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alone time — the best form of self-care



What do you feel when you hear the phrase “alone time”?


For me, it’s excitement. I love spending time alone, and think it’s the greatest luxury. I’m really good at spending alone time so I’ll share with you how I like to spend it.


It’s my favourite thing to spend the night before the weekend alone. In the bath, I plan the things I want to do the following day, and imagine the soft sunlight that will stream through the windows in the morning. I can make all the decisions that make up my day. I can sleep as many hours as I want, but I choose to wake up early. In the morning, I head to my favourite local café and relax drinking a hot coffee. What should I have for lunch? Should I go to the hairdresser that I’ve been curious about? Digging for hidden gems at the thrift shop also sounds fun. Just thinking about my plans excites me. On the day of, you can start your day how you planned; or you can choose to do something else if you don’t feel like it anymore. I often hear people say that they feel guilty when they spent most of the day sleeping, but I think there’s no need to feel guilt for that. It’s not harming anyone else, so you should accept that you slept as a form of self-care. Listen to your heart, be gentle with yourself and tell yourself “I guess I was really tired today.”


I think the best part of alone time is that you can take time for yourself, and yourself only. There’s no need to consider others’ feelings. There’s no saying “I have to do this thing.” You can make yourself happy. I think in daily life, there are a lot of times that you can’t spend as you wish. When you become a working member of society, even if your heart pleads with you saying “I don’t want to go to work today,” you can’t simply skip work. If you made plans with a friend, you probably wouldn’t flake on them even if you didn’t really feel like going. Like in these situations, there are many times where putting your feelings first can create an inconvenience for people. And as you spend your days like that, you can find yourself spending every day ignoring what your heart wants. That’s why I think it’s really important for people to find the time to be alone and listen to themselves.


Maybe there are some of you who don’t know what it is that their heart wants. I was like that too until a few years ago -- I would be uneasy when I was alone, and had no idea what to do in my alone time. I would end up blankly staring at social media and feel guilty for wasting my time. This changed three years ago; when I was struggling with issues with my colleagues at my workplace as a new employee. I couldn’t be optimistic and I would go out with friends when I had any free time because I didn’t like how I would get depressed when I was alone. But when your heart feels unstable, empty, and you try to fill that hole with work or friends, the only things that come out your mouth are negative things. Even though I was trying to have fun with my friends to take my mind off the things that were bothering me, the darkness in my heart would just come out in my words. When it was time for goodbyes, my friends and family always seemed weighed down and fed up because of my pessimistic words and mood. It made me realize that if I continued to be like this, I would lose the people I hold dear. That was what made me want to be able to regulate my feelings and heart by myself.


I tried to look for answers to my negativity in books about coaching, self-care, and psychology. What I found out was that I needed to become my own best friend. I practiced dealing with my own struggles, and giving advice to myself. It’s something that requires patience but once you get used to it you become able to have more control over yourself. You start to figure out what to do when you feel a certain way. You become able to soothe your own mental and emotional exhaustion that arise from the things that are required of you. It’s like giving a lymphatic drainage massage to your heart. I’ll share more details on how to become your own best friend in another article.



Since I became able to take care of myself, as long as I can have alone time I am able to overcome most struggles by myself. I think it also made me realize that I lack time for myself. However, recently I have started to face another issue: alone time becomes harder and harder to get as you get older. For me, my work and my time off work have become so busy that it’s harder to get time to myself compared to before and I make excuses for myself. But those busy times are when it is most important to listen to your heart and take care of yourself. If you don’t, the bottled up negativity and stress can affect your physical health.


I’d like to share how I spend time to myself during those busy times. Firstly, whenever I have free time, I read a magazine or book. If I have longer, I watch a movie. Thinking, “Alright, time to spend time alone. Where should I begin?” might make it difficult to start so that’s why I start with a magazine, book, or movie as something I can easily begin. And if something in it inspires me, or I think of something I want to do, I note it down. Then I start writing even more, writing about things that excite me and perhaps a list of things I want to do on the next weekend. Doing this made me naturally able to listen to myself.

1人の時間のおすすめのコンテンツを少し紹介すると、NETFLIXのコメディードラマ『GIRLBOSS ガールボス』は、サントラやストーリーのテンポが良いし、スタイリングやインテリアがすごく可愛いからおすすめ。あとは、YouTubeのVOGUEチャンネルにある『Daniel Arnold’s New York』という動画やAudrie Stormeのチャンネルの動画は、どれも世界観が素敵なのでインスピレーションがたくさん得られる。あともう1つ紹介したいのが「&Premium」という雑誌の2019年8月号の「1人時間のすすめ」という特集。これは「1人で過ごすことのプロ」の人たちのおすすめの過ごし方やスポットなどが紹介されていて好き。こうしていろんなインスピレーションに触れながら、ノートを開いてみると、自分の日常に少し変化をつけたくなったりしてワクワクする。こんな感じで私はどんどん1人の世界を豊かにできるようにしてる。

I’d like to share a few recommendations on how to spend your alone time. The show Girlboss on Netflix has great pacing and soundtrack, and the costume and set design is super cute. On YouTube, the video “Daniel Arnold’s New York” on Vogue’s Youtube channel and Audrie Storme’s videos have beautiful worldviews which I’m sure will inspire you. One more thing I’d like to tell you about is the 2019 August issue of &Premium magazine titled “Alone time is important”. It features recommendations on things to do and places to visit by “the pros of spending time alone”. When I open my notebook when I feel inspired, I feel compelled to spice up my day. That’s what I do to try to keep my world exciting.


When your feelings get rocky, or when you get anxious for no reason, take it as a sign that you aren’t getting enough alone time! Spending time on yourself will soothe your heart.


How do you like to spend alone time?

Images and Illustration by Yuka

English Translated by Kiara

Edited by Eli, Kiara and Hikari

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