The healing power of time spent alone

Enjoying a full day to myself was something I had no interest in up until college. I uncovered so much truth about myself when I went away for school.

These realizations didn't come from new hobbies or from meeting life changing people (which I certainly did), but because I learned how to get to know (and like) myself.

Spending time alone to sit with your thoughts helps you realize what your true interests and opinions are.

It has become all too easy to let society tell us what we like and don't like. Top 40s music, recommended shopping, most popular TV shows, the never-ending feed of information everywhere we look.

Take time to figure out which aspects of your life are energy building. Think about what you can do now to improve your life and how you can prepare for living out a truly joyful life in the years to come.

If you aren't used to spending time alone, here are a few tips to get you started:

  • Turn off the TV and the radio

  • Be in a space where your mind feels clear (on your patio, in your bed, on a walking path, etc.)

  • Switch between time spent still and time spent moving (some of my best thinking is done when I'm writing in my journal and when I'm running)

  • Try different creative outlets (draw, paint, play the piano, write, design clothes, arrange flowers, the choice is yours)

Also take the time to ask yourself big questions. Spend time writing down what will bring you joy in life. Plan how you will incorporate these things more in your day to day.

These are a few prompts I love to consider when I'm alone, whether in my journal or in my mind.

  • What do I hope to be known for?

  • What brings me the most happiness in daily life?

  • What aspects of my job spark joy? What future jobs could I consider based on this?

  • What is important to me? Why do I value these things or people?

  • Are there any differences in how I currently live and how I hope to live?

Finding time in your schedule may seem daunting. It certainly does to me. If you are living with your partner, the easiest thing to do is to have a conversation about it. By doing this, you can support one another in taking time alone, whether that means one is taking your dog on a long walk or occupying your child with an afternoon at the park.

Having a clear mind about who you are and what you want in life helps you navigate the confusing questions and ultimately live a better life.

What's your favorite way to spend time alone?