#jkltip For the upcoming week take a look at your calendar and write down when your 2-3 hrs of alone time will be. Set it in stone, or at least permanent marker and follow it exactly
Of the tips people are given to improve their mental health, self care in the form of alone time might be the most important. Like any intuitive thing, this can seem backwards to some people, especially at first
“You’re telling me to connect more, now you’re telling me I need to be alone, which is it?”
So let me try to break it down. The more you overcome social anxieties, the more you can connect with others, the more opportunities will exist that you never could have imagined, and the greater impact you will have on the world. That is true, so connect more, reach out to others, and expand your tribe every day.
But, here’s the catch…
The more interconnected we become, the more “problems” we take on, and the greater the volume of thoughts we are hit with each day. You end up meaning something to a lot of people, and that can be hectic. Thus, the more you need alone time.
When I used to recommend this to clients, or when I share this advice with friends, they typically chuckle as though I’m kidding, followed by some sort of comment such as, “don’t you know I have three kids?” or “Hah, alone time, that’s not a thing for the middle class”.
Well if this is you, please, please pay attention!
I see it all the time, people post things like “take care of you first, or else you won’t be able to take care of anyone else” or “the most important thing you can do for others is take care of yourself first”.
But then it doesn’t happen. So I think we have it confused.
Literally, if you start taking care of yourself first you will be less selfish in other circumstances, it’s not just some kind of cliche myth. It’s the truth. This isn’t taking a ten minute walk around the block. You should be taking three hours a day to yourself, if you think you’re too busy, then AT LEAST take two, but think of it this way: Talk with your partner and take inventory of how much time is wasted with inefficiency and start a calendar, where for now, the only goal is to check off the 3 hour self care. Every single day.
When you spend time alone, it is the perfect time to reflect on your path, get some exercise, meditate, and think about how you can improve self realization, or what role you play in improving relationships with others. It takes a lot of teamwork and dedication to pull off, but is very well worth it. There must be communication with those who may not understand. In relationships for example, you will have to discuss when each of you will take your hours. If it’s scheduled and treated as the highest of priorities, then it will happen. So start, communicate, and schedule it! If you do, watch how well your relationships and life goals start “falling” into place.