I have always liked time on my own. In fact, I would say I need it! One evening this week I spent an hour reading after dinner, I lit some autumnal scented candles, put on my SAD lamp and read the first hundred pages of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine. In that hour I felt completely relaxed, I had nowhere to be, my to do list was on hold and forgotten about, I didn’t have to listen, talk, do. I have noticed though that not everyone likes alone time. While I crave a night to myself when things get busy, some of my friends dread time on their own. A night in without anyone else involves turning on all the lights and turning the TV up to block out the quiet. So I thought about why I like time to myself and made a list of all the ways to relax and enjoy the peace and quiet…
1) Comfort is Key
My favourite part about winter is the excuse for extra blankets and layers. Even in summer I like feeling cosy. Whether it’s cashmere bed socks or fleecy bed linen, getting comfortable is step one to making the most of alone time.
2) Find a Hobby, Pick it Up
As well as writing I like knitting, painting, reading, watching films and listening to music. When you have some time to spare its nice to really focus on something that might usually be a secondary thing. For example, if you normally knit while watching the TV why not pick a more difficult pattern and really focus with no other distractions? Or perhaps you only ever listen to music on your drive to work, why not sit and really listen to a favourite album or pick a random playlist and listen to the lyrics?
Focusing on one thing at a time is mindfulness in action, but it also gives you time to really appreciate the things you love.
3) Inside when it’s raining
Whether it’s beautiful music, scented candles or dim lighting, creating a lovely atmosphere can make a night in feel like a treat. It’s trying to create the feeling of being inside when there’s a storm outside, extra cosy!
I love lavender scented candles in summer or at this time of year, marshmallow and cinnamon scented candles. I also like putting my Luna SAD lamp on a dim setting and playing film scores while I read. It makes me feel safe and relaxed and rather than just passing the time in front of the TV I enjoy the time to really relax.
Sounds simple, but often our breathing is effected by our emotions and not in a good way. I love yoga and meditation and recently discovered the app 10% Happier which has short meditations (some are just a minute), I also love Yoga With Adriene. If I’ve got a busy mind or I’m feeling stressed, before reading or watching TV or even before going to sleep, I’ll do some yoga or meditation. Just five minutes can help me to relax and really take in my book or film. Going for a short walk can have the same effect, focusing on the world around you, or the rhythm of your own steps can help calm the mind.
Let me know if you’re a fan of time alone in the comments. I hope you liked these tips, there will be more lifestyle posts coming to the blog soon!