To schedule in a moment of quality alone time each day may seem daunting, if not impossible, to even consider. With all the hustle and bustle going on, how can this be a reasonable expectation? In response, not only is this reasonable, it is a MUST.
Quality alone time helps to reset our brain and gain a better perspective on our day. And, it gives us that pause we need to tackle more effectively what lies ahead of us.
What is quality alone time?
Being alone means not having people around you. However, quality alone time won’t work if you are busy texting friends, watching television, or playing videos. To maximize the benefits of quality alone time, find a quiet spot, without the distractions of people and electronics, to relax, release, and regroup.
What can you do to get the most out of quality alone time?
(1) Decompress. Wind down by kicking back in an environment with minimal commotion. Set aside 10 minutes or so of your day in a comfy space by yourself.
(2) Filter out negativity. Use your alone time to let go of any negative emotions like fear, anger, or worry. Make your time rewarding by focusing on the positive.
(3) Let your mind wander. Get your creative juices flowing by allowing your mind to engage in lateral thinking. This is a good place to come up with new thoughts and ideas.
(4) Focus on breathing. To disengage from stressful thoughts and detrimental emotions, concentrate on your breathing. Breathe in deeply and slowly for 3 to 5 seconds, hold your breath for 3 to 5 seconds, and deliberating exhale for 3 to 5 seconds.
(5) Reflect on yourself. Spend time getting to know yourself better without the distractions of outside influences. Gain greater insights on how your attitude and behavior determine your daily experiences and create your personal and professional roles in life.
(6) Establish your future. During this downtime, plot out your future direction in life and strategize on the best ways to get there. Create realistic goals that will allow you to achieve your dreams.
(7) Count your blessings. Allocate a few moments of your alone time to be grateful for the many blessings in your life. Relish in the joy and serenity these thoughts might bring you.
Don’t shortchange yourself. Rejuvenate your life by carving out the solitude needed to become a grounded, better balanced, and more productive you.
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Written by: Patricia K. Flanigan, Smart Strategies for Successful Living
Patricia K. Flanigan has worked in higher education for over 28 years. She holds a doctoral degree in Organizational Leadership from the University of La Verne as well as a M.A. in Latin American Studies and B.A. in Anthropology from the University of California, Los Angeles. Before retiring and moving to Idaho in 2015, she served as the dean of online education and learning resources at Saddleback College, a large community college in Southern California. She currently consults in higher education, volunteers for AARP, writes for a local magazine, and serves as an Affiliate Faculty member at Boise State University and on the Board for LEARN Idaho. Since February 2017, she has been the founding director for Smart Strategies for Successful Living, a community-based website designed to promote quality aging. As an educator, her focus is to inspire others to live and age well.