Everyone needs to be alone sometimes, and when you’re a parent that alone time is even more important (and even more precious) than ever before. Spending some time alone, away from the stresses and strains of normal life, means that when we return to that normal life, we return refreshed and happier, and more able to parent successfully. So if you have been granted some all-important alone time, just what should you do with it?
No matter how long or short a time you have on your own, switching off is essential. That doesn’t just mean allowing yourself to relax (although this is important); it means turning off your smartphone and tablet, not looking at your laptop, and just staying away from social media in all its forms. You need this time to relax, and although you might enjoy scrolling through Twitter and Instagram, or posting on Facebook, it can actually be bad for your mental health. There is no way to predict what you are going to see or read, and it might be that you find yourself becoming more stressed and upset than you were when you started your alone time. To ensure this doesn’t happen, switch off.
Do Your Thing
Everyone has one thing that they like to do that their friends or partners aren’t really into. Whatever that thing is, you can use your alone time to enjoy it. If you have a little more time, such as a few days, you can organise fan travel and go see your favourite sports team play, or even go to the Super Bowl if the idea sounds right. You might take the time to go fishing or to do some art. You could listen to your favourite album all the way through or watch a movie that no one else in your household likes. Maybe you’ll just go for a walk-in nature. If there is something you love to do, and you love to do it alone, this is your chance.
When we’re busy with normal life, there isn’t much time to think about the future, unless we’re worrying about it. When we have alone time, we can finally settle down and make some plans. They might be short-term and involve fixing up the house or working out next week’s grocery list. Alternatively, they might be longer term, such as where you will head for your next vacation and how to save up for it. Or they could be huge, life-changing plans such as whether or not you are really enjoying your work and determining if a new job or completely new career would be for the best. These plans don’t have to be set in stone; it is the act of making them and getting things organised that really count. Although, if you do want to follow up on them, don’t let your fears stop you.
Get Stuff Done
Finally, alone time doesn’t have to be about relaxing or winding down; it can just be about not thinking of anything but the present, and finally getting stuff done that you have meant to do for months (or maybe years). Repairs around the house, fixing a puncture in a bike’s tire, tidying up the yard, washing the car… all these jobs that go unnoticed and undone can finally be completed.