Just as we have shared about the importance of taking a mental health break, it is also important to invest in alone time or "me time". Spending time alone allows our brains to revitalize, re-establish, and rest. Sherrie Bourg Carter, Psy.D., stated in Psychology Today, "Constantly being 'on' doesn't give your brain a chance to rest and replenish itself... no distractions gives you the chance to clear your mind, focus, and think more clearly. It's an opportunity to revitalize your mind and body at the same time."
You see, clearing your mind of stress also cleanses your body of stress. Having this skill in your tool belt will allow your to live a fuller and more productive life while also allowing your body to learn when to rest and when to work. Another MAJOR benefit of destressing and detoxing is that you sleep a lot better. We think this is our favorite benefit of getting adequate alone time.
Schedule Your "Me Time"
This may not be possible with your lifestyle (kids, significant other, crazy work hours, school, etc.) or it may be really challenging to find a good time to take for yourself. However, prioritizing your health needs, yes mental health (which includes alone time) falls under health needs, is important. So find a couple hours in your week or, if you are lucky enough, a whole day in your weekend or month to take for yourself. Plan out what YOU want to do or just wing it, whichever is best for you. Do what makes YOU happy.
Disconnect From Media
Now this one is difficult, but so worth it! During your alone time disconnect from the busy world around you and the world of social media. Turn off your text and call notifications (if that is possible for your lifestyle, we see you moms) and mute all your apps, even better just turn your phone and computer off!
Spending time alone is important but it is difficult when you have friends wanting to hang or a significant other needing to have time with you. However, if you communicate in a caring, honest, and soft way that you desire "me time" to rest, then others will learn to understand and respect your needs. The trick is to be firm in your convictions! If you have a night planned to stay home alone and a friend invites you out to drinks, it is okay to reschedule for another night. Don't feel bad for turning your friend or partner down, just communicate your needs and find another time that works for both of you.
Wake Up Early
Don't you love those special mornings when you wake up before everyone else? Well you can do that whenever you want! During that dewy and fresh part of the day it feels as though we are the only people on the planet and we can do whatever we want. So go for a jog, read your favorite book, or sit on the porch and drink coffee. Do whatever your heart desires!
Catch It When You Can
We know all of the above ideas are ideal in a perfect world but it's not always practical or easy. So, if scheduling a time just won't work, we suggest that you do your "me time" while you run errands! Need to go grocery shopping? Stop at your favorite market and pick out your favorite treat or flowers! Need to make a payment at the bank? Find the branch that has the best views, park farther away to take a calming walk!