5 Tips For The Best Alone Time
It was a Friday afternoon and there I was, in the Lower East Side, at a random cafe that I stumbled upon after taking photographs in the area. It had a quiet, calm and relaxed ambiance that drew me in. Or maybe it was the sign outside Nutella-filled crepes with bananas and strawberries that caught my eye, nom.
Nevertheless, this was a place I could see myself going to in the future. A tranquil setting in which I could truly think and clear my head. A sanctuary, if you will, where I could write. In fact, it was in this cafe that I drafted the post you are reading today, because it made me realize everyone needs an escape that is their go-to place for Me Time.
In my last post, I talked about the importance of finding friends who elevate your growth. It’s only right that today I talk to you about your most important friend of all: you.
Spending time alone to explore, find new gems and be in your own quiet company is necessary in the fast-paced-internet-driven world in which we live.
How did I end up in this perfect-little-cafe inside of a perfect-not-so-little borough of the City, you ask? I just did. Yes, that’s it. I didn’t plan on going to this cafe, I didn’t plan on finding beautiful murals that would make great for poems that I already had written in my iPhone Notes, and I certainly didn’t plan on writing this post. The point is, I wouldn’t have found or done any of this if I never decided to have Me Time. It all just happened because I took a day to explore. I scheduled time just for me.
I want you to experience the same peace I found in the comfort of my own company. Here is a list of my 5 Tips for the Best Alone Time.
1. Let Go of Self-Judgments
First things first, you don’t need a wing-man for everything. It’s okay to do things alone, and on your own time without feeling as though you have to invite people along. Time alone allows you to find out who you really are and what you like to do, without the influence of outside opinions and without the need to rush.
So, friend, discard any preconceived notions you have about things you’ve never done before, such as going to a restaurant alone or catching a movie by yourself. Because honestly, you are your best company.
2. Create a “Me Time Bucket List”
Creating a weekly or monthly Me Time Bucket List allows you to step outside of the box and try new things, and who knows, you may even find a new hobby! This magical list can be a mix of the things you want to make routine, the current activities you love to do and the places you’ve been meaning to try but haven’t gotten around to yet.
If you’ve read this post up until now, it means that you’re serious about your Me Time. I am too. Just for you, I created a free downloadable and printable Me Time Bucket List with ideas for starters. Save it as a screensaver. Print it out. I highly recommend that you take the time to actually write down your goals. Even better, print out copies for each week to hang on your productivity wall or on the back of your door as a reminder every time you leave your room.
3. Plan to be Unplanned
Have you ever noticed that the best times are always unplanned? The random nights out after work, seeing someone unexpected and having a great conversation, stumbling across a cool vintage shop on your way to another location? On one of your Me Time slots, plan to be unplanned. Choose an area you’ve never been to, and leave the search at that. Once you get there, go with the flow of the day. Don’t have a specific agenda. Be free and see where the good vibes lead you.
We have become accustomed to garnering information from others. When I ended up at the random cafe in LES, I was pleasantly surprised because I had no expectations. Instead of heading straight to Google or Yelp for suggestions, I walked around the neighborhood to see what was there for myself. Without input from outside forces, I was able to choose a place that felt right. Imagine that?
4. Sit in Silence
It’s amazing what sitting in silence can do for your mind. It’s almost as though we don’t know what to do with ourselves in the quiet. We feel an itch to check our phones for new messages or notifications, to throw on a new mixtape or to binge and chill on Netflix.
Listen, beloved, spending time in silence allows you to be more in the moment. Most importantly, it allows you to keep track of the thoughts going on in your mind. I’m sure you know by now how essential that is!
5. Find a Place That’s “Your Spot”
After you’ve gone through your Me Time Bucket List, ask yourself if any of the places can act as your go-to place to think, read, get some work done or simply relax. If you haven’t found that place yet, keep on keeping on until you do. Trust me, it will be worth it.
Bonus: Create a Daily Grateful Journal!
Every morning, I make a list of at least 5 things for which I am grateful. This starts my day on an automatic high note, and gives me time to appreciate the things I often take for granted. By making this a daily habit, especially in the morning, we are training our minds to see the good even in the small stuff. And a grateful attitude will take us a long way!