As humans we have this super delicate balance when it comes to spending time alone, and then on top of that each individual has their own “happy place”. The amount of time I need in solidarity to feel balanced is quite different from that of my best friend or perhaps my brother. Similarly our lifestyles dictate how much alone time we can reasonably expect and our needs shift towards the reality of our lifestyle.
A single working mother of two can’t possibly dedicate as much time alone as a woman in her early twenties living on her own and working part time. A college student living in a dorm or sorority will need to place extra effort into seeking alone time should she really need it. Our definition of alone fluctuates and varies as well. I consider working in a coffee shop crowded with strangers to be alone time, but I do not consider sitting in bed next to Jordan working on my laptop solitary. Though strangers can’t be the only variable as I never consider a workout class alone time even if I don’t speak to a single class member!
Perhaps the idea of “aloneness” is just as much a state of mind as it is a physical state?
Throughout my life there have been times when I have spent a considerable amount of time alone. I’m no referring to the times when I’ve been single (because in all actuality in those times I was less likely to have alone time) but rather spent large chunks of time in solitude. I have varying feelings on “aloneness”. If I coop myself into my apartment all afternoon and evening I will undoubtedly go stir crazy. Though relatively introverted by nature I still need a level of stimulation to keep me from reverting into a temporary existential sadness.
I’ve realized I need to focus on intentionally using my alone time as not to revert into madness (:
The other night Jordan was working really late (oh hey 2:30am) and I found myself with a very large unexpected chunk of time alone. I’m really not very good at making last minute plans, nor do I always want to (just because I’m bored doesn’t mean I want to go out and socialize right?). So I decided to attempt to finally strike a balance. Rather than dreading a long night all alone, I wanted to look forward to it. Here are a few of the activities I
1. Head to a coffee shop, library or on a jog! Being alone doesn’t have to mean you are shut up like a cave creature!
2. Take a hot bath while giving myself an avocado hair mask and honey face mask.
3. Watch trashy reality (oh hey Bachelor in Paradise) television while whitening my teeth (or painting my nails) (or carefully examining every pore on my face with a hand mirror)…
4. Write letters or make a craft. Is it just me or is it sort of hard to focus on these sort of activities around other people?
5. Clean and reorganize a room/your closet/a photo album. You’ll feel oh-so-satisfied when it’s done!
The worst thing you can ever do when you know you’re going to be home alone all night is watch Pretty Little Liars, and that’s a fact. Unfortunately I am so addicted I really can’t monitor myself in this arena so I’ve found myself curled up on my bed with my back against the wall sure to keep my eyes on the door for hours. You never know where A could be lurking!
How do you spend your alone time? Do you dread it or cherish it?