Tag Archives: connections

Alone Time

By Nancy S Buck, PhD, RN

How did you spend your time yesterday? What’s on your “to do” list for today? Do you consider yourself to be a busy, hurried and harried person or is relaxed, slow and steady a more apt description?

Nether of the above approaches to your days and life is better than the other. In fact, if you are a high energy hare-type person attempting to handle life as a tortoise you may increase your level of stress.

But with either of these life styles the chances are that your life is very full. Your obligations include work, your many relationships, time and energy spent on maintaining your physical and mental health, and hopefully hobbies and other entertaining activities. In the midst of all of this, how much time do you spend alone?

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Let’s clarify that question. How much time do you spend alone without looking at or interacting with a screen? Do you spend any time during your day alone, without looking at your phone, electronic pad, television, or computer screen? Do you ever sit on a park bench simply watching what there is to see? The activities could include other park visitors, children playing, squirrels scampering, birds flying or ducks and pigeons foraging. And if not the park, you could sit at the mall, the lake or beach, community garden, or even your own porch, back yard, or living room.

You don’t need to meditate to gain the benefits of spending time in solitude every day. At first it may feel strange and uncomfortable. But the more you practice quiet reverie the more you may begin a journey into unknown parts of yourself. Nothing profound needs to happen, and yet it might. At the very least taking this time away, time alone for solitary time out may very well  rejuvenate, revitalize and replenish your personal imaginings and even your soul cravings.

The surest way to hear the soft strains of harmony is in the Silence.                                                                                          —      Sarah Ban Breathnach

Try seeking the love, belonging, and connections you desire by spending time every day alone, in solitude. Incorporating this simple yet challenging practice into your life may very well improve your Mental Health & Happiness.

Expectations or “Acceptations” my life as a bumper car!

By Dr. Ken Larsen

I have noticed a growing awareness of our need to be connected. We need the life that flows within and between us in relationships.   Yet with this growing awareness, I wonder if many of us don’t see this as something that “they” need to deal with. I’m going to suggest that this is something that “we” and “I” need to deal with. I need to learn better ways of touching the lives of others, if not for my sake, then for the sake of the other. Loneliness within our culture has risen to the level of an epidemic. What can I do to help?

Even though we know we need one another for our mental health and happiness, many of us connect with one another about as well as bumper cars connect. We approach, we come close and then we bounce off.

As we choose to come to a place of wanting to make some changes in order to meet our need for love and belonging, we need to have a plan for “what” we can do differently.

One way to change would be to takbumpercare a look at how our expectations of others cause us to withdraw rather than connect.

If I have a mental picture of who you “should” be in relationship to who I want you to be, and then you don’t live up to my expectation, we bounce away. Both parties can sense what is happening. The other sees subtle cues in the ways I express myself in body language, facial expression and in words. There is an awareness that we don’t measure up that may not find itself into consciousness, but it is there.

First of all, this is not fair to one another. How can I possibly be who you want me to be. I can only be me. If you accept me for who I am, and if I accept you for who you are, we can at least avoid bumping off each other and who knows, we might even find something in one another that is good and interesting and that brings us closer to one another.

I’m trying out a new word to express this shift. Instead of “expectations” let’s work on “acceptations.”