The Importance of Being Alone
Tired, overstimulated, worn-down, anti-social. This is how I feel when I don’t have alone time.
A few months ago, I spoke at Florabundance Design Days. I LOVE getting to speak to fellow floral designers and business owners. At Florabundance, I got to see industry friends, meet Bloomers, and even participate in demonstrations from some of my favorite designers. What’s better than that?
But it is possible to have too much of a good thing. I’m now thirty-seven, and I know myself pretty well. I know that if I spend all day every day around other people, I’m going to crash and burn out.
At my core, I’m an outgoing introvert. While I love being around people, I need time alone to refuel and recharge. Maybe some of you can relate! The push and pull of wanting to be around people but needing time alone can make me a little crazy! And whether it’s a work conference, a party, or a holiday weekend with family, special occasions can be some of the hardest times to get alone time, and yet they’re probably when we need alone time the most!
Here are some of the ways I made time for myself while I was at the Florabundance conference:
I exercised outside of my hotel each day. This meant I had about an hour of exercise time and driving time as a way to start my day in solitude.
I took meals alone. Not all meals, but if I knew my alone time tank was low, I chose to eat by myself!
I made sure to get good sleep. It’s easy to stay up late chatting when you’re around friends you rarely get to see, but it’s important to me to stay healthy and well-rested. I was hired to speak at the conference, and I knew if I was going to speak excellently, I would need solitude before bed and a full night’s sleep.
I said ‘no’ unapologetically. If someone asked me to grab a coffee or sit down and chat or grab a meal, and I could tell that I wouldn’t be able to be fully present because I needed some alone time, I would graciously say no! People deserve you at your best, and if that’s not something you can offer, you owe it to yourself to fill yourself back up!
At the end of the day, I love my work because it allows me to be present and engaged for my family. If I come back from a conference completely drained because I didn’t take care of myself in the little ways, then my kids are going to suffer! Since I’ve clearly established my why, I can create firm boundaries to not only keep myself mentally and emotionally healthy. This also enables me to be my best when I am engaging with others.