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Stop making excuses about how busy you are! Here are ten simple ideas for ‘me-time’ – to help you fall in love with yourself.
“We live in a fast paced world.”
Yawn! How many times have we heard that? We are all just so busy – work and family and painstaking efforts at making time for friends. And yet – no time for ourselves!
The sad truth is that the only time we make for ourselves is when we are busy with our smartphones. We track FB to see what our friends are up to – liking their check-ins and holiday pictures rather than heading for a vacation ourselves. Or we Instagram pictures of things we admire or appreciate rather than setting out to indulge in the same. But are we truly living – for ourselves?
On a few occasions, I have noticed people sitting alone at cafes – reading a book or just enjoying a meal by themselves. They do not feel the need to constantly check their phones, and appear quite relaxed in their own company as opposed to looking flustered and uncomfortable upon seeing tables around them fully occupied. And the sad truth is that the moment we see an individual out alone, we assume that they are either waiting for someone or must not have friends like we do – who are usually available at a moment’s notice for some fun.
I started venturing out alone and engaging in activities which bring me joy, and I choose to be on my own for these adventures.
Recently, I started venturing out alone and engaging in activities which bring me joy and I choose to be on my own for these adventures. The reason is simply this – I wish to experience and appreciate things around me in every sense possible, without having the burden of keeping up a conversation simultaneously. Also, I enjoy my own company immensely – which is truly a blessing – so I may be alone but am not lonely.
Taking a long drive
Having moved to the driver’s seat recently, there is a sense of calm that comes with driving for a long stretch. I’m all for saving resources like fuel, but once in a blue moon it is absolutely essential for one to head out for a spin, with their favourite playlist on, and the volume cranked up – without having to worry about another’s discomfort at our choice of music or decibel level. More so – driving during the rains. I don’t think I need to state why!
Curling up with a good book
Whether at home or at a favourite café, there is nothing like a great book to stir up our souls. I don’t mean the iPad or Kindle versions but the feel of a paperback and the excitement that stems from turning a page as the plot thickens. What better way to forget one’s worries than by entering another’s world?
Taking yourself out for a meal
Why wait when you crave that tall glass of cold coffee or that thin crust pizza you were dreaming about at work? Instead of ordering in and stuffing it down in front of the telly, head out to a place which tempts your palate. Immerse yourself completely in savouring that dish without the usual armour of a book or you mobile. Seeing the server bring my food to the table causes such glee; whereas now texting and clicking pictures of the food ruins our meal even before we dig in.
Attending an event on your own
As a Delhi girl, I’ve noticed that over the past decade, cultural events are at an all-time high. It is not possible to have our partner or friends enjoy everything that we are interested in, and so, we must head out to experience the things we truly love.
It may be a play, music event, stand-up comedy, art/photography exhibition, a film, a book reading – the options are endless. Taking time out for such activities on our own brings us to a closer understanding of what we like or are good at, and opens a whole range of possibilities for us.
Starting a skill or hobby
No matter what takes up time through the course of the day, we all have our longings – some secret, and others – not so much. For me, it is writing, for which I started to take out time for – and now find that no matter where I am, a pen and paper is all I need! Give in to what you love – photography, biking, trekking, adventure sports, writing food or movie reviews (yes, that too!), painting, dance or Zumba class or even an online study course. Nothing brings more pride than accomplishing something we are passionate about.
Now this takes more dedication than the other pointers. For this, you need to take out a complete weekend – and if you’re lucky, a couple more days. This does not include checking into a hotel for a spa weekend!
I’m talking about hopping onto a train/bus and arriving at a destination which promises serenity and tranquillity, and being able to appreciate nature and the gift of time, where for once, things promise to move at a snail’s pace.
If you can’t delve into the actual practice (for those who find it difficult to do so), meditation may be in various forms, as long as it brings with it a peaceful state of mind. Meditation may be in the form of playing music on the headphones with eyes closed or even staring into space. It could be putting up one’s feet on the balcony ledge on a balmy evening, cup of coffee in hand. It could be dancing for hours in front of the mirror or while cleaning one’s room. Whatever may be the form, those few moments are enough to disconnect and feel silly and happy.
Putting yourself out there – literally!
What better way to spend time alone than by staying healthy and fit? Long walks, a jog around the block, or merely sweating it out in the gym – there isn’t a better way to stop oneself from thinking about one’s worries. Because when your legs are on fire and you’re perspiring like a pig, your only thought is survival!
We know that those around us are suffering or are in pain, and that extending a helping hand can truly go a long way. With the advent of social media one can easily locate people and places around us which support a cause that we strongly believe in.
Volunteering our time and effort is usually all that is required, and if we must spend time on our own, we might as well make an attempt to spend our time in a manner which isn’t always self-serving. Helping others brings us closer to loving ourselves and keeping the spirit of humanity alive.
Take time out to smell the roses
When was the last time you bought flowers for yourself? (yes, you heard that right!) Just because they looked lovely, brought a smile to your face, and even to the little boy who probably made his first sale of the day at the traffic light, instead of begging for money? As much as we think about our work, family, and relationships – we need to stop and breathe in the scent of all that is around us.
I remember a scene from a movie where the protagonist indulges by buying herself little treats while telling her friend that she may not have a man to please her with such goodies, but why should she deprive herself of these joys?
So the next time you feel alone – remind yourself that you already have a friend – YOU. Life’s journey would be incredibly fun and exciting once we make friends with ourselves. As they say – some bonds last forever – this truly will!
Pic credit: Lucid_nightmare (Used under a CC license)
Soul centric and free spirited all the while living life through travel and adrenaline junkie
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