By Victoria Q
I spend plenty of time by myself. In fact, I don’t know if anyone I know spends more time alone than me. At least 85% of my time is spent solo – be it in walking, writing, exercising, reading or thinking.
In the beginning, I felt uncomfortable being alone – the silence makes me feel anxious. I would switch on the TV to kill the silence when I don’t even watch it.
As time goes by, I learnt to enjoy the sound of silence – to sit down quietly and listen to what’s going on around me. Also, I’ve discovered I love the sound of birds chirping. During the past 26 years of my life, I’ve never really sat down and listen to what’s happening around me except the sound of heavy vehicles, TV and talking. Now that I’ve realized the sound of birds chirping was actually so relaxing and calming.
I’ve moved to a house that nearer to nature compared to my previous house which is located nearby busy road. I hardly seen any green tree, let alone hearing the sound of birds chirping.
Now, I’m so in love with my current house, where I can watch the sunrise, staring at the green trees outside of my windows, listening to birds chirping at any time of the day and gazing at the moon at night.
This is a secret of my stress relief method – brew a cup of hot tea, coffee or cocoa (or any hot beverage that you prefer), sit down quietly without any distraction (no phone, no clock ticking or any media sound), look out at the window and focus what’s outside of the window – trees, birds, sky, cloud. Try to focus on what’s going on with your surrounding – how green is the tree, how blue is the sky, what motion is the cloud moving, how many different sounds of birds making. It can be uncomfortable at the beginning, but once you practice more, it’ll be a good way to relieve stress.
Also, I found myself more productive and creative when I’m alone. I able to focus on my tasks on hand and get it done quicker compared to when I’m with somebody.
Even though I’m living in a busy world, I still love having my alone time, and I crave it. However, not everybody feels the same way. I know plenty of people who simply cannot be alone especially at home. They often spend most of their time outside with people be it in the office even when it’s not working hours, hanging out with mates, chit chat in a café and so on. In fact, studies found that some people couldn’t even spend 15 minutes on their own. Seriously. However, there’s no denying that there are many benefits of spending time by yourself.
Depending on individual needs and lifestyles, the balance between alone time and social time will be different. There’s no right amount of solo time we should aim to have. Finding balancing might take some trial and error to figure out the right balance for you and it might not always be the same. During certain times, you might actually need more alone time than usual or vice versa. This also means learning how to make time for yourself despite a busy life.