You Time: 7 Activities to Do Alone
Many people keep their schedules packed from dawn to dusk with activities and people. While our society prizes productivity and perpetual interaction with people and devices, not having enough alone time can be detrimental. Speaking of socializing, the majority of Americans bring their phone to the toilet. Most are texting or posting on social media, yet 30% will answer the phone! (Please let me go to voicemail, thank you). We’re becoming a society that can’t poop alone. In fact, Kohler is producing smart toilets so you won’t even need your phone or tablet to converse with Siri or call your friends.
Not everyone feels the need to stay connected all the time, however. Those at the introvert end of the spectrum often prefer alone time over socialization with others. They’re great at finding activities to revel in solo and thus enjoy more of the benefits gained from spending time by yourself. People who spend time alone generally enjoy more empathy, self-understanding and knowledge, and are mentally resilient, making it easier to stave off depression. Solitude also increases creativity and productivity. Although many offices opt for open floor plans, people actually get more and better work done when they have privacy. It’s also been shown that children who enjoy time alone have fewer behavioral problems, so if you’re a parent, lead by example!
If you’re not used to spending time alone, it can feel uncomfortable at first. It’s important to keep at it until you’re able to peacefully be by yourself without the constant urge to connect with other people. If solitary time is difficult or you find it “boring,” cannabis can help! Indulging in a few puffs or a dab could be just what you need to get out of your head, loosen up and enjoy some self-reflection. To get the most out of your solo time, grab your favorite strain and try one of these 7 activities to enjoy alone:
Social media has taught us to be headline skimmers. Use your alone time to read a book or a long-form article on a topic that interests you. Reading increases concentration improves vocabulary and provides mental stimulation.
Alone time is the perfect time for creative activities like writing. Write a poem, a song, a novel or a letter to an old friend. Or, work on your life planning and create a list of dreams and goals.
Take Yourself to Lunch
Take a short road trip and treat yourself to lunch wherever you end up. Indulge in a personal pursuit like a crossword puzzle or put the headphones on and listen to an audiobook or just enjoy people watching without interaction.
Cook for Yourself
With no audience or other mouths to feed, tackle a recipe you’ve been dying to try. Go for something outrageous and restaurant-worthy. It’ll give you a chance to gain confidence in the kitchen, hone your skills and you’re rewarded with a fabulous meal at the end.
Stretching and Yoga
When’s the last time you had a really good stretch? Most of us could benefit from more stretching throughout the day, especially those of us at computers. Whether it’s 5 minutes or 20, try to get down on the floor and really stretch those muscles. Loosen up your neck, back, shoulders and hips. You’ll not only feel taller, but you’ll also reduce eye strain and headaches too. Yoga poses can help build core strength as well as providing awesome stretches.
Meditation is a difficult practice that takes time to master but it offers many mental and physical benefits. Meditation increases mental cognition, concentration, focus and helps manage stress. Physically, meditation has been shown to increase blood flow, lower blood pressure, bolster the immune system and improve sleep quality. Start with a goal of several minutes and increase your meditation time until your mind can remain quiet for 15-30 minutes. It’s not easy but it’s worth it!
Enjoying nature alone is a wonderful way to recharge your batteries, reboot your brain and reduce stress. Although scientists aren’t exactly sure why, spending time in forested areas and around trees reduces blood pressure, promotes healing, reduces stress, improves sleep and leaves us feeling happier. Nature time can also increase focus and concentration, even in people with ADHD!
Spending time alone decreases the time spent being vigilant and alert for social cues, leaving us feeling less stressed. Constant socialization also leads to less life satisfaction, as we constantly compare ourselves and our lives to others around us. Best of all, spending time alone foster self-reliance and you may find yourself relying less on the approval, opinions and help of others!
What are your favorite activities to do alone? Let us know in the comments!
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