Hi Self, Nice to Meet You

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I enjoy being alone sometimes. I love silence, but I also appreciate noise — like being alone in a crowded room.  Something about being alone brings me back to center.  It resets me, especially if I’m listening to a song; music really brings me back to who I am.  Being by myself slows me down, and allows my mind to be still with solitude, but at the same time busy with clarity.

Photo by Studio Eiler @studioeiler

I’ve spent a lot of time alone, but not truly alone. What I mean by this is that I always have something on my mind when I have an opportunity to take a break from life’s daily demands and my work schedule.  What am I having for dinner tonight? When am I going to have time to work out? What’s happening a week from now? Or, I’m wondering what exactly I should be doing with myself instead of just enjoying the fact that I have this completely open moment. Other times I might be on my phone engaged with the social media world. I realized that I am rarely just alone with my thoughts and if I am, I usually push them out of the way. I think that there has to be something more important that I should be doing in this moment. I mean, I’m with myself all of the time, right? There is too much to do rather than just sit here and listen to my thoughts.

What I didn’t realize is that for so long I was ignoring the thoughts and feelings of the person who actually controls my life: me.

I think we should all spend moments alone sometimes.  I know its hard in our busy lives, but I believe it’s truly important.  We are wired to always be connected to something … but what about being connected to ourselves?

Spending some time with yourself might be just what you need to see the light

It’s not selfish to take time for yourself when you need it (or even when you don’t necessarily need it!)  In fact, I think it’s one of the most important things that we can do to ensure self care, and it’s one of the most essential parts of any relationship.  Spending time with yourself and your thoughts every now and then can be the rejuvenation we need in this busy life.

Just….Be

I think so often we feel that when we have alone time we need to be filling it with something, especially if we don’t have the opportunity to be alone very often.  I want to challenge you to not necessarily have something set that you are going to do when you have a moment to yourself.  Be mindful of how you feel and what your mind is telling you.  Turn off the chaos of life and tune into the chaos of your mind.  What is it thinking when you have a moment of solitude? I will be taking this challenge along with you!

Find Your Voice

When you spend time alone, your voice is dominant. There are no other influences in the picture, and you have an opportunity to reset and make decisions based on what your are truly feeling in your heart. If there is something that is bothering me or a problem that I am trying to solve, I have the most clarity and resolution when I am free of distraction and the demands of the day. Sometimes I am able to have this time on my commute home from work each day, or sometimes I take time to go on a walk around the block or a solo run in order to reset and allow my true thoughts and feelings to surface.  I don’t think it matters what you do to have this time to yourself; everyone has their own activities that they like to do in order to think or solve a problem.  I think that it’s more about being mindful of when you need to take this time for yourself, and actually taking it in that moment if you are able.

Embrace The Crowded Room

I have created some of the most amazing memories with my friends, but what happens when you venture out on your own and create memories with yourself? I personally have this terrible habit of getting out my phone and occupying my eyes and my time with pretty much anything on my screen when I walk into an experience by myself. If I’m meeting a friend for dinner and they have not arrived yet, I get out my phone. If I am waiting at the doctor’s office, I get out my phone. If I’m in an elevator with a few other people, my first instinct is to get out my phone.  Being alone with strangers can be uncomfortable sometimes.

I was actually inspired to write this post by a woman who Chuck (my husband) and I saw at a restaurant a couple of weeks ago. This woman sat down a few minutes after we did at a table by herself. She then proceeded to order the most delicious looking martini and an appetizer which she ate happily as she gazed out at the city from her patio seat. She chatted it up with the waitress a couple of times, but other than that she was completely solo. The most impressive part was that I only saw her get her phone out once for a quick glance. Now I have no idea what her story was, but what I do know is that she essentially had a date with herself and from the looks of it had a very pleasant time without needing distraction or other entertainment.

The point of this story is to remind ourselves that we can make amazing memories when we are by ourselves, whether it is in the comfort of your home, or in a crowded room. When you are experiencing something alone, whether it be a concert, a dinner, a walk on the beach, traveling, or simply going into a store and shopping, truly take in the experience and make a memory.  When you are alone, it’s an opportunity to be free of distraction, to focus on what you’re doing and the scenery around you, and to make a memorable experience, just as you would if you were with a friend!

