How to appreciate the beauty of being alone

You don't spend enough time with yourself

Hey there, happy Sunday and thanks for opening this week’s newsletter. ☺️

Sometimes the universe (here I go again with the “universe” talk 🪐) knows exactly what you need right when you need it. In my case, after spending a week in Jamaica and going to Carnival, guess what the universe decided to give me?

COVID-19.

Yep.

In 2024. 😷🤒

I say the universe gave me what I need when I needed it, because honestly, I needed the rest. I landed on Monday night and went straight back to work on Tuesday, but by Thursday, I began to feel sick. I ended up having to take the whole following week off work, and it was a period of necessary (ofc) recovery but also rest.

What I did during my second lapse of COVID

By day 5 from when I tested positive, I was feeling well enough to get out of bed, and I decided to go for a 2-mile walk along the the nearby lake. Of course, because I had COVID, I went alone. 🚶🏻‍♂️

A few weeks before, I had gotten into the habit with my grandma of going for 2-mile walks around the lake. They were peaceful and reflective walks, and such great quality time spent together. I don’t think there have been many times when I knew I was actively creating core memories, but for sure that was one.

In fact, I usually run those trails around the lake, not walk them. I had only walked around it once with some friends last year summer, but since then, I’ve pretty much only used the trails for marathon training. I know those trails as if they were like a stadium track. 🏃🏻‍♂️

On my first walk alone, I found such peace in just being able to be in nature, take in the environment and be present in that moment. So I’ve walked alone around those trails pretty much every single day since then. And every day, it’s been a brand new, refreshing experience.

The Beauty of Being Alone 🧍‍♂️

If you know me, you know I love people. You know I love surrounding myself with good people and enjoy hanging out with my friends and meeting new people all the time.

And you know what?

People like me sometimes neglect the fact that it’s important to be alone sometimes. The extrovert in me seems to drive the boat, while the introvert in me just takes a back seat. 🪑

In fact, I think about this pretty often, because I’ll never forget when I first told one of my friends that I once had some alone time and that it felt really good, and she said to me “I literally do that every day”. For some reason, I remember feeling so surprised that what was something special for me was something so “everyday” for someone else.

It’s easy to assume that people are all similar in some ways that we really are not.

☝🏼So I want to acknowledge my introverted readers here - you are seen! 🥰 

Don’t roll your eyes at this part! 🙄😂

But as I was saying, I’ve found the peace and beauty in spending time alone. On my walks, I was able to think deeply and clearly about many things, ranging from as productive my newsletter topics to as aloof as how grateful we should be as humans to have the earth.

Better yet, sometimes I would stop walking after a mile, sit on a bench and just take in the nature around me. Phone on DND, nobody else to crowd my thoughts - just me existing in the world I exist in. 📴🌎

That experience is always so human. The experience of taking away the screens, the constant dopamine hits, the constant search for the next piece of content and the next source of stimulation and constant over-communication. 🤳🏻📵

Someone reminded me that back in the day, humans didn’t have access to one another the way that we do today, and our brains haven’t evolved as quickly as communicative technology has. So being able to disconnect from everyone and be alone for some time is something that just feels natural, because that was a big part of life for our evolutionary ancestors.

In this world of overstimulation, being alone and removing all those things that tickle the brain on a minute-by-minute basis unlocks a refreshing personal experience of peace. 🧘‍♂️

Try being alone intentionally

When I talk about being alone, of course, I have lots of alone time throughout my day that I’m just not around other people. If you don’t, I don’t know how you haven’t gone mad.

When I talk about the beauty of being alone, I’m really referring to the beauty of being alone intentionally.

I mean taking the time to do something for yourself; remembering to take care of yourself, your mental and physical health, and being alone with just yourself and your thoughts. 🧠💭

That’s when I’ve found real meaning in being alone.

Don’t wait on others to do things with you

There’s beauty in being alone, and there’s even more power in being able to do things alone. Going for a walk alone is one thing, but I’ve really found joy in just doing mundane activities alone. Whether that means eating a meal alone at a restaurant, going to the mall alone or going to pottery class by yourself (like I did yesterday), doing things on your own is the next step of self-comfort.

I could write a whole other article on that, though.

Subscribe and stay tuned? Maybe I will. 🤔☺️

Conclusion

Going for walks on my own in the past week has been a lesson in appreciating the little things in life. It’s been a lesson in appreciating the value in being with yourself and doing something so basic, but so human - just experiencing nature. ☀️🌴🌊

In a world where so many of us are confined to an office or a screen for so many hours of our lives, taking the time out to be alone with yourself, especially in nature, is such a welcome relief to the stress of daily life that often consumes us.

And the best part? It’s free. 🤑💸

Being alone, and being alone intentionally means creating the space that you need as a human to let your thoughts be heard (by you). It allows you to give yourself some space away from others and focus on who you are and what you want for yourself. It allows you to have an inner dialogue, and to figure out who you are.

We get to know our best friends by spending hours in deep conversation and connecting with them over long periods of time.

So my challenge to you this week is this:

Become your own best friend.

Spend some time with yourself.

Get to know you, and get to love you.

Learning self-love and self-care works wonders for the soul and will improve the relationships you have with the people around you too. 🫂

So go put yourself on the calendar! What are you waiting for? ☺️

Until next Sunday,
Justin

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