The story of how I discovered my love for spending a few hours in bed on a Sunday morning began in my late teens. Since both my siblings and myself lived in the middle of nowhere and my high school was located over 100 kilometres away; my average day would begin at 4.45 am and would conclude roughly around 9.30 that evening.
Although I seeked an education to stood up to my expectations, I did not seek or rejoice in spending 2 hours and a half hours as a prisoner while being segregated to a particular position in the bus regime, from Monday to Friday. With Friday’s midnight sky giving way to the welcoming glow of my much anticipated conclusion to school and my torture, I would rejoice in the two days of freedom I had fought for.
The many things I loved and still do about my weekends would be the acceptance of my parents if I were to disappear and when being found, I would be enclosed in my billowing piles of white cotton, endless supplies of thick winter blankets and pillows thrown to the floor.
The need for mini afternoon naps, picturesque bed linen and perfectly pressed pillows has morphed into spending a few hours on my Sunday morning in bed, with a stack of books lingering at the bottom of my feet and a coffee as well as a bottle of water perched on my bedside table.
But the reason behind my need for spending some of my Sunday morning in bed is because as someone who is pretty much an extrovert with some introvert personalities thrown in, I consider spending time alone is up there on my list of favourite things to do. My desire to spend time alone became even more apparent when I moved into a household, where I didn’t know the other two girls I’d moved in with. With this in mind, here’s five reasons why you should consider alone time. Both in and out of bed.
1. You need to take care of yourself
One of the key reasons why spending time alone is valuable stems back to our hectic work life and lack of having down time. For me, I’m guilty for not winding down an hour before bed and as a result, I often slip into bed with my computer, iPad or mobile phone in hand while a vlog plays in the background. So the best way to get around those ‘I’m going to…’ quotes we are constantly telling ourselves and never actually doing is signing up for something out of your comfort zone.
Whether it be a yoga or cooking class, pampering yourself with a face mask whilst watching a favourite show (mine’s Married At First Sight!) and hanging out in a bubble bath as some fragrant candles burn away in the background. Not only does it improve your well-being while giving you a sense of peace within your mind but it also proves that spending time alone isn’t scary, boring or unproductive.
2. This is your moment to be selfish and don’t feel guilty about doing so.
A valid piece of information that my Mother gave me was the importance of removing others from your internal list of “what shall I do today?’ and essentially put yourself first. Having stared at her strangely like she’d lost the plot, I actually discovered that I didn’t have to make any compromise on what movie I wanted to see, where I wanted to eat for lunch and how long I wanted to stand, staring at a piece of artwork because the decision was my own.
Following this advice and discovering the important of being ‘selfish’, I realised I can do more on my own while still enjoying the activities I’m doing just as much as I would if I were within someone else. Although it can be perceived as being challenging at first and incredibly wrong because you’re choosing yourself over someone else, being selfish can lead to gaining a more stable independence and understanding how to rely upon yourself to ultimately ‘seize the day’ and hopefully finding out that happiness is the essential payoff.
3. Stop living through a screen and be present in the moment.
Beside my Mother giving me helpful tips and tricks on surviving life as a twenty something year old, blogging has been both a positive and negative thing for me. Blogging has been an positive influence because I have been able to write so many different topics regarding nursing and lifestyle while giving you a hint of what my life is like, outside of a screen. But with the positives comes the negatives and that has lead to me experiencing life within a screen as I contemplate ideas, uploading blog posts and have often found myself planning ahead, becoming a fallen victim to FOMO (fear of missing out) and not being really able to quite unplug.
Having said that, making the decision to do something by yourself whether it be that face mask, relaxing bubble bath or spending 10 minutes staring at your reflection is spending time alone and not being attached to something with a screen. Disconnecting for an evening or if you’re really brave, a weekend, will allow you to realize how we’ve become dependent on our devices as they’re used as crutch to fill in any voids. At the end of your self-imposed seclusion from devices, you’ll know how to be present in the moment and with yourself as it will come naturally when surrounded by others.
This means there is to be no more Facebook, Snapchat, Instragram or any other platform for social media over dinner.
4. Take a break and indulge in ‘me’ time.
As an extrovert who loves socialising and gaining energy and strength from like minded people, I was always afraid while growing up that spending time alone by myself would always cause me to become lonely. However as an adult who often spends a majority of her time seeking the solace of being alone and the hidden comfort of doing something for me by me, being alone doesn’t always equal to doing things that make you feel uncomfortable or unsafe. Instead, I’ve discovered the secret joys of being able to walk into an art museum and spend countless hours simply gazing at the quietly hidden brush strokes behind the glorious painting or reading snippets of books that hold my attention.
When it comes to spending time by yourself for yourself, it should be done on a daily or weekly basis and it should and can be an indulgent experience for you. Whether you chose to spend your time catching up on a favourite show or in my case, a week’s worth of shows being savoured on hold or reading the day away, spending an indulgent amount of time on yourself shouldn’t be expensive (unless you wish it to be) and you shouldn’t necessarily feel bad about it because you are simply, enjoying every last minute of it.
5. Step out and begin life at the end of your comfort zone
There shall always be a part of us that never wants to step out of the comfort zone we make for ourselves; as it means that we have to face the unknown, awaiting challenges and is often, a plain and scary thought of having no landing pad to break our fall. Yes, it is a daunting thought of not knowing what lurks beyond what the eye sees and it is that moment when we push past our insecurities, self-doubt and questioning mind that we start to experience what life is really about and who we are as a person.
If I hadn’t stepped out of my comfort zone all those years ago, I suspect I wouldn’t have started blogging as a result of being accepted into college and no doubt, would find myself with a monobrow drawn onto my face as I’ve fallen asleep on the bus to hell. As a result of stepping out and experiencing what life has to offer, I’ve gone out to dinner countless (something which is not scary at all) and seen a movie by myself.
Whether you choose to spend your Sunday mornings in bed with a cup of coffee or popping the plug into the tub and asking the Hubby or Wife to mind the kids for 20 minutes, spending time alone is about balance and moderation. Although if you can’t remember off the top of your head when you last caught up with a girlfriend over coffee or hung out around the barbecue with a beer in hand with the guys than I suggest contacting a friend or friends.
Until next time,