene can be the perfect medicine for fatigue, stress, and mental burnout. In this case, embrace solitude for the blissful magic it can provide and don’t put pressure on yourself to do anything — just chill with a movie or a book or a juicy nap.
YOU GET TO KNOW YOURSELF BETTER
It’s easy to be pulled into group mentality when you spend a ton of time around other people, so to stay in touch with your authentic self, schedule plenty of solo time. Having regular alone time gives you the opportunity to tune in with your inner voice and pinpoint your unique thoughts, ideas, and dreams.
IT ENHANCES YOUR RELATIONSHIPS
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 you want to be around. You also may come to appreciate your relationships more after you’ve spent some time alone.
IT SHIFTS YOUR PERSPECTIVE
One reason some people are uncomfortable with being alone or doing things by themselves is because they worry it will be boring. But the more time you log as a party of one, you’ll start to see how meaning, energy, and — yes! — fun alone time has to offer. And realizing that you can have a rocking good time with no one else’s company is a very empowering perspective.
I hope this month you’ll take a little time for yourself and recharge the soul. xoxo