Wednesday, March 9, 2016

A Minimalist Lifestyle Benefit: Alone Time

One of the many benefits of simplifying our lives is the carving out of more free time.  By saying "no" to the activities that don't matter, we say yes to more time in our days to do the things that do matter and that bring us into alignment with our top three life priorities.  Something that is, at times, looked down upon is saying "no" to hanging out with friends or to being social.  I am definitely all for having a close group of friends and interacting with others.  However, I also believe that part of what makes us a better friend, wife, mother, sister, daughter, employee, etc... is taking care of ourselves.  Spending time alone can be a very intimidating thing for some of us.  After all, if we don't have any distractions or conversations going on we only have one thing to think about... us.  Our life.  Our fears.  Our worries.  Our anxieties.  Right?  Perhaps.  But, how can we work through those demons if we don't take the time to do so?  Alone time gives each of us an opportunity to get to know who we are.  I fear most of us spend so much time avoiding ourselves that we actually don't even know who we are.  That's why it's so difficult for us to deal with criticism from others.  We don't agree with them most of the time, right?  Well... maybe the reason we don't see what they're seeing is that we actually don't know ourselves.  We've spent so much time avoiding that we missed out on a "me relationship".  

Spending time alone isn't only healthy... it's essential.  Let's go for a walk... alone.  Let's sit at home with a cup of coffee... alone.  Let's journal.  Let's get to know the one person with whom we will always be (from birth to death)... us.  We may discover that there are some things we need to work on.  On the flip side, we may actually learn to truly love ourselves and appreciate who God made us to be.  We may laugh at ourselves! Goodness knows I definitely do this often!  We may discover new talents and skills.  We may unearth unhealthy relationships.  We may identify unhealthy habits.  We may just find courage to make much needed life changes.  

In the end, only positive can come of it.  Yes.  It will be daunting, scary, perhaps even... boring, to some of us when we begin to incorporate alone time into our lives.  But, I dare say, it will be life changing.  A positive life change.  Let's take 10 minutes out of our day today and spend it with the person we're with constantly... ourself.