WW: Taking Time for Reflection

Bows & Sequins sitting by Lake Michigan in Chicago

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.

Leave a Comment

12 Comments

  1. 4.12.17
    Marta commented:

    Wise words. I’m definitely gonna take your advice and start doing the same thing.

  2. 4.12.17
    Ali commented:

    I’ve been wanting to read this book! I consider myself spiritual, but not Christian, if that makes sense. Is this a Christian-based book? Not knocking anyone’s faith, it’s just hard to read inspirational books when it feels like it’s directed at a different audience. If it’s more just spiritual I will buy it now! Let me know xo

  3. 4.12.17
    janice stern commented:

    Jess, I am loving the Wellness Wednesday series. Thank you for sharing the book recommendation. I’ve read excerpts from it and heard her being interviews and it sounds great. I can’t recall if I’ve thanked you for recommending the Lively Show. I’m obsessed! This week I actually posted a video on my YouTube channel recommending it as one of the top five “books/resources” that changed my life. Thank you for this post and for your wonderful blog! xoxo-Janice Darlyne

  4. 4.12.17
    Angela commented:

    I’ve recently adopted a puppy and we’ve settled into a routine of waking up at 6:30 to go on a half hour walk to start the day. I leave my phone at home and it’s so nice to start my day, just her and I, instead of immediately scrolling through Instagram and Facebook to see what I missed when I was sleeping.

  5. 4.12.17
    Maggie commented:

    Yay for the first official Wellness Wednesday post!

  6. 4.12.17
    Britney Crawley commented:

    This is a great post! I’m reading Present over Perfect right now and it places living now and taking in all the great things life has to offer with less of the distractions of living a “perfect” life. I might have to add some of your other recommendations to my reading list. It’s so easy to continue with the distractions of daily life, and I’ve realized recently that I’m actually pretty horrible at relaxing. I’ve always got to be doing something. Thanks for the reminder to slow things down.

  7. 4.12.17
    Kate commented:

    Such an inspiring post! While I love spending time with my boyfriend, I enjoy the times he goes to the gym or to shoot some hoops. It’s a time for me just relax, listen to some music, work on my blog without feeling like I’m not spending my time with him, or like you said, Just THINK.
    -Kate
    http://www.katekoutures.com/

  8. 4.12.17
    Courtney Leigh Edwards commented:

    Already loving your WW posts! And great thoughts in todays post

  9. 4.12.17
    Lauren commented:

    This post is right on time for me! I’ve really been trying to take better care of myself, and recognized that a part of that is having more time to myself! I’m always running around, and sometimes its nice to just go on a walk or something alone! P.s. – I totally need an “Eat, Pray, Love” trip myself LOL!

    Lauren
    http://oliverstwistblog.com

  10. 4.16.17
    Brianna Rooney commented:

    great post- thank you for sharing this quote with us, much needed!

  11. 4.17.17

    Love this! I’m good at sharing my feelings with friends and in therapy…but with just myself can be kinda scary! I love baths too but always bring something in with me…going to try not to tonight 🙂