You might have noticed I was a little quiet last week… that’s because I was tucked away in a little cabin in the woods.
It’s something I do every year – minimal mobile signal, no intranet; just me, my dog, beautiful scenery, a cosy cabin and an endless supply of books and movies.
I love it! It recharges my batteries, re-centres me and leaves me raring to go with whatever I have planned when I get home…
As you might imagine from my holiday choice, I love it! I’ve lived on my own for the best part of a decade now and I regularly choose to leave my phone in another room so I can have some serious quiet time to switch off and focus on whatever it is that I’m trying to do. That’s not the case all of the time; there are certain days of the month where I really need to be around people otherwise I drive myself mad with my mind going round in circles, but generally I’m quite comfortable in my own company.
But there are a lot of people who think I’m crazy. A lot of the folk I know really freak out at the idea of spending so much time alone, and just can’t understand my holiday choice for love nor money. I have perfectly independent and empowered friends who shudder at the thought of an evening in on their own and will do anything they can to avoid spending time by themselves.
So my question to you is, how do you find time alone?
If you’re going to truly love yourself and to make the right decisions for you and your happiness, it’s so important to be comfortable with your own company. It makes it easier to look after yourself – for starters you get more rest, but you can also sit quietly to listen to your inner wisdom and how to follow that – but it also means that you can make better choices when it comes to who you spend your time with.
So often the wrong relationships begin not with a desire to find the right person, but with a fear of being alone, and a need to just find someone to prevent us from being alone.
I’ll be honest, it’s a trap I’ve fallen into in days gone by, and it’s something I see other women do regularly. So if you’re someone who struggles within alone time, then how do you change that?
My advice is to start small, and start by doing something you love. If you’re a crafter or a baker take an hour out each week (or any opportunity you can) to focus on that; even if not in the house alone then tucked away in a room by yourself without the need for someone else’s presence. And if not then take the time out to read a book on your own, watch a movie, meditate, or maybe go out for a walk and run. And if halfway through you find yourself really struggling then that’s OK too – start with half an hour instead and work your way up.
Ease your way into this gently and remember that there is no wrong way to spend time; this is about devoting time solely to yourself and to something you love.
If you’re already comfortable with your own company then stretch yourself and work upwards from there; go out to eat alone, go the cinema, visit a museum – I have an amazing friend who recently went to a gig on her own, and although she said it wasn’t as much fun as having someone to sing along and dance like a crazy person with, she still enjoyed it!
Maybe, like me, you’re lucky enough to be surrounded by an amazing family and wonderful friends who very rarely leave you to struggle through the tough times alone. And that’s brilliant! But unfortunately life is such that that that won’t always be the case… so let’s take the bull by the horns and get comfortable with the one person who will always always always be there for you along the way.
And if you want to go all out on that one, well I know of some gorgeous log cabins!