Alone time is something that seems like a luxury to many people. I have seen many posts on social media about people not even knowing what to do when they are alone or have down time. They ask others for advice on what to do or end up working anyway. I have also heard many people say that they feel guilty about their alone time or would rather forego it because of all work they have to make up afterwards.
How have we gotten to the point where times of quiet, rejuvenation, and self-nurturing are seen as inconvenient or stressful?
No wonder our health is struggling! No wonder we can’t sleep well! No wonder we depend on coffee and Diet Coke to get through the day! I could keep going… but I think you get the point…
We need to get back into the practice of self-nurturing, but there is a major barrier in the way for some of us… we feel negatively about it. When we associate something that is good for us with a negative feeling, it causes us to want to reject that good thing… regardless of our head knowledge about how good it is. For example, let’s say you decide to get counseling. You know that is a positive choice, BUT, unfortunately you go to a counselor who did not treat you well. You will likely now dislike counseling because of your negative experience with that person; despite counseling being a good thing! One bad counselor does not mean that counseling all together is bad… but you tend to believe just that!
The same goes for alone time and self-nurturing. If you are not in the practice of this, you are likely to feel guilty. You may not even be able to stop thinking about all of the things that you could be doing in that moment, instead of taking some time for yourself. You may hear your children screaming and yelling for you (it’s new to them too!). You may come back to a mess every single time or have to fit your regular responsibilities into a shorter time frame. All this can absolutely be overwhelming! At first, it may seem like you taking a few minutes for yourself is just not worth it or a possibility… but I want to encourage you to not believe this lie!
Whenever you start something new, there is always a period where you need to adjust to your new normal. Your alone time also likely impacts others, so they too, have to get used to the new normal. There will be discomfort and problems to solve… but aren’t there those things when you DON’T take time to yourself anyway? At least now you have that moment to breath, that moment to connect with who you are, that moment to rest.
Once you commit to prioritizing time for you to relax, you need to be disciplined in your mind to not let it wander to the things you could be doing instead or the problems you think will be waiting for you when you return. Stay in the moment, enjoy the time. People will survive, tasks will get done, people can wait, and your mental sanity is worth it! Over time, all will adjust and you will look forward to and be more insistent about getting that alone time you once thought was never possible.
If you are a hardcore extrovert or really insist on multi-tasking, receiving counseling services can be a great way to spend your “alone” or self-nurturing time. This way you are still enriching yourself and taking care of the things on your heart. If you are interested in seeing if online counseling could work for you go to https://JillianRedefiningWellness.clientsecure.me to sign up for a free 20 minute consultation. Or email me at JillianRedefiningWellness@gmail.com to set one up!