I remember a time in my life when I would see someone at a coffee shop or cafe by themselves, enjoying their coffee or meal, and I didn’t understand how they could seem so content. I would think to myself, “I could never do that”, because I honestly couldn’t imagine doing anything alone and always wanted someone to accompany me, even for the smallest tasks. Fast forward a few years, and now I genuinely enjoy spending time by myself and look forward to those quiet moments. This time is sacred to me and I even ensure I am actively scheduling it into my daily routine. So, what changed? How did I go from being anxious about enjoying a cup of coffee alone at a coffee shop to now actively planning weekends away..by myself?
The secret is simple. See, at that time in my life I was so focused on what everyone else thought. My happiness was largely based on how others perceived me. I was very wrapped up in appearances and social acceptance. And, if I am being honest, I was not content being alone because then that meant I had to actually focus on just myself. Being alone meant I didn’t have anyone else to make me feel good and/or someone else to instead focus my attention on. This time period is when I decided to make some positive shifts in my life, mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually and part of that work included increasing my alone time. The more I was able to step outside of my comfort zone, the more comfortable I began to feel with being by myself and the more I began to realize just how beneficial this was for me.
Does this sound familiar? Are you someone who also struggles with being alone? If so, keep reading! I am going to share some positive benefits of alone time, in hopes of inspiring you to start working towards this goal as well!
As I mentioned before, we often avoid doing things alone because we don’t feel 100% confident in ourselves. We like the distraction of other people so we can avoid focusing on our own “stuff.” Being alone is going to force you to be comfortable with being by yourself. It is going to force you to start evaluating the things in your life you may not be happy with and start contemplating whether or not you wish to make some changes. It will allow time for self-discovery and a better understanding of who you are without the influence of others.
Relying on other people is always a hinderance because you are always going to have to wait around for someone, work around someone else’s schedule, etc. When you do things alone, it’s all about what works for YOU and no one else. You don’t need to worry about relying on other people and instead have an opportunity to rely on yourself. You begin to make choices for you, and no one else. You will begin to notice that you can start to acquire more skills as well. For example, if you need help with something, but no one else is available to help you, you are forced to figure it out on your own. The more you do this, the more independent and self-sufficient you become.
Improve Relationships In Your Life
When we take time out for just US, we start to appreciate those around us more. When we see the same people over and over, in a routine fashion, we become complacent and the relationships can become stagnant. When we start to change things up and spend time with those around us in a different capacity, we start to appreciate the relationships more.
Whether you realize it or not, you are absorbing a lot of energy from those around you. When we spend a lot of time with others, we easily pick up the energy they are expending. Ever notice how you can be in a good mood and then talk to someone who is negative and you start to feel negative, too? Spending time alone helps you recharge YOUR energy vs. vibe off others. There is a power in disconnecting and when you separate yourself from the rest of the world, you begin to be more in-tune to your own vibrations.
Find Your Happiness
As I mentioned before, I used to rely on my happiness coming from others vs. myself. Is it ok if someone makes you feel happy? Of course! The difference is that you shouldn’t NEED someone to make you feel happy. You shouldn’t NEED validation from others. You should be able to find happiness from within and spending time alone is going to help you do just that. You’ll start to notice that perhaps the things you thought made you happy, didn’t really make you happy at all and were more of a distraction. You’ll begin to realize what actually awakens you and feeds your soul. You just have to allow yourself the time to practice this.
It’s gotten to the point where you can’t read a blog post or scroll through social media without reading the words “SELF-CARE!” Why? Because it’s so important to take care of yourself!! Setting aside time for you, and only you, is going to allow you time to implement some important self-care that you might not otherwise do. Need some ideas on how to implement self-care into your daily routine? Check out this guest blog I wrote all about simple ways to implement self-care, HERE!
Clears Your Mind:
Life is busy and it seems most people are on the go, with little time to spare. Now, think about how our minds must feel? If we are consistently in overdrive, our mind is equally going to be in overdrive. Taking time for you is going to force you to S L O W D O W N! You won’t have the distractions of work, family, and friends and this will allow you time to think more clearly and quiet your mind. Recharging is imperative to our mental health and wellness.
So now that you’ve learned about some of the powerful benefits of spending time alone, you probably need some ideas on how to implement some much-needed “me-time” into your life, right? Below are some simple activities you can do all by yourself to get started!
- Go for a walk
- Go to the gym and/or exercise class
- Read a book at a park, cafe, Barnes and Noble
- Grab a cup of coffee or tea at a local cafe
- Go out for brunch
- Go to the movies
- Go for a drive
- Go to church
- Go to the spa
- Sign up for a course, seminar, or workshop that interests you
- Go to a museum
- Go shopping
- Start a new house project
- Binge watch a Netflix show
- Travel and explore! Whether it your town or somewhere new!
If you’re reading this and finding yourself anxious at the thought of venturing out to do something on your own, start small. Write down a list of activities you wish you could do alone, but are too afraid to try. If you write it down and read it daily, you’ll start to shift your mindset from “I Can’t” to “I CAN.” You’ll start to realize that a lot of what is holding you back is your own anxiety and insecurity and you have more power in making positive changes than you think! Then, each month, try to implement one of those ideas you wrote down. Before you know it, your comfort level will improve and you’ll be actively scheduling “me-time” into your everyday routine and even looking forward to this much-needed time!
I would LOVE to know what spoke to you today and encourage you to comment below and share with me!
If you are interested in learning more about my therapy services, check out my website HERE. Seeking mental health services can be daunting and if you are finding my posts resonate with you, it is likely you are feeling ready to take that next step to work on leading a happier, healthier life! I would LOVE to support you in starting this journey and welcome you to send me an email at email@example.com.
ALSO! Check out my FREE “How Do I know If Therapy Is Right For Me” printable to start the process of deciding whether or not taking this next step is right for YOU! Just add your name + email address below and you will receive an email with a link to your FREEBIE!