In our increasingly demanding lives, it is more important than ever to carve out time to be alone. Being alone offers us a chance to put things into perspective and slow down our usual hectic pace. We gain insight and often can access a greater level of peace when we give ourselves the chance to be alone with our thoughts and feelings.
We spend most of our time with others. Relationships at home, work and school become the primary focus of our time.
Sometimes, we just need a day to unplug from everyone else; to let go of the expectations of home and work, and just be.
When those days hit, it’s helpful to have some ideas in mind. Here are some ideas for your Alone On Purpose Day. Make it an event! Maybe it’ll turn into your own personal monthly holiday.
Set The Stage
Maybe you aren’t the type of person who needs a plan of action to enjoy yourself. However, for your first ever Alone On Purpose Day, it might be helpful to make a plan so you don’t end up doing chores or something you “should” be doing.
Alone On Purpose Day should not only take you away from other people in your life for the day, it should also take you away from your schedule and the ordinary tasks that you might easily get sucked back into if you stay home and don’t have a plan.
Your unique needs for Alone on Purpose Day must be considered. One of the first questions to ask yourself is “do I need adventure or relaxation?” The answer to this question determines the direction of your day.
If adventure is calling you, try to narrow it down. Is your psyche screaming for a hike in the mountains? A paddle on the river? A trip to an amusement park? Do you need some time on a zipline?
If relaxation is in order, what sounds most appealing? Are you in need of a spa day complete with massage? A day to swim in a heated pool and sip your favorite beverages? Does relaxation mean a day at the beach with your feet buried in the warm sand?
Regardless of your decision, create a day that you look forward to and will reflect back on with joy. Make this Alone On Purpose Day just as important as something you would plan for a loved one; you are worth it! There are many great ideas for you to try, the possibilities are endless.
If your budget is tight, don’t let that discourage you. We tend to forget that not everything we enjoy requires money. There are hundreds of activities you can participate in that require zero dollars and make a lot of sense (sorry, couldn’t resist).
If you do have a modest amount of discretionary funds to play around with, consider treating yourself to a favorite meal, a coveted book or a movie you’ve been wanting to see.
As you engage in these events, genuinely sit with the joy of only having to consult yourself about your preferences.
In most sectors of your life you probably need to poll others around you to decide what movie to see or what restaurant to go to. Alone On Purpose Day defies that usual practice and allows you to make all of the decisions. Because your decision is the only one that matters on AOP Day.
Another important factor for AOP Day is the way you talk to yourself.
Negative self-talk creeps in on most of us from time to time, but on AOP Day it needs to banned.
Observe your thoughts and self-criticisms and make an effort to correct your thoughts if you begin to wander toward negativity.
Make It Memorable
Many people keep scrapbooks or journals about trips, family holidays or fun times with others. How about keeping a journal that commemorates your Alone On Purpose Days? While this may seem strange at first, consider the message you are sending yourself with this simple act.
If you establish your own memory book of AOP Days, this sets it up as being important. A memory book automatically bumps AOP Days into the category of being worthy of special recognition. Add some photos and mementos as a fun way to remember your adventures.
Make This Time Sacred
Just like other elements of self-care, it would be easy to allow our sacred Alone On Purpose Days to be filled up with other responsibilities.
Why is it that we are so willing to give away the most important, life affirming parts of our time to satisfy others?
Self-care is always the first to go. Whether being sapped away by work-related tasks, demands of family, friends or other good causes, time alone gets whisked away as quickly as healthy sleep habits, exercise and plans to eat healthy. When it comes to AOP Day, you may need to get a bit more possessive of your time.
Set a regularly standing date for your alone days, whether it is weekly, monthly or even quarterly. Get a little selfish about it. You are the only one who can prioritize this time, and that may require a commitment to yourself at the temporary inconvenience of others. It may feel awkward at first, but once you begin to make your own wellness a priority, it becomes a lifeline.
Become Your Own Best Friend
As your AOP Days become a regular habit, you will probably find yourself counting down the days until the next one. Friendships are crucial aspects of our lives but learning to be our own best friend is priceless. When we embrace our time alone and use it with intention for self-care, it enables us to return to our regularly scheduled lives with new perspective and compassion.
Talk About It
Initially, it may feel strange to tell others about your Alone On Purpose Days. Our culture has strange ideas about what being alone “means” and that may not feel particularly helpful. By talking about your AOP Days with loved ones, you are de-stigmatizing alone time and establishing it as a realistic priority in your self-care. Your bravery in sharing details of your AOP Days may just inspire someone else to take the plunge and treat themselves to a day of much-needed solitude.