We spend a lot of our time around other people (more so pre-COVID, mind you), driven by social stimulation. But how much time do we dedicate to ourselves, and being just by ourselves?
Choosing to step away from all the noise, even if just for 5 or 10 minutes, can be so beneficial to our wellbeing. It can give us the chance to breathe again, both literally and figuratively.
Being able to de-stimulate ourselves, digest the interactions we’ve had that day so far, and reflect on things is a wonderful opportunity for us to recognise how we show up in the world. It’s also a moment for us to understand how the world around us is impacting us physically, energetically, mentally and emotionally, and from that place of recognition we can start to live more calmly and in tune with how we really want to be.
We get it though - the thought of spending time alone, particularly if you’ve never consciously chosen to do it before, can be daunting and uncomfortable. A lot of this discomfort comes from the fact that we have been conditioned to think being alone is a negative thing, like somehow it means something has gone wrong for us to wind up by ourselves.
However, we think consciously taking moments throughout your day, week, month to be alone is so important and valuable. Not only does it give you the space to tune back into what you really need (rather than being driven by other people’s expectations of you), but these moments of solitude are great opportunities to find a bit of quiet and calm.
These pockets of alone time don’t have to be huge events, like traveling solo (unless that’s your bag, if so totally do it!). It really can be those smaller moments - little breaks where you step away to reflect and tune back into yourself, return to a state of calm and then come back to the mix feeling refreshed and a little more balanced.
Here are 5 lovely moments to enjoy alone:
1. Take yourself out to lunch
We often think that eating is something that is a communal affair, that meals are to be shared with others. This is great, but sometimes it can be so nice to eat by ourselves and be our own company. It’s a chance for a little quiet, and a moment for you to reflect on what the day has been like for you so far.
And, it means you don’t have to compromise where you go to eat to suit others, which is a win win!
2. Taking a 2 minute breath break away from your desk
Meditation is a wonderful practice and opportunity to take some time alone. If you are brand new to the practice, try peppering in a few 2-minute breaks into your days/weeks - think of them as ‘breath breaks’. Find a cosy spot away from the noise and hubbub, and sit down. Instead of reaching for your phone and mindlessly scrolling, try closing your eyes for 2 minutes and simply observe your breath.
3. Explore a bookstore
Bookshops are an ideal space for you to discover calm too - they tend to be fairly quiet anyway. Even better, try to find a little nook at the back, and enjoy picking up a book and reading in peace.
4. Evening skin meditation
The bathroom is a great place to be alone and undisturbed - and in the evening as you wind down for the day, it’s a great opportunity to do a skin meditation as you go through your skincare routine. Whether your routine has one step, two or twenty, applying your creams and serums are a wonderful time to slow down, breathe deeply and appreciate the present moment.
Focus on the textures, scents and sensation of the products as they glide across your skin. Become immersed in the present and settle into a space of calm before going to bed.
5. Solo walk in nature
There are not many things more calming than a walk in nature. However, we tend to go for walks with other people to keep us company. Try going solo - keep your phone in your pocket (and better yet, put it on do not disturb) and soak up the greenery, fresh air and calm.
So try being your own company for a while, and see what happens.