Alone Time | Connect with Yourself
As a new mom, I have been thinking a lot about alone time activities and how important they are to my health. Recently I confessed to a friend that I was feeling really overwhelmed as a new mom and was having trouble getting recharged. She asked me, “Are you getting any alone time?”
Thinking through my day, I realized my attention was focused on others for every waking moment!
Let me know if this sounds familiar.
Wake at 4am. I spent my commute listening to depressing news, then 9 hours tending to the needs of my boss, coworkers, and customers.
At home I took over childcare for my toddler to give my husband a break, cooked the meal I had planned and shopped for, fed my son, and then we did our bedtime routine.
Then I waved to my husband and collapsed into bed, just to be woken 3 times by a crying kid. Oh, did I mention I was pregnant?
So the answer, obviously, was NO. I hadn’t so much as gone to the bathroom alone in ages. Time spent alone was practically non-existent! And it was no wonder I couldn’t access my own coping mechanisms when I wasn’t taking time to connect with myself.
While this is a particularly busy season of my life, I’m reminded of how immensely important taking time alone is to our well-being.
And when we are alone, we are given the privilege and pleasure of hearing our own voice and to follow our own direction.
You’re awesome! So why wouldn’t you want to spend time just feeling connected to you?
Importance of Alone Time
Spending time alone has huge benefits for our mental health and personal development. It can reduce stress and bring us the clarity of mind we need to grow.
I’m an introvert and have always loved doing activities alone. Eating, traveling, going to movies or concerts or festivals. I love it. But I know to some the thought of asking for a table for one is panic inducing. I get it. That might not be your jam.
So I’ve created a list of alone time activities that you can try on for size. The activity is less important than the self-focused environment you set for yourself.
How to Get the Most of Your Alone Time Activities
1. Limit your distractions. That means ditch the screens or media that is not contributing to your rejuvenation. For example, news app may be stress inducing, but a beautiful novel may be exactly what I need to release my tension.
2. Make it a consistent practice. Strive for at least 20-30 minutes of alone time a day. And PRIORITIZE IT. Set a reminder. Tell everyone who regularly demands your attention that this time is important and has to be respected.
Just the other day I overheard a neighbor as she headed out for an evening walk. The very pregnant woman told her young daughter that she could not join her for the stroll. “Mommy needs peace and quiet on her walk.”
YAS QUEEN! Claim your alone time!
10 Rejuvenating Alone Time Activities
You are a priority and self-care isn’t selfish. So check out this list of activities you can do alone to recharge and stay your best self.
Wander Through a Bookstore
Bookstores and libraries are fantastic places to spend quiet time alone. Because they are mostly silent, and book browsing isn’t a particularly social activity, you aren’t likely to be disturbed. So go where your heart leads you, touch the spines, visit old literary friends, and just let your mind wander. Find a comfy chair and settle in.
Eating out alone might seem a bit daunting for some, so my trick is to just sit down for dessert. The goal here is indulgence. Savor every bite of your sweet treat without the pressure of having to split it with someone. This time is all about you enjoying a simple pleasure, because you deserve it.
There is something so primal about the freedom and weightlessness one feels when they are outdoors. Maybe seeing the whole sky reminds us of how insignifcant our problems are in this great big world. Take a walk, run, hike, bike, or just sit and listen to the birds. Take in a spectacular sunset or watch the waves roll in.
This is one of my favorite alone time activities. Sharing another person’s creation is such an intimate experience, and its my personal opinion that art is best appreciated alone. Without the distraction or input of others, you are free to really feel connected with the artist. Whether it is modern art, theater, music, or film, go and don’t share the popcorn.
Travel the World
Why the hell not. Solo international travel is alone time level: advanced. But if you are willing to step out of your comfort zone for a trip abroad, you will be rewarded a hundred times over. Eat, see, and do (or don’t do) exactly what you want. Some of my most special memories were made on my solo trips around the world, because I could be my authentic self and let curiosity drive me.
You have manifold talents and skills. Give of yourself to those in need of assistance. Volunteering your time is not only selfless but an act of self love. When you choose to spend your time lending a hand, you will make yourself proud and make the world a better place. Double whammy. Choose an activity and makes you feel like you are making a difference.
Take a Class
Is there any better way to care for yourself than to learn something new? If there is something you have always wanted to learn go learn it. While the class may be with other people, learning a new art or skill that makes you excited will turn you inward. And who knows, maybe you will make a new friend who has common interests. Sign up for a painting or pottery class, take music or tennis lessons, or take up martial arts.
Quiet reflection should be a part of your daily self care routine. If its not already, daily relfection is easy to start. If journaling in the “Dear Diary” sense isnt for you (it isn’t for me), try a gratidue journal, or a guided journal with daily prompts. You could also draw or express yourself through some other medium. The important thing is to take a moment to check in with yourself and your emotions. Sometimes our own feelings can get lost and can easily become overwhelming.
Remove yourself from all the noise. Just take a moment to breathe, listen to your thoughts, and calm your mind. Start a daily meditation practice (you can begin with just 5 minutes a day) or enjoy a yoga flow. I am a mom of two very young kids, so for me quiet time means a 10 minute face mask while locked in the bathroom. Whatever you choose, just make it about you. You deserve it.
Take a Day Trip
Hop in the car! Just you and the open road. Blast the music or cherish the sound of silence. Roll down the windows and let your fingers touch the air. You don’t even have to leave town. Explore a part of your city you have never been to. Check out the sites in the next town over. Try new restaurants, stroll in botanical gardens, or see what Costco is like 50 miles from home.
I hope you feel rejuvenated and get to clearly hear your own voice.
Did you try one of these alone time activities? How do you spend your alone time? If I missed something on this list, drop me a line in the comments – I’d love to hear your ideas!
For more tips and inspiration, follow Gleaning Meaning on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. If you liked what you read, sign up to receive our weekly newsletter and never miss a new blog post.
Until next time, be kind to yourself.
Hi, I’m Kat!
Thanks for stopping by Gleaning Meaning, where we share inspiration and empower modern women to be their best selves. Empowering other women is totally my jam and I am grateful for the opportunity to share with you!
I have a full-time career, a toddler, a newborn, a wonderful husband, and some REAL dark circles under my eyes. I wouldn’t have it any other way!
If you are anything like me, I bet you could used someone to walk alongside you in your journey through modern womanhood. Join me, friend. Let’s figure this thing out together.
You Might Also Like…
The Secret to ConfidenceThe Secret to Confidence Let’s get right to it. Wanna know the secret to being confident? To walking tall? To speaking so people listen? To feeling and being beautiful? Be you. Be fully, unapologetically, authentically your fiercely beautiful,...read more
32 Powerful Affirmations for Self LoveYou know the old adage “Sticks and stone may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” How old were you when you realized that was a BIG FAT LIE? Words are powerful. They absolutely have the power to hurt you, and they...read more
Self Care GuideIf you have ever felt like your well-being is repeatedly being pushed to the bottom of your ever-growing to-do list, then we need to talk about self-care. Now. I am a woman who “has it all”. And I know the feeling of giving more of yourself - your love,...read more
Create Your Personal Development PlanWhat is Personal Development? Personal Development is the life-long pursuit of self-awareness. It’s making your dreams come true, folks! Now, if that sounds like some self-helpy hippy stuff, that’s because it is. But it is also an...read more
The Ultimate Guide to Goal SettingWe have all set goals. Goals are a natural part of human nature. They are meant to propel us forward to an improved state of being. You’ve been told to stick to your goals...and that is HARD. I bet the evidence of failed attempts at...read more