Create

Solitude of the mind allows creativity to flow.  When you are by yourself, it’s easy to become inspired in what you see, in what you are feeling, or in a thought. Whether it’s cooking, making music, writing, painting, crafting, decorating, or whatever your favorite creative outlet may be, find inspiration during that time when you are alone at home or out and about by yourself and run with it, even if it’s not in that very moment.  Write your ideas down and come back to them later, but don’t lose those creative thoughts that come to you in those moments!

Thank Yourself, Love Yourself

When you have a moment to spend by yourself, live in it fully. I have found through my personal journey towards self love that being alone with yourself and loving that person you are is key. Thank yourself for your company, and appreciate your thoughts, feelings and emotions. While it might feel uncomfortable to show yourself this much gratitude, I have found that showing myself appreciation and accepting myself for who I am only strengthens my relationships in my life. It all starts with you.

Take time to get to know yourself, just as you would take the time to get to know a friend. Get to know your joys, your fears, what makes you feel every emotion, and what you love in life. I mean truly get to know who you are and celebrate every piece. And then love every piece unconditionally, despite the flaws you uncover, the things you wish you could change, the everyday battles, the regrets you may have from a past life. Because when you know that you are always there to pick yourself up, nothing can ever keep you down.

We can learn a lot from the people in our lives, and it’s true that life is sweeter when we form close bonds and relationships. But remember to include yourself in this equation!  Make time to learn, listen, and simply be … with yourself.

Wishing you zest & light,
Stephanie =)

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50 thoughts on “Hi Self, Nice to Meet You

    1. Mine too, Stephanie! Alone time is definitely so important for our mental health. Thanks so much for reading!!

  1. Beautifully written post about loving yourself. Women, especially, forget to do this. I cherish my alone time. I used to feel guilty for craving it, but now I don’t. I am retired, and traveling with my hubby with his job, and I have earned that quiet time spent with me! Loved this post!

    1. Thank you, Sylvia! I have also felt very guilty for needing alone time…writing this post and really reflecting on that need is helping me through those thoughts! Congratulations on your retirement! You have definitely earned this time with your husband and yourself! Enjoy every moment! Thanks so much for reading =)

  2. Stephanie,
    I so enjoy your writings! They are thought provoking!
    I love my alone time!
    When the boys were little my alone time was my run when I got home from teaching and before I put on my mom hat! This time allowed me to be the best mom I could!
    Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thank you so much, Judy!! Your feedback means so much!! =) I think it is so great that you took that daily time for yourself when your boys were little. I’m sure after a busy day of teaching that going on a run was a great opportunity for you to get some exercise, and have a moment to yourself so that you could be rejuvenated and energized for your boys! I can definitely relate to wanting a little me-time after spending the day with my school kiddos 😉 Thank you for sharing!!

    1. Yes, Kimberly! I really like that word “centered” and I truly feel like spending time with ourselves can bring us there =) Thanks so much for reading! I am glad you enjoyed!

  3. This is great, and a inspiring. We often forget to care for ourselves, thank ourselves and love ourselves. Your post is a great reminder of the importance of self-love.

    1. Yes, Nailil, we do! Especially with our busy schedules! I’m so happy that you found it inspiring =) We all need to remind ourselves of these things every now and again. Thank you so much for reading and commenting!!

  4. Such great advice. I prefer to be by myself mostly because of anxiety, but also I can be me by myself. I am able to think, read, and find pleasure in things I like to do instead of trying to race against everyone else.

    1. Thanks, Michele! And thank you for being so open. I also have anxious moments and definitely rely on time alone to recharge and reset. It’s important to slow down sometimes and take that time for yourself. Thank you so much for reading my post and commenting =)=)

    1. Absolutely, Shelby! It’s amazing what your mind can create when you allow it to wander! Thank you for reading! =)

    1. Yes, Christie! One of my personal weekly me-time rituals is filling out my planner every Sunday! I can always count on this time to plan and reflect! Thank you so much for reading =)

    1. Thanks so much. Chloe! I definitely agree with you on the importance of having time to stop and reflect, and just check in with yourself every now and again. It’s something that I am continuing to work on myself! Thank you so much for reading!

  5. This is something I definitely needed to read, I don’t think I have been a lone with just my thoughts in forever. I have been on to go lately and when I get time to relax I still think about other little work things.. Thanks for sharing this

    XO-Lisa
    http://www.thatssodarling.com

    1. I have that problem with work too, Lisa. Sometimes when we are so used to being on the go it is so hard to refocus our thoughts and take them off of our work. It is something that I am continuing to work on myself. Thanks so much for reading and commenting! I’m so happy that this post found you at the right time =)

  6. This is such a timely reminder. It’s really difficult to find moments of clarity and solitude – especially for bloggers in my opinion – because there are always a million different things to do and it feels like we constantly have to be “on” and “connected” to succeed in this industry.

