I used to hate being alone, I dreaded it big time. Being in my home cooped up by myself used to make me uncomfortable and drive me up the walls. You would hardly ever find me alone, either at home or out and about. If I did happen to be by my lonesome self, it wasn’t long before a sense of boredom and feelings of isolation slowly crept in as I anxiously waited for my husband to get home.
Not only could I not bear the thought of being by myself, but the fear of missing out was strong and had me hanging out with people and going places that I probably could have done without.
Then I had kids.
And I was never alone again.
The whirlwind of parenting left me no room or time to be alone. Ever. Not even when I went to the bathroom.
But now that my kids are older and my husband spends a good portion of his day at work, I find myself being alone more often again.
And it is different now. Oh so very different!
I don’t know what I was thinking back then not liking being alone! Perhaps I didn’t like myself that much, but now in my rocking 40s, I thoroughly enjoy being alone with me, myself and I.
Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t become an overnight loner but I embrace it and welcome it like I never did before. It’s definitely a gift to myself.
Here are 4 reasons why spending time alone will do wonders for your soul and help you realize how unlonely being alone can be:
1 – When you enjoy being alone, you grow as a person
Back in the day, I was so busy dodging loneliness and hanging out with others that I never spent any real time with myself. I didn’t really know who I was because I was always with others. By seeking solitude, I made time to think and process my life. I’ve found my voice and what truly matters to me.
2 – It allows you to clear your mind
My house is always chaotic but I manage to find some alone time even if I have to lock myself in the bedroom for ½ an hour with a cup of coffee and some music. We live in a busy world with our phones always buzzing with every new message, email, tweet, text and the endless streams of articles and updates. This leads to mental overload. Italians have it right with their “dolce far niente” practice – which is the art of doing nothing. Read more about that see my post on Do You Dolce Far Niente?. Carving out some alone time is critical to regain mental focus and give us the opportunity to clear and organize our minds. When I emerge from my room back with my family, I’m like a new person.
3 – It allows you to get your creative juices flowing
For me, this is a priority because I enjoy myself the most when I’m creating something or working on a project. And for this, I need to be able to zone out and take breaks from everyday tasks allowing the creative part of my mind to come out and play if you will. Remember that time is not ours for the taking but for the making.
4 – It gives you the opportunity to practice mindfulness
As my kids get older (they are now 12 and 6) I realize how fast time goes and there is nothing I can do to slow it down. That is why it helps me tremendously to practice mindfulness every day and truly enjoy the present moment. I make it a habit to be aware and awake in the present moment because to be mindful is to be alive. I am most aware of my mindfulness when I’m alone, washing dishes, driving, or showering, or watching my kids play sports or music.
Being alone is a thing of beauty. Once you make yourself the center of your world, you step into power and become comfortable with your own self, your own thoughts, your own emotions, your own actions, your own fears, your own creativity, and your dreams.
Now you tell me. What are the benefits you gain from spending time alone?