Sharpening a Simple Tool

Sharpening a Simple Tool: Using Alone Time to Your Advantage

It is not a huge leap to consider how stress can have an impact on our lives. If you are looking for ways to calm your mind there are many options out there, but one of those that may be considered quite leftfield, especially in the world of social media, is actually spending time by yourself. For any single parent, this may prove to be something that they actually crave, but solitude has had a bad rap in recent years, not least because of the pandemic. But in addition to this, there have been negative associations with being alone. However, as parents, we can use alone time to our advantage by understanding the benefits and also what we can do to spend time alone in the right ways. Here are some things that you could do to benefit from being by yourself.


The fact is that meditating is one of those things that a lot of people consider to be boring. They require you to sit still and be alone with your thoughts and not many people like this because they may be concerned as to what will actually come up in their minds. But the fact is that meditation is not about sitting cross-legged and going “ommmm”- rather, it’s about getting some clarity. 

Meditation comes in so many different forms, from the traditional to actually doing things that are meditative in practice. For many people out there, they like nothing more than to go for a long drive as this allows them to focus on the road and work through things in their minds. This is something that can give you a lot of benefits, not least because traveling broadens the mind, no matter how little the distance traveled. If you have ever considered using travel to your advantage and if you’ve got the time, there are plenty of options available. From motorbike touring in Ireland to just having a night drive. 

Of course, we don’t always have these opportunities as single parents, but this is why we can start to insert little moments of “meditativeness” into our lives, especially after we’ve dropped our kids off on the school run. Sitting in silence, even for a few minutes can have a major benefit on your frame of mind.


A natural follow-on for meditation; reflecting gives you the opportunity to look at your progress. If you are constantly banging heads with your children, this can eventually wear away at you, and even your abilities as a parent. Make the most of those quiet moments where you have the opportunity to reflect and gain some clarity. Because sometimes, we’ve got to remember that we can veer away from the plan, for good or bad. 

Spending that quiet time reflecting on your progress is an amazing way for you to understand if you are going the right way about things. And if not, how can you get back on track? Many of us need to take the time to reflect on our needs. The reality is that you can spend 10-minutes a day just thinking about those things after the children have gone to sleep. 

Even if you have children that don’t sleep, at the very least you’ve got 10 minutes for yourself to think about the things that you and your family deserve.

Writing in a Journal

There are so many benefits to journal writing because it doesn’t just boost your creativity but gives you the opportunity to fine-tune your mental well-being. Writing in a journal at least once a week gives you the opportunity to have that conversation with your mind. 

Some people feel stuck in their heads, and this means they don’t have that opportunity to vent and put things out into the world where they can really understand that what they are thinking is just random thoughts with no real substance. 

Sometimes, we may believe that we’re not doing a good job as a parent because we’ve had a bad day, but this is something that has been referred to in other areas as the “Chimp Brain.” Rather than providing a detailed analysis of what the Chimp Brain is, there is an amazing book out there called “The Chimp Paradox” that can shed light on the situation. The fact is that if you want to be a good parent, it’s just that sometimes your ingrained primitive brain steps in the way. 

But when you write in a journal, it gives you the opportunity to feel out your emotions, good and bad, and every time you do it, you are always going to feel much better having undergone that practice of purging your thoughts.

Paying Attention to Your Emotions

Parents all over the world can feel like they are stuck on one setting. When they are on the go constantly, there is never the opportunity to check in with themselves. Spending time by yourself is an amazing way for you to check in with yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally. We check in with the people we care about, so why don’t we do the same with ourselves? 

Because the fact is that if we don’t understand our emotions and our well-being, are we actually going to benefit? Having those little opportunities to pay attention to how you are feeling can do so much. Doing this just before you go to sleep can help you to shed the stresses of the day, but it can also help you to get a head start on tomorrow. 

Sometimes when we are on the go constantly, we don’t take those opportunities to stop and reflect on how we are feeling. There are plenty of people that have that stiff upper lip attitude, however, when we are constantly on the go and we are pushing ourselves beyond our emotional limits, something will have to give.

We all need that alone time on occasion. Rather than it being something negative where you are being a “loser” of sorts, think about using alone time to your advantage. There are plenty of benefits to doing it, and in addition to all these, the fact is that learning to be by yourself can really sharpen that resilience within yourself. This is naturally something that we want to pass on to our children, so why don’t you start sharpening that tool?