Listen to “Why Spending Time Alone is Actually Really Good for You“.
Some people love spending time alone, while others dread it. How much time people spend alone depends on the individual; however, we all require solitude now and then to maintain our sanity.
It is important to note the difference between alone time—a period you choose to spend by yourself—and loneliness, a sense of sadness triggered by feelings of isolation.
Even the most extroverted people need a little time with their own thoughts to process their day or their lives in general.
Most of us feel like we don’t have much time to process our thoughts because we are too busy. We have to answer to so many people throughout the day and deal with various responsibilities, that when it comes time to go home for the day, we really don’t have much time left for ourselves. This is why carving out some alone time in your schedule is vitally important, because otherwise, you run the risk of becoming disconnected from yourself, which can lead to mental health problems. The busier you are, the more likely you are to benefit from some quiet time.
No matter how you might feel about having ‘me’ time, science proves that it does your mind and soul a lot of good.
1. Recharge your brain
In order to function correctly, the brain needs to rest and recharge. Think about a time when you had to be switched on for an extended period—perhaps at a work event or family function. You probably felt exhausted afterwards. That exhaustion is an indication that your brain needed a break.
(Introverts can more easily relate to this as they require more downtime to recharge). Fortunately, time spent alone allows the brain to slow down and replenish itself, making space for clearer thinking and the ability to be more present with others.
2. You can let go of stress more easily
Some stress that we experience in life is caused by too much activity, too many people, and too much time pressure. If you schedule some alone time, you’ll find that you can deal with stress much more efficiently while it’s happening.
3. You can do the things you want to do.
If your friend or partner wants to spend the day watching football and you’d rather spend it on a hike, choosing the solo path will probably end up being a lot more fun for you. Similarly, if you decide to take an entire day for yourself, you get to spend that day doing what you want to do.
4. You can cultivate a relationship with yourself
While we are social creatures, our relationships to ourselves are foundational to all other relationships, including that with the natural world.
A stable relationship with oneself is grounded in solitude and our capacity to be alone. Developing this capacity has some promising side effects, including:
Increased self and social awareness
- Empathy for yourself and others
When was the last time you spent time alone?
Other people can inspire us, information feeds us, practice improves our performance, but we need quiet time to figure things out so that we can emerge with new discoveries.
Human beings aren’t built always to be switched on. Sometimes we need to shut down, and not just at bedtime. If you want to be healthier, happier, and a more well-rounded person, try to schedule set yourself some alone time each day.