I recently spent an entire week at our lake house alone. Yes, completely alone. No husband, no kids, no dogs, just me. I don't think I really had any goals for my time alone, but, as the week went on, I began to rediscover myself. I learned that by spending time still and alone I began to feel comfortable being with myself. Don't get me wrong, I still made multiple calls to the family. I still put out whatever fires needed to be put out at home. I still organized...from a distance. But mostly, I was alone with myself. I wasn't planning on going on this journey. I was just planning on spending a week at the lake.
You know I've always wanted to go to one of those spas where all you do is meditate, walk around, eat healthy, and get massages. Then it hit me, I was actually able to do that for myself this week. I had no one to answer to, so I took myself to get a massage. I did an at-home facial. I meditated and practiced yoga on the deck overlooking the lake. I went for a walk out in nature twice a day. I was beginning to feel like I was Julia Roberts in Eat Pray Love. And in case you're wondering, I did eat pizza every night just like Julia. I was loving myself and loving the time alone. I was in my pajamas by 6 p.m., and it felt great!
While waves of loneliness came and went, I knew that I needed to continue being alone. I knew it would help me find comfort in my own skin. It turned out to be an amazing experience, one that I would like to do more often. I don't know that I had any deep epiphanies that week, but I did have time to organize my business, plan future ideas for the company, work on writing, and just dream about life. It was a wonderfully productive week. I also made myself stay put for two full days and nights in a row without running any errands. This was quite a challenge for me, as I always seem to have something on my social calendar. But, I did it. It may be something I continue to incorporate into my life.
As I was going on a walk one afternoon, I was thinking about how you, my readers, can establish this alone time in your life. Maybe you are a working parent. Maybe you have young children or elderly parents to care for. Whatever the scenario, how do you find the time to be with just yourself?
You may not have the opportunity to be alone for an entire week, but I bet you could find a few hours to carve out some alone time during the week. I highly recommend that you speak to your spouse, your partner, or whomever you live with to try and figure out how you can carve out some time for yourself. I don't mean time for you to be alone to do the laundry, to clean the house, or to go grocery shopping. I mean for you to be still. For you to be quiet with your own thoughts. It’s surprisingly easy to do when you make the effort to find time for yourself. You could always escape to the bathroom or closet for a few moments of silence and stillness. You could go on a nature walk around your neighborhood or at a local park. You could sit and stare at a lake. The possibilities are endless. Maybe you and your partner could give each other time alone. I hope you find the time to be still and love yourself!
Don’t get me wrong, the week alone took work to stay focused and to stay home. I was excited for my family to come down to the lake for the coming weekend. I was looking forward to the hustle and bustle and all the craziness of the family. I would never change that chaos for the world, but being alone for the week made me feel brave. It made me feel strong. It made me feel comfortable. It made me appreciate my family even more than I already did. And, it made me love myself a little bit more too.
What I have learned: Be still and love yourself. Take care of you!
Tania Farran is an educator, mom, business owner, and an author. Her blogs tell about balancing all of these things in life! Laugh or cry with her and maybe learn a thing or two.