How often are you alone throughout the day? Depending on your current life circumstances, answers are probably all over the board. Maybe you have a one-hour driving commute, maybe you work from home, maybe you live alone, or maybe the answer is pretty much never.
There’s no right or wrong answer! But I’m willing to bet that most/any of this alone time is spent with a whole lot of obligations and distractions. Running errands, making calls, watching TV, scrolling through Instagram, wasting time on Snapchat, etc.
I think that’s why I’ve learned to love working out so much. It’s one of the few times I’m alone, without any devices to distract me, and I can just let the thoughts and emotions flow. Maybe working out isn’t your time and place where this happens, and that’s perfectly fine. Obviously you need to find your form of exercise that you’re able to maintain to keep your body healthy, but maybe it’s not going to be your ‘alone time.’ Different strokes for different folks!
When I got injured in January and had to take a lot of time off from working out and being active, I had way more a) free time and b) alone time and I wasn’t quite sure how to spend it at first. I’ve always been the time of person that has valued my alone time and have understood how important it was for me on a lot of different levels. But this was a whole lot more than I was ever used to! Spending time alone, without any distractions (#majorkey), with nothing but your thoughts, is truly one of the most beautiful and beneficial things you can do for yourself.
Now, I’m not saying you should all take some “eat, pray, love” type of solo trip. (Although, if you have any inkling to do so, I would highly recommend.) You can achieve a lot of the same results and breakthroughs on a smaller scale. Maybe you don’t really touch your phone on Sundays (something I’ve really tried to implement over the last few years), maybe you take a walk to the lake, beach, or park and give yourself some time to just sit and be. (And not be Snapchatting, scrolling through Instagram, looking at Facebook, etc. Try to not even TOUCH your phone.)
I actually wrote this post a few months ago on a random 70 degree day we had in February in Chicago! It was so beautiful outside and I was able to venture outside to the patio in my building to sit in the sunshine and just let my thoughts flow.
When I couldn’t turn to anything active after my injury and it was too cold to be outside, baths were my go-to for this quiet time. No books, no magazines, no music, obviously no phone (in the other room on DND)… I’d light a candle, turn out the lights, and soak. I seemed to have some of my biggest breakthroughs when I was in the tub!
When life gets going and we’re all constantly racing from one thing to the next, how often do you take a step back and reflect? Sure, you’re probably moving forward on the path, but are you even on the path you want to be on? What are you relationships like? What makes you happy? Are you challenged by your current lifestyle? Are you proud of what you’re putting out into the world? What would you change about your life and circumstances if you could? These are some really f*cking tough questions, especially if you’re being honest with yourself. And for me personally, it’s hard to find answers when I’m living a life full of distractions.
I recently read this line in the book that’s changed my life and I wanted to share it with you…
You may see how your addictive patterns have masked your feelings or how your high-strung energy made you move so fast that you never slowed down long enough to feel.
So my challenge for you is to start finding a bit more quiet time over the next few weeks. Spend some time nurturing the relationship you have with yourself. (It’s honestly the most important one you have!) Make it a priority and find the time to disconnect from your distractions and connect with your thoughts.