Many of us are afraid of being alone. We grew up associating happiness with group of people, and being alone is often stigmatized and misunderstood.
We live in a noisy world. Emails, information from the media, including social media bombard and crowd our minds with messages. Very often, our views of the world shaped by opinions of others.
Being alone is not the same as being a loner
For the sake of our sanity and well-being, it’s good for to break away and be alone sometimes.
I am talking about making conscious effort to spend time with ourselves.
Here is a video, which I love, featuring a poem on “How to be alone”
I have identified 4 modes of being alone…
Alone and escape
We often find ourselves alone and stuck without company, onboard a plane or during our daily commute.
Most of us escape into social media posts, play mobile games, watch dramas, etc. We live vicariously in other people’s life or online game characters, both real or virtual. These distractions help our minds escape into another realms, sometimes for hours.
These felt more like a reactive mechanism when we are actually uncomfortable with being on our own.
Alone and be present
Alternatively, we can choose to engage with ourselves. And, we should.
The reality is we get so caught up with what’s happening around us that we forgot to listen to our own thoughts.
Here are some suggestions
- Go to a café, library, the park or the pool. Jot down on a little notebook, your thoughts or just journal.
- Capture your observations and interesting moments on camera
- Do a short staycation and just get off the grid.
In fact, all you need is your phone (minus the social media distractions)
Alone and discover
I started going on short vacations on my own a few years ago. This may sound challenging but once you have made plans, it can be a really liberating experience. I simply love it!
Consider joining a Meetup group of solo travelers to explore a desired destination. Unlike normal packaged tours, you don’t stand out among families traveling together, and you make new friends.
I have met interesting liked-minded people who are equally passionate about arts and hiking, while I was traveling in Japan. Some of them became friends whom I stayed in contact.
You can also sign up for conference or attend a course, to gain new perspectives and new inspirations.
Alone and be creative
Set aside time to be creative – write, doodle, build something. Or simply indulge in some daydreaming.
I am not advocating to live as a recluse because it is important to cultivate vibrant social bonds.
However, meaningful and purposeful time spent alone works wonder for our well-being. It allows us to connect with ourselves, have better clarity of thoughts and unleash our hidden creativity.
I invite you to start making dates with yourself today, and discover how interesting you really are.