I am watching a gardener in a particularly beautiful public park at the start of spring. Alone, he is focused on the task at hand – planting out a wide and impressive border. He looks content, just him and his thoughts, his plants and his intent and I am envious.
In between commuting, busy open plan offices, must-try workout studios and maintaining an enviable online presence, solitude is a scarcity; so rare it seems to be a luxury.
Distinctly different from loneliness – an affliction that affects people nationally – alone time is a restorative, essential way to rebuild yourself and gather your thoughts so you can stride forwards with resilience.
Alone time could mean avoiding burnout. Even the virtual-crowding of incessant emails, unrelenting app alerts, Instagram FOMO you can take its toll.
From a quiet coffee drunk from a beautiful cup or a woodland walk bursting with nature, to booking yourself in to a world-leading spa hotel, investing in alone time is a luxury we can all embrace.
So where do you start, and what kind of alone do you personally need for it to feel like a treat?
Alone time for beginners - a few ideas:
- Book a solitary table at a restaurant and care not what people may or may not think.
- Switch off your app and phone alerts and hide it from yourself for at least a moment. You can’t take your phone swimming, so that’s an ideal activity.
- Find a safe space where you can walk in peace with your own thoughts like one of the secret green spaces we love around UK cities.
- Uncover the activity you love to do and pursue it so your alone time is filled with something you love, you won't feel lonely garunteed.
- Find your ideal coffee shop and get there early for your favourite brew.
- Read a book. Basic, but brilliant.
The alone time we dream of:
- Float at The London Floatation Centre or Nirvana Spa in Berkshire’s Celestial floatation pool.
- Take a lesson in serenity at The School of Life before booking yourself some time to yourself.
- Book a restful retreat. Yes, other people will be there but you can retreat to your own company at the end of the day.
- Book into a tree house and forest bath in France.
- Book in to the classic alone time destination - the FX Mayr in Austria – and take “the cure” for a week and hike, diet and exercise your way to serenity.
- Take up one of the growing number of travel options for solo travellers. Abercrombie & Kent don’t charge a single supplement for some of their immersive journeys. A night or more of stargazing in Chile’s Atacama Desert would be ideal.
Main image credit: Andrew Draper on Unsplash