In the past I always had trouble with doing things just for me, you know, those little things that can make you feel selfish because you shouldn’t be ‘wasting money’ or ‘wasting time’ on anything involving just you.

I never followed through with things I desperately wanted or at times needed, because I was meant to be saving for my dream house, or always taking on another client to work more, or studying, or choosing time with my partner or family, but never alone time. Never choosing me.

Yes it sounds obvious but ‘me’ time just wasn’t on my radar. So I said no to weekends away when I was feeling burnt out, no to going out for dinner with friends, no to yoga so I could go straight home after a big day, no to buying new things, no to massages or facials or any extravagant treatments. No to going to new classes because I could just train myself. Because all of those things were just a waste of money/time and wouldn’t really benefit me right?

Well, I was wrong.

Learning to take time solely for me has been the missing piece of the puzzle to help balance my sometimes hectic life. It has been the difference between being stress or organized, working or failing and happy or depressed.

But as I’ve learnt… its actually difficult to still take time out and relax even when you have set out to do so. There’s social media, pets, maybe kids, dirty dishes – so many things to distract us from getting down and chilling! My biggest distraction at the moment is gadgets. Anything with an apple on it is always within my reach. Ipad, iPhone, Laptop – all being used while reading a nutritional book on chemistry and hormones and watching Sons Of Anarchy.

Let’s just say the last time I tried to disconnect for  ‘social media free Sunday’ I made it to 3pm… It is a working progress!

I have also stopped trying to please everyone, saying yes to everything and just going along with the flow when I really want to be swimming the other way.

We’re all guilty of it at some point – saying yes always and putting others first.

Are you giving yourself the time you deserve? Do you take time to listen to yourself? Do you have time to appreciate the simple but awesome pleasures of life? Do you take time to give yourself a treat and just show yourself how special and wonderful you are? Find time for all these things. It will help you in achieving your dreams more than always being busy will.

J.A Hadfield attributed greatness to the ability to rest in saying: “This art of resting the mind and the power of dismissing from it all care and worry is probably one of the secrets of energy in our great men.”

Here is a list of what has been helping me learn the art of solitude:

  • Take a ‘mental health day’ off work and spend the day at home all alone – bliss!!
  • Book in a massage/facial/reflexology/ Kinesiology session
  • Take the pup for a walk along the coast or different neighbourhood and be in complete silence for the hour
  • Buy flowers and place in jars throughout the house
  • Spontaneous weekends away
  • A solid workout
  • Morning writing (it doesn’t even have to make sense, just write)
  • Preparing for your week ahead – food shop, cook what you want to eat, schedule in workouts – revolved everything around you but schedule it in like everything else
  • Going to the markets to get my veggies – something about this makes me feel very zen!
  • Kick everyone out of the house for some solitude time – even if it is just enough to listen to your fave music, have a bath, watch a lame movie or sit in silence.
  • Make a beautiful pot of herbal tea and sip it in the sun
  • Wear an amazing outfit. Don’t you feel instantly better?
  • Make my ‘Soothe Me Smoothie’ recipe here
  • Outsource – this is something that I haven’t done yet but will look into too. A cleaner once a fortnight can save you a lot of time and heartache!!
  • Limit your media consumptions… … because your brain can only process a limited amount of information. When you need your focus to be on work, don’t overflow your brain with tv news, newspapers, magazines and books.
  • Meditate – again, something I have to get back into. Just make the time for 5 minutes to start with and grow it from there.

Here are a few more reasons to seek solitude:

Turbocharge your creativity: Studies show we’re more creative on our own. Many famous creatives credit alone time for helping them come up with winning ideas. Take time out, switch off your phone and let your mind wander. Let your creativity flourish.

Get a fresh perspective: Feel as though life is about ticking off endless items on a giant ‘to do’ list? Then write yourself a prescription for solitude! Taking time out to think about why you do what you do and what you really want to accomplish takes you out of the daily grind and into your inner world. A quiet place where answers often present themselves in the most subtle way.

What’s your favourite ways to recharge and ensure you get enough ‘you’ time? Comment below.

Lee x