5 Ways Alone Time Can Change Your Health
*Things to keep in mind while reading: health goals & what obstacles are currently in your way*
How can alone time change your health? Well let's start with the fact that we are an ambitious yet highly distracted generation. We have a lot of tools to help us "live our best lives" yet we spend a lot of time looking at and talking about other peoples lives and wonder why our own goals are hard to grasp onto and maintain. Good thing is, mastering the the lost art of "alone time" can really shift a distracted mind into that healthy flow that all consistently healthy women know how to get into and maintain. Note: we're talking mental & physical health here per usual...ya can't have one without the other.
1) Anxiety Reducing Powwa
Have you ever felt anxious for seemingly no reason?? Sure you’ve been busy but you usually are and you can’t put your finger on why it is you feel overwhelmed?
From my personal experience + observations of friends, I’d accredit it to an overstimulated mind. When our brain is getting signal after signal from external factors like friends & family, as well as from our phone 📲 while we are simultaneously attempting to work, sort through our own thoughts or whatever else, our brains can literally freak the hell out leaving us feeling anxious “for no reason.”
This doesn't even mean you are an "anxious person"--it’s normal>>Our generation is the first generation in the history of the universe expected to be able to mentally cope with being accessible and connectable literally at all times...while simultaneously being the generation with the highest rates of mental turmoil 🧐 Even when we think we are alone, we have our phones 📲 which is a connection to the virtual universe—aren’t you exhausted just reading that?!
By spending anywhere from a full day to just an hour alone, from both physical and virtual people, AKA putting away the phone 📲 the number of notifications your brain will get will significantly decrease & your brain will get the opportunity to chill out for a hot sec. 🙏🏽
I personally really notice the power of this during my school semester when my brain is understandably on overdrive. Just taking 30 minutes to an hour to read a physical book with my phone on airplane mode makes a significant impact on my overall anxiety levels and thus my overall health.
2) Depression Breakthrough
Now this one will be hard to put into words but I still needed to include it. As someone who battled clinical depression for 3 years then on & off in waves, I know how sticky it can be. Once you’re in it, you feel stuck there, even if you logically know you’re not. Though being surrounded by a positive and empathetic support system is crucial, so is alone time.
One very pivotal thing that I discovered during my journey was that its very easy to use other people and keeping busy as crutch for happiness--while subconsciously or consciously hiding from your own thoughts that you credit your depression or mood to.
Seeing people 24/7 became addictive for me---I would never come home or be alone aside from sleeping or driving to see the next person! It wasn't until I got out of relationship, when I wasn't always with someone,that I realized I was afraid of being alone---HELLO major breakthrough.
Test out the waters--turn off your phone and don't make plans one Saturday by choice. Have a you day--go out by yourself and see if you can enjoy your own company without feeling anxious or alone.
It took a few different occasions of practice for me before I could say I really felt good by myself...and it was so worth the little experiment. Now I can honestly say I know how to generate my own happiness, whether I’m all alone or with company—it's really powerful tbh.
3) Body Feelz
Have you ever been so busy during the week with work, school, social life, family and everything else life has to offer that come that split second of solitude you FEEL it. You feel that unnecessary slice of cake you had in the office for your co-workers birthday or that late-night binge on God knows what becuase you were out with friends and weren't focused on your hunger cues--you were out with friends...! Then you ask yourself, what the hell? Why do I feel so off, that’s not like me!
That moment you “feel it” feels intense because when we are not intune with our bodies on a regular basis, we neglect basic needs like drinking enough water or eating the food we know makes us feel good. This in turn impacts our general health status.
So on your day or few hours to yourself, really feel your body--ask it what the hell is going on! Maybe you notice you feel freaking amazing, then YAY proceed to keep doin what's working. Maybe you feel achy or bloaty or moody. Whatever the feeling, feel it. Take note. Create a plan of action on how to proceed.
I am very guilty of overscheduling myself to the point of exhaustion--something I am really working on and can honestly say am getting better about. Still, when I do neglect alone time I find myself in a body that's confused because I haven't been listening to it. Taking just a hour to acknowledge how you feel can really up your body-intuition and help you gain more insight on what your body needs to feel its best.
4) Powerful Positive Vibin’
I already sorta touched on this already, but spending time alone gives you the opportunity to put your intentions into practice. Let's say you have been telling yourself you need to think more positively--but, you find it hard when your friends, family, etc aren't on quite the same wavelength.
When you set aside time to be alone, you also create a time to be uninfluenced by others' vibes and can intentionally set your own tone.
Back when I was dealing with pretty bad anxiety, I got in the habit of setting intentions while I was alone. For example if I was going to run a few errands, as I got in the car, I intentionally put on upbeat music, asked myself what kind of emotions I wanted to feel, and if I wasnt in the mood, I'd force myself to sing along to the songs and as corny as it sounds, it worked. Then, when I got reconnected with people, I felt untouchable because I knew I had the power to control my own mood. Mood control= More consistent health-conscious choices.
5) Self-Discipline Practice
The word discipline gets a bad rap. Over time many of us have come to associate that word with deprivation, harshness, & rules when in reality self discipline is what allows you to gain control over your life to achieve the freedom you really want. The thing with self-discipline is that it's like a muscle. The more you exert it, the stronger your ability to use it becomes and the best place to start is with the simple yet incredibly difficult task of putting your phone away or on air-plane mode for a few hours or longer if you can. If you can master that, you can master anything honestly.
I personally started incorporating this practice when I’d go to the Farmer’s Market. I love going to farmers markets--1) because #health and 2) because it's a place where people really talk and connect and get excited over home-grown cucumbers--it's beautiful. Just a few months ago I randomly decided that I’d purposefully neglect my phone 📲 for however long I spent picking out kale and talking to local growers.
At first I would feel tempted to just check my phone, just in case...LOL what?! Resisting the urge to be connected constantly really strengthened my self-discipline and now it’s just a habit—farmers market= no phone. It’s great.
So Here’s the Plan:
So next time you have had a long day, have a gazillon things to do tomorrow and still have to go to the grocery store, maybe DON’T invite your roommate or boyfriend along to keep you company. Maybe what you need is that hour of time to yourself where you can literally boost your health by tuning into one of the 5 things mentioned above. Embrace that solo drive with open arms knowing that depite what society tells you about constant connection, it's good for you. For your brain and thus for your body.
—Morning Dove 🕊