Spending time alone isn't easy for some people. Those who thrive with human interaction (the more people around the better) don't always know how to let quiet surround them. As a massage therapist I'm sure you've had a client on the table who talks and fidgets throughout the session. One of my longest standing clients took 2 whole years before she could lie quietly on the table and not "help" me by moving limbs. These very cerebral people with cerebral jobs take some time and coaching to learn to receive massage and use the time to decompress and feel their body. Massage time is a great opportunity to be alone with your thoughts, tune in to how different parts of your body feel and come out feeling refreshed.
In this world of cell phones it's rare that we unplug for more than a few minutes of the day. The convenience these handheld computers bring also disrupt our quality time with others and ourselves. We become addicted to checking social media, emails and Googling any question on a whim. When we silence our phones or use the do not disturb feature for a block of hours in the evening until the next morning we allow ourselves the space to be alone and foster bedtime and early morning routines like stretching, meditation, journal writing, or reading a book.
The quiet time can be still as in seated meditation, savasana, or writing. It can also be walking (without headphones), jogging, swinging, tai chi, or a labyrinth. Reflect on the current place of your life, future goals, or relationships that add to or take away from your well being. Some find keeping a journal beneficial for reflection and looking back at previous entries shows progress.
Quiet time can be a good place to work through something that needs a decision or has been bothering you. Some of the best ideas can come when you least expect them. Like in the shower or during a run. Your body and mind innately have all the answers but we need quiet time to hear them.
Working alone improves concentration, creativity and increases productivity. Removing distractions and interruptions allows you to get more done in a day.
Alone time allows you to gain a better understanding of who you are and what you desire in life.
Being alone may bring challenges.
Silence is uncomfortable for some and people find ways to fill it. The use of a TV or radio to provide background noise while at home or driving is common. Work to gradually not need this noise and feel at peace with the silence.
That darn inner critic can emerge when we spend time with our thoughts. Don't let it take over. We are all worried about what others think of our actions, our appearance our successes and failures. The "I'm not good enough," "I can't do it," or "I have such bad luck!" negative talk will come. We all experience it. The important thing is to acknowledge these thoughts and choose to let them pass through your mind as if on a cloud floating across the sky. To dwell on or buy into these thoughts doesn't serve you.
Prolonged alone time could definitely lead to loneliness and depression. Humans need interaction but time spent alone periodically should bring positive results instead of depression. This alone time will be intentional and have a definite end, not leading to depression but rather a renewed mind.
You are not alone. You just choose to be alone at times.
Scheduling the alone time is good practice when beginning to add this to your routine.
Until next time
Be fit, be strong, find some alone time,
Come hang with us, where we are happy and massaging pain-free.
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