Whenever I have one of those rare nights just to myself, I usually opt for a slow night in with good food, a show and maybe some knitting. This week though, I'm home alone for a full seven days, so I knew I wanted to get a bit more creative with how I spend time alone. Now a week might be nothing to you – I've had my fair share of across the globe long distance years and temporarily abandoned flatshares, too, and it sure is a huge privilege when spending time alone is one of many options instead of loneliness being the default one.
So while it's not all that much time to begin with (and I often end up meeting friends most nights of the week anyways), I still loved the idea of using this opportunity to up my alone time game a little.
Over time, I've learned that the trick is to begin with working on our perspective on alone time. When we stop seeing alone time as the abscence of something we'd rather do (like being with other people) or as less valuable, but rather think of it as an investment into the relationship with ourselves and a healthy body and mind, it can help improve the quality of our lives tremendously. In fact, there's a plethora of science backed physical and psychological benefits of alone time, including increased productivity and empathy, improved concentration, or enhanced relationship quality, just to name a few.
One of the habits I personally find hardest to break is saving those best versions of everything for when we're with others. So this week, I made a conscious effort to remind myself to wear my favourite pyjamas even when I'm the only one who sees them (it's this Hess Natur silk number, by the way!), to open a special bottle of wine even when I don't have friends over to share them with, to spend the extra ten minutes in the bathroom even when I won't leave the house all day. It's the little things, and they really do go a long way.
Last weekend, I also started a little list with my favourite alone time plans to come back to this week (I can't help it, I planning ahead is like breathing to me!). A few things it includes are trying a new-to-me café / restaurant / bar and bringing a good book, going to bed extra early to listen to an audiobook, and taking myself out to get a massage. When I asked about your favorurite things to do all by yourself a few days ago, many of the activities that came up are things I love doing, too, like knitting, a soak in the tub, enjoying a quite moment with a cup of tea, or taking a walk. I always find these conversations so inspiring, so I wanted to share three comments with you (and now I wanna sing, listen to the rain and take a bath at the same time):
Charlotte says: "Singing my heart out! I've got a playlist of songs that I can sing / know the lyrics toand sometimes I just sing them all for an hour or two. Singing is similar to meditation in a way. You can't think about anything and you breath fully and consciously. It's the best to clear your mind and it also gives me a boost of confidence and joy."
Ann Cathrin says: "Yoga is the only thing I want to be alone for. Knitting and reading (while listening to rain on noisli.com or meditation sounds) are both things I love to do for myself."
Julia says: "Once a week, once the kids are in bed, I treat myself to a soak in the tub with Epsom salt, some wine and a book. As a mom with you kids, time to myself is a rare commodity."
If you're up for sharing, what do you like to do just for yourself? How do you feel about alone time? I'd love to hear!
P.S.: You'll find more self care related content here.