    1. It is so hard in the blogging world, Saeja, you are absolutely right. I have been more connected to my phone since I started blogging than ever, just trying to promote my work and respond to others. I love it because I am meeting so many amazing and talented people, but I do need to be mindful of just being in the moment. Thanks so much for reading!!

  7. Great post! I love spending time by myself and in fact, I need it. Each week I make sure to schedule time in for myself. The weeks that I don’t have it I can tell. Thank you for sharing.

    1. That is so great that you schedule that time for your self each week, Chevelle. It’s difficult to do sometimes! I also find that I can tell in my mind and my heart if I haven’t had enough time for myself. I think it’s good that we are mindful these feelings! It’s a great skill to have! Thanks so much for commenting and reading my post =)

  8. This is such a great reminder! The example you used in your post reminds me of a day that I spent in the city taking an afternoon to myself while your dad was at a restaurant convention. We planned on meeting later that day for a bite at a local eatery and as I sat at a table with only an umbrella between the sun and the martini I was enjoying I noticed how remarkably clear the sounds of the city were and that the hum of the conversations around me was enjoyable even though I was unable to clearly understand what was being said. Even the hustle and bustle of people around the space I was in didn’t interfere with my thoughts and experience of being alone in the middle of a crowd. Another one of those snapshots in life that I look at and appreciate from time to time. You continue to inspire me to learn and appreciate it all. Thank you, love you.

    1. I love how you described this scene!! This is exactly the kind of moment I am speaking of in this post, and I think it’s so awesome that you have such a vivid picture of this particular memory. I think that when we are more in tune with our surroundings we do have more vivid memories, and we are able to see our past with more of these details! This reminds me of a quote that says, “The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.” (I can’t remember who said this!) I feel like when we allow ourselves to be in the moment, especially when we are alone, our senses do become sharper, and as a result we are able to appreciate where we are, who we are, and what we are doing in that moment. Thank you so much for reading, mom! Love you!

  9. Lovely post! I’m most definitely an introvert so really relish time on my own. My only issue is to spend time in the outside world sometimes! Thanks for sharing 😊

    1. I’m an introvert too, Jess! I can totally relate to your comment, and I also rely on that alone time to recharge. It took me a while to really understand that about myself, but now that I do, I know exactly what I need to do when I start feeling a little overwhelmed. Thank you for reading and for commenting!

    1. Thank you, Tara!! Yes, I love how alone time resets the mind. Sometimes it’s all we need to have a clear picture of what’s in front of us!

    1. Yes and yes, Kelli! It’s so important to recognize when both of these things are needed, and to take that time. Thank you so much for reading!

    1. Stacey, I love that you have a place that you like to go to eat alone! I do the same thing but with this coffee shop in the city. It’s kind of off the main road and I love going there to eat lunch by myself sometimes and do a little writing. It’s so important to have those spaces for ourselves. Thank you for sharing!

    1. Thank you, Sarah! I will make sure to let my husband know that you enjoy them =) He creates all of my featured photos! Thanks so much for reading my post!

    1. I agree, Catherine. Being comfortable with myself was something I really struggled with for a long time, and something that I’m continuing to work on! Thank you so much for reading and for commenting =)

    1. I always make sure of this too, Sharon. I am also an introvert and totally know what you mean about needing time to rejuvenate. It’s essential when I think about self-care! Thank you for reading my post and sharing your thoughts!

  10. I feel the same way about spending time alone! I really enjoy being by myself in a room full of people. For some reason it makes me feel really calm and relaxed. Glad someone else feels the same way!

    1. Nicole, I can totally relate to feeling calm and relaxed in a room full of people, especially if I don’t know any of the people I’m around. I’ve never really understood it, but I’ve learned to embrace these moments and take in this feeling. Thanks so much for reading, and for commenting!!

    1. Thanks so much, Kelli =) I’m definitely working on being more transparent as a writer, so this feedback means more than you know! Thanks for stopping by Citrus & Sun and for reading my post!!

  11. Love this! Sucha great read about re connecting worh ourselves and just enjoying life with out a device. We really need to ‘unplug’ and just enjoy life thanks so much for this post!

    1. Thank you, Cate! Yes, unpluging is so important, especially when we have time to ourselves. It is so easy to fill that silence and that time with our phones and computers! Thanks so much for reading!!

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