The wonderful effect of alone time
I feel like summer went by in the blink of an eye. Suddenly it’s September and a whole new gear is shifted with all the hurries of everyday life. In a way I can’t wait for those dark autumn nights, though. And for some reason I can’t wait for the first snow to arrive. It would be lovely to feel those tiny soft snowflakes on my face and feel the cold air bite the tip of my nose. Summer was hot and awesome, but I feel like it’s time for something new. I feel like this fall will be full of growth and change.
During the summer I had about a month when I wasn’t really alone at any point. Either I was working surrounded by people, at home with someone or hanging out with friends. I noticed that I started to get stressed, annoyed and grumpy and I didn’t really know why. My head and body felt like they were going on overdrive without any reason. Then, for the first time in a while, came a weekend when I had nothing planned. I had the whole house to myself for the entire weekend with no obligations or plans.
What did I end up doing with my weekend? I slept, ate, binged on Netflix, read books, pampered myself and enjoyed the silence. I literally didn’t leave the house the whole weekend, since my dog was also taking a holiday out of town. And man, did that weekend do wonders! On Sunday I felt so rested, refreshed, relaxed and inspired. I spontaneously wrote five new chapters for my book and was full of energy. Don’t get me wrong: I like spending time with people and enjoy social events. But I need a whole lot of alone time to balance things out – even more than I’ve realized before.
After that weekend I understood myself yet a little bit better. To me having time to myself literally means having time to spend without anyone else around. It’s not enough that I’m alone in another room if I can hear other people in the next one. I need to dive into my own little bubble for a day or two with no human contact.
Another thing that really hit me that weekend was that there really is no right or wrong way to spend your time alone. I always feel like I should do something productive with my time. Usually when I’ve had those little moments of time to myself, I’ve focused on work, cleaning or something else that is considered productive. For a perfectionist like me it’s hard to remember that sometimes the best thing you can do to yourself is laze around in your pyjama all day and eat chocolate for lunch.
It’s tough to admit that the need to be alone has caused issues in some of my relationships in life. When the other person recharges by being in social situations and thrives in that type of setting, it’s hard for them to understand why I would rather be all by myself. As I said, I like social interaction to a certain point, but too much will drain me. And when the other person doesn’t understand that my way of recharging is being all alone in silence, they accuse me of being boring and anti-social. And as I’ve believed that’s true, I haven’t taken enough of that time to myself. But the interesting thing is that I’m in fact taking that time to be alone, so I can be happy and energetic in social situations. By being anti-social I can be social again. Does that make any sense? Does anyone relate to this?