By Cassandra Bodzak
When I think about some of the non-negotiables in my life, one of the first things that comes to mind is my “me-time.” When I was younger, I loved being out with other people. Every night I had plans with one friend or another, weekends were booked solid, and whenever I was left alone I felt empty. I didn’t actually enjoy my own company. I didn’t like all that time to myself to think about things, and often strategically planned my weeks so that I wouldn’t have much time where I wasn’t out with another person.
However, in recent years, this has all shifted, and now I truly believe that the alone time I give myself is somewhat of a secret weapon. The time I spend alone has not only helped me develop a deeper friendship and love with myself, but it’s also helped me to shine brighter in the world. Prioritizing my “me-time” was a key component in getting to where I am today — which is why I find this topic so important to share. Here are just some of the amazing benefits I’ve found from creating the space for alone time.
Alone time helps us clear our mind.
It’s hard to hear yourself when you are always around other people. How can you know what you truly want or how you really feel, when you are constantly bombarded with other people’s thoughts or feelings? Giving yourself a few hours a day or more, where you are alone, helps clear your mind and get in tune with your own inner guidance system. Meditating can also help us get even more connected with our internal GPS during our alone time. Which brings me to my next benefit…
Alone time helps us process ideas.
Whether we are meditating, taking a bubble bath, or cleaning our apartment, time spent by ourselves helps us process ideas. When I’m about to birth a new creative project or thinking about a topic for a blog post, I NEED to be alone. I need that quiet time to thoroughly process what I want to say, or how I want to execute whatever idea I’m throwing around at the moment. Without those precious hours of quiet, I tend to feel like I’m in a stalemate with myself over a certain idea, and it hits a wall. My ideas get the breathing space they need to flourish during my quiet time.
Alone time allows us the space for our creativity to flow.
I love traveling by myself, I thoroughly enjoy quiet evenings alone at the apartment, and I even set aside one day a week (I call it my ‘sacred Sunday’) where I won’t make plans, and have a date with myself each week. This space allows me time to really harness my creativity. I tune out the outside world, and open the space for ideas to flow freely to me from my higher consciousness. I would not be able to produce the same amount of content on a regular basis, without creating the space in my life for regular bouts of alone time. I often journal or paint during my me-time in addition to meditation, which also helps get my creative juices flowing.
Alone time allows us to recharge our batteries.
Ever leave a networking event or party, and just feel completely drained? Well it sure happens for me, and it doesn’t even matter how much I actually enjoy most of the people at the party. It’s a constant energy expenditure being out with other people, so it’s important to choose the events and people you surround yourself with wisely. I only go to an event or hang out with someone if I feel like it will be expansive or energizing. If I’m not getting that impression, chances are it won’t be. Yet even when you are out all week with people you love who totally energize you, it’s still a great habit to counter-schedule some alone time. It’s not about becoming a shut-in or anti-social, but it is about looking out for your best interest and making sure that you pencil in time with yourself into the calendar so that you can recharge, relax, and be refreshed for your next project.
Alone time helps us develop deeper self-love.
One of the reasons I initially skirted alone time was that I was not sure I really enjoyed my own company. I wasn’t sure I wanted to be alone with my thoughts; it was easier to run from them in my social interactions. However, once I began to give myself that time, a wonderful thing started to happen. I got to know myself in a way I had not even experienced before. I realized how silly I was alone, how free I was with music playing in my bedroom, that I love reading and bubble baths — I became my own friend. The reflection in the mirror became a girl I knew and recognized as a friend. It helped me build a strong foundation of love within myself, and gave me time and space to truly cultivate a relationship with myself.
These days I can’t get enough of my alone time. I look forward to quiet Friday nights filled with candles, bubble bath, and meditation more than I look forward to most social outings. I cherish that soul nurturing self-care, and know that I truly function at my best as a result of those special hours. It was only when I started prioritizing my own self-care and alone time that I truly started to shine my brightest. By giving myself that crucial time, I’m able to go out in the world and be a bigger container for my mission. It fuels my fire and rejuvenates me, so that I can show up as my highest self day in and day out.
Cassandra Bodzak is a global meditation and wellness teacher. She’s an author, speaker, TV personality, and works with clients one-on-one all over the world. She merges the food and spirituality conversation to help people create a life that LIGHTS them up from the inside out. She has been seen on ABC’s The Taste, SHAPE.com's healthy cooking video series, and in many other wellness publications. To learn more, click here to get her weekly tips and recipes for blissful well-being. Also, get her free Beginner's Guide to Bliss audio here.