Words: Christie Leigh Babirad
Photo credit: Amanda Large, Bella Grace Issue 3
When I was little, I built forts with my brother, whether it was in the living room with chairs put together and blankets for a roof, or in the backseat of the car on long trips, setting up the blanket as our creative wall between us. I had my space, and he had his.
We may not have survived those trips with all the fire and dreams inside of us if we weren’t able to be alone! It’s no surprise that when we would arrive home from these trips, we would dash out of the car, grabbing all the stuff we accumulated, and we were already on our way to doing or pursuing whatever was turning in our heads on the drive — like the birth of my detective agency, or my act for the elementary school talent show.
I don’t know why there is such a stigma or fear with having alone time as we get older, and yet we crave it all the while. Alone time is right! Alone time can be magical!
Now read carefully, because I’m about to give you THE SECRET to creating your own “me” time.
The secret to carving out your alone time is making alone time a requirement in your day. It’s about finding home inside of you — finding out what you love deep down, and pulling that up each day. Here’s what you can do to find home and carve out your own special pocket of alone time:
1. Wake up early. If your work day starts very early, it’s good to make a habit of setting your alarm for at least one hour before you need to physically get started.
2. Make a car-specific music playlist or take a quiet drive to your destination. Let your mind wander, and once again, find home in its wanderings. Think about where you’re at and what you’re doing. Does it reflect your life positively? If it does not, what else would you like to do? Consider your options and open your mind to the bigger picture. Think. Dream. Believe. Appreciate.
3. Spend the night in. We don’t always need to be going out and staying forever overscheduled. In doing this, you’re ultimately not creating order in your heart. Put on those favorite pajamas, get cozy in a comfortable chair, and reflect back on all that you loved as a child. Why not go back and reminisce a little? It’s still who you are. Go ahead, put on Full House, and binge watch a little — “You got it, dude!”
4. Color! Coloring is great for relaxation, and freeing your mind.
5. Pick up an instrument you haven’t played in a while, paint, write, try out a new poetry style, or revisit a favorite book.
6. Take yourself out on a date. Go to your favorite café with your art, or book in tow, or to a museum, or the park, or wherever you would like. It’s your date, so put on a favorite outfit, and revel in all that you are, and all that you love!
7. Put aside some time at work to be alone. Make the most of your lunch break by finding a quiet corner where you will be undisturbed. Even if it is just a fifteen minute break, let the quiet enter you. Meditate, reflect, and use the time for YOU!
Home can be found no matter where you go. Whether you are at home or out, the mind gets busy. Home is always there inside of you, but it needs to have attention, like any relationship. Your fort needs to be built into your daily life — the place you go to where no one else is allowed in but you. It’s a place you can always draw up, and realize all the more that you are unique, special, and you are meant to live a beautiful, magical, and adventurous life!
Christie Leigh Babirad lives in Long Island, New York. Her blog “Living in Dark Blue” with the premise, ‘to be passionately following your heart,’ can be found at christieleigh87.blogspot.com. She welcomes email at [email protected].