Tag Archives: obligations

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?


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.

How is your relationship with the natural world?

by Dr. Nancy Buck

Are you happy? Did you start today feeling refreshed, energetic, and smiling in anticipation of all the great things planned and unplanned that are waiting for you this fine day?

Oh did you grumble upon awakening, getting up only once you’ve realized how soon you can get back into bed for a full night’s sleep? Do you crave one more cup of coffee or Red Bull to help you get through one more meeting, obligation or carpool run? At the end of the day do you drink one more glass of wine to help you unwind and relax from all the stress and strain of getting through your day.

Happy? Who has time to stop and contemplate wether you feel happy? You are fully engaged with all the obligations and responsibilities associated with your life hoping that will lead to your happiness. But who knows?

How about doing less? The suggestion is not that you stop everything in your life . Just consider doing less?

But how can you? Everything is an A1 URGENT priority!


Take a look at your calendar. What is on the schedule for tomorrow? Choose just one thing and cross it off. Make the conscious decision to NOT do that thing. Now in the space where you presently have a hole, write in red ME TIME. You are not allowed to put anything else in that space.

Tomorrow, when the ME TIME arrives, go outside, find a tree and site or stand under it. Look up and breathe in. (Use an umbrella if it’s raining) Now breathe out slowly. Continue this process as you slowly bring your gaze to eye level. Slowly turn around 365 degrees, looking all around you. Now caste you gaze down and look all around.

Before your appointed ME TIME ends, look at tomorrow’s calendar and decide what one thing you will eliminate and replace with your ME TIME. Tomorrow, can you plan ME TIME that will have the same potential of connecting you to the outside world as today’s tree time did? If you can, then do it. If you can’t then plan more tree time using a different tree in a different location.

If you want to improve your Mental Health & Happiness consciously build in more time connecting yourself to the natural world daily. Choose to replace one or more of he A1 URGENT items on your “to do” list with what really is important — developing, improving and maintaining a relationship with yourself and the natural world.