While driving down I-90 with the music low, I took in everything new. Then I watched the yellow line patterns and the steady row of trucks chugging along.  It went from feeling fresh to quickly becoming monotonous. I grew eager to just be home. In that moment, I felt for those traveling as part of daily life – whether long trips on the road, maybe flying or just a timely commute.

Over the past two years this has been the norm for my fiancé.  Fortunately, he handles this well because he connects quickly with new people and takes time to explore new places. Upon returning home, people often ask about stories from his travels and new experiences.

More often than not in relationships in which one travels, other people tend to overlook the person who is holding things down at home.  I realized, with my fiancé being gone for two days now, I had done that myself. I wasn’t thinking about the person at home, the one living through the daily grind.  This immediately had me wondering, “What will I do these next few days with a little more alone time?”

Alone time. This can have different connotations. Not only that but BYU researchers reviewed several studies and came to the conclusion that if it leads to loneliness, it may even affect your health.

But alone time doesn’t have to be lonely. Time alone is going to happen. It doesn’t have to be negative or dreaded. Finding peace with alone time and staying connected with strong ties can lead to balance in life.

With this in mind, I decided to create a little more balance this week. Some ideas came to mind:

  • Creating time to strengthen current relationships.  This will definitely include family, friends, and pets. Maybe writing letters or catch up emails.
  • Intentional alone time. Enjoying alone time in a familiar spot.  Maybe reading, a bath or walk nearby. It could include recharging with a nap or exploring a museum I have put off.
  • It could also include venturing out to make new connections, volunteering, joining a book club, participating in a yoga class, or getting work done at a local coffee shop for a bit.