In a past article I wrote, I talked about How To Get Your Sleep Schedule Back On Track. Now, I’m going to talk about how to make your life more peaceful, fulfilling, and engaging by spending more time by yourself.
Yes, it’s true: we humans are social beings. But we’re also individualistic. Scheduling more alone time and taking advantage of the time you already spend alone is vital to a balanced life.
Like sleep, solitude is helpful in recharging and refreshing your brain, particularly the parts of it that deal with interpersonal interaction. It’s easier to be more productive when you don’t have other people to distract you, and when done right, it provides a time when you can just think and reflect by yourself.
Solitude can also help your relationships with other people, as it’s essentially a time for you to understand and love yourself better, and, as RuPaul says, “If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell are you gonna love somebody else?”
Now, of course, it’s important not to spend all of your days alone—there’s a difference between solitude and loneliness—but taking an hour or two out of your day to decompress and escape from the world full of people outside your window can only help you. Schedule it if you have to: before you start your homework, while you’re digesting dinner,
But what should one do when alone? Basically, do anything you wouldn’t do if you were sitting in a class full of people (but, of course, only things that make you feel happier—not more stressed or angry).
You can unplug; put your electronics all the way across the room or house and forget about them for a while (though going online is something you probably really want to do, it’s actually stressful for your eyes and your brain if done for too long).
I know it’s hard to be away from your phone for more than a second, but you want to do whatever will recuse you off from other people. I suggest possibly scheduling some “me” time after posting something on Instagram or Twitter—that way, you can leave your phone and come back an hour later to all those likes.
- Read a book, doodle, or write in a journal—do something that involves paper.
- Take a bubble bath.
- Clean your room; organize your stuff.
- Listen to some music.
- Play an instrument (if you don’t already, learn how to play one).
- Meditate, stretch, or do some exercises.
- Have tea time with your stuffed animal collection.
Just lay on your bed and think: about your day, your week, your year, your life, your dog, your senior quote, your bedsheets…anything as long as it’s not something stressful like schoolwork, a job, or anything else that nothing can be done about. Sometimes, however, your best ideas just pop up out of the blue when you’re concentrating on other things. If you’re suddenly inspired, don’t ignore it.
Taking time out of your day to do what you want to do is one of the easiest and most important things you can do for yourself. You may not think you have time for it, but everyone does. “Me” time should always be something you look forward to, a time when you can relax and just be you.