We live in a 24/7 world. Social media, push notifications, commuting and cable TV mean that we rarely experience the moments of protracted silence that previous generations were used to as part of their daily routine. At times this can feel like a blessing – there’s always someone there when we want social interaction. However, we may be missing out on some importance psychological down time by not spending time alone.
As such, it’s important to try and carve out “me” time every so often. Trappist monk Thomas Merton advises that “We cannot see things in perspective until we cease to hug them to our bosom.” It’s a view that scientists are increasingly echoing. Jack Fong, a sociologist who has studied solitude at California State Polytechnic University, believes that solitude helps us to find out more about who we are and how we fit in to the hectic social world around us.
Research has shown that solitude can allow you to reboot your brain and relax, free from the constant social pressures of daily life. The experience of being alone can serve to revitalize us, whether it’s escaping the pressures of work, family life or a busy social calendar. Of course, solitude doesn’t mean retreating to a mountain cave for a year to live like a hermit. Making a point of having a solo night in is a good start. In that vein, here are three ideas for enjoying a night of alone time to help you recharge.
Learn a dance routine
If you’ve ever fancied shaking your booty like Beyonce on the dancefloor but not been sure where to start, spending an evening learning a dance routine can be a great way to refresh your mind while also enjoying a healthy dose of exercise. Fitness should be fun, and learning to strut your stuff in front of a music video in the privacy of your own home can be a great way to pick up some new moves and also stay in shape. Plus, you can impress your friends with your new-found skills next time you enjoy an evening out!
Hit the poker tables
When it comes to playing poker, staying in is definitely the new going out. Online poker sites mean that you can hit the poker tables on PC, Mac or mobile whenever you choose, enjoying anything from a quick game to an intense tournament that will allow you to lose yourself in the moment and forget about the strains of modern life.
Studies have shown a clear link between gambling and increased happiness levels. As such, an evening spent testing out your skills at the online tables can be a great way to unwind and also to boost your mood. Of course, there’s always the chance that you could win big, too!
Binge watch like a teenager
Do you have fond memories of slobbing about in your pyjamas as a teenager, binge watching TV shows with a giant bowl of popcorn? Well, there’s absolutely no reason not to recreate the experience now. Spend an evening with your phone switched off and a great series in which to immerse yourself for the ultimate switch off for your mind. Your chores and responsibilities will still be there tomorrow, so swerve them for a night and face them with renewed enthusiasm in the morning, after reaping the benefits of a whole evening of delicious alone time.