Getting out on a hike by yourself can help you refocus and recharge.

In today’s constantly connected world, alone time can almost seem like a novel idea from the past. You try to find a good tree and read a book and then your cell phone goes off. You go out for a run and then find yourself seeing past acquaintances.

My friends can attest to the fact that I like to talk and socialize, but I also find alone time a critical thing for a healthy lifestyle. Having time alone allows your mind to wander, sort through your priorities, try to find answers to your problems or issues you are experiencing, and really tune into how your body and mind are feeling.

Don’t take what I am saying wrong though: I love hanging out with friends. Heck, most of my runs, bike rides, and so forth are done in the company of my buddies. I do however always make time to find seclusion. Whether this is a normal weekday run, or a hike in the woods all depends on my schedule.

A good example of how important alone time is comes from this past weekend. On Saturday I left town and headed to Sherando Lake to meet up with a few friends for a mountain bike ride. For 3 hours we had a blast, following each other’s lines, trading jokes, and catching up. At the bottom of the last downhill I bid them adieu and headed out for another loop. I pedaled back up the downhill and headed out Torrey Ridge, one of my favorite trails. During this time I took in the sounds of nature, gave more thought to things that have been on my mind as of late, and took stock of how my body and mind were feeling on the ride.

I encourage you to try to find a few moments of solitude this week. While I love to be outdoors, alone time doesn’t have to be. Find a good nook in your house and read a book, cozy up on the couch and watch Girls like my girlfriend does (I have no shame in saying I watch it with her 99.9% of the time), go to a less populated park and take a walk, or if you enjoy exercise go out for a run by yourself. While you enjoy the quiet time, be sure to leave the cell phones, iPods, and other devices at home. Really tune into your thoughts and enjoy the accompanying silence, and when you come back to company you will feel recharged and focused.

Enjoy the ramblings from Chase? Then read more of his blog Young Charles.