In order to put yourself first, you need to know what you need to be happy. One of the things that I need to be happy is daily alone time. This pretty much goes hand-in-hand with putting myself first because the daily alone time allows me to focus on what I want and need to thrive as a human being.
I am a person who enjoys being alone. I mean I love being alone. I’m comfortable being alone. I have always been an independent person and I was single for a long time. So I got used to being alone. Instead of looking at being alone as a negative, I chose to embrace it. Here’s why:
I do WHATEVER I want to do! I do some really creative things when I’m alone. I turn the music up abnormally loud, dance in less clothing than usual, sing at the top of my lungs (quite horribly I imagine) and I practice my fake accents. My alone time is a judgment-free zone. Some things are just more fun solo and I know I’d get some WTF looks from anyone around me. It’s also an opportunity to reward myself and relax.
I do some serious thinking. If I need to process situations or events, reflect on the day or week or just ponder the direction my life is going, I need to be alone. This is not always a good thing because I can start to focus on what went wrong or what I should have done differently instead of looking at what I did right. I do my best thinking when I’m in the car-probably because I spend too much time sitting in traffic! Sometimes I just take a long walk without my dogs because they can be a distraction.
I don’t have to “fake it.” Sometimes I’m not always in the mood to talk to people or be around anyone. Unfortunately, there are times when I have no choice but to be around people and rather than be a negative Nancy, I suck it up and fake it. When I’m alone, I don’t have to talk to anyone and if I do decide to have a conversation with myself (which I often do), I can be brutally honest.
I finally get to read. I have a stack of magazines and a few books that keep growing. I’ve started making a habit to read for at least 20 minutes every day so I can make a dent in the stack and enjoy some quiet time.
I express raw emotion. Despite the fact that I’m a very emotional person, I really hate crying in front of people-even my family or close friends. When I’m feeling particularly emotional about something, I retreat to solitude so I can work out my feelings and get back to my happy place. I usually cry in my car (again, because I spend TOO much time in it). If I’m angry at someone or about something, I’ll yell about it to no one in particular. It’s a great way to say what I want to say without having to worry about hurting someone’s feelings and not saying something I’ll regret.
I pray. I am constantly thanking God for all he’s given me-both the blessings and struggles. I’ve been trying to find little moments in my day to stop and thank God for something in particular. I always feel as if I can’t thank him enough so I’m talking to him often.
I talk to my dad. One of the things I miss the most about my dad is the day-to-day interaction. I used to call him and tell him little things because he found such value in them. He always had an answer for every question. Even though he’s not alive, I know he’s still listening when I talk to him. It’s a small way for me to keep his memory alive and continue to make him a part of my life.
I meditate. Meditation has become a daily practice for me. It helps me quiet my mind and really relax. Some days it’s a struggle to quiet the mind, but I find that daily meditation helps me approach the day with a better mindset. It’s especially good for quieting my busy mind at night as I am trying to fall asleep.
I enjoy the quiet. As nice as it is to work with some fabulous people and live with those who love me unconditionally, there’s always noise. Phones are ringing, people are talking, appliances are running, dogs are barking…it never ends. Sometimes when I’m alone I just sit in total silence. I can clear my head and just relax. It’s amazing.
It’s a chance to hit the “reset” button. After I’ve spent some time alone, I’m ready to get back to what needs to be done and socialize with people. I’ve now cleared my mind, created some happiness, and improved my mood just by giving myself some much-needed time alone.
What things do you like to do when you’re alone? Share them in the comments below!