“Me myself and I, that’s all I’ve got in the end”…Don’t mind me, I’m still obsessively watching Beyonce’s homecoming documentary on Netflix! But I do want to talk about a topic that is very near and dear to my heart: alone time.
Admittedly, as an introvert I love my alone time. I neeeed my alone time.
Don’t get me wrong, connection and community are invaluable and I cherish time spent with friends and family. But I also really value my personal time when I can recharge and reconnect with me. And guess what, you should too!
Whether you’re an introvert, extrovert, ambivert, or anything in between, we can all benefit from a little me-time.
As a society we tend to view solitude as a bad thing. We see people who spend a lot of time on their own as anti-social or sad. And you might be thinking, time alone = loneliness. But that’s not the case!
Loneliness is a feeling that comes from isolation and lack of connection. But it’s very possible to be around people all day long or constantly plugged in to social media and still experience feelings of loneliness.
On the other hand, you can spend a substantial amount of time on your own and maintain healthy social connections without ever feeling lonely.
The thought of spending time alone might seem pointless or uncomfortable or even scary at times. But prioritizing quality personal time is incredibly valuable for your wellbeing, personal growth and overall happiness.
10 Reasons You Need Alone Time
1. Allow your brain to rest and recharge
Just like your body needs rest after physical activity, so does your brain. Being surrounded by people and navigating their personalities and opinions takes a lot of mental energy.
Tending to others’ wants and needs, entertaining, supporting, conversing, listening, generally being “on” at all times can be extremely taxing, mentally and emotionally. Your brain can only take but so much constant social interaction.
Time spent alone without distractions allows your brain to slow down, decompress, and recharge. You’ll gain clarity and focus and be more energized to face daily challenges when you allow your brain unwind and reboot.
2. Improve relationships
We all know the importance of taking care of ourselves first if we want to be able to support those around us. Metaphors like filling your own cup or putting your oxygen mask on first are everywhere. And with good reason.
Spending time alone is the perfect opportunity to check in with yourself and make sure your needs are being met. It really is a form of self-care. Only then can you meaningfully give to others.
Time alone will also cause you to value your relationships more. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, right? When you disconnect from the people around you, even for a little while, you’ll appreciate the time you spend together so much more.
3. Increase self-awareness
Solitude gives you the much needed opportunity to focus on you. Do you know who you really are–your strengths and weaknesses, your goals and aspirations, what makes you tick and what brings you happiness?
Self-awareness is really the key to living your best life. When you know who you are and what you want out of life you can go out and get it. You can better respond to the challenges of life because you know exactly where you’re going and what you’re capable of.
Self awareness is also an important component of emotional intelligence and deepens your compassion to those around you. When you know and accept yourself, you can appreciate the differences in others.
4. You’re the boss
When it’s just you guess who’s in charge? You get to make the rules. No more worrying about everyone else’s feelings or preferences. It’s the perfect time to tap into your unique interests, talents and hobbies and just do you!
Alone time gives you the freedom to do to the things you actually enjoy without having to compromise or please anyone but you.
5, Get in touch with your emotions
It’s very easy to lose touch with your emotions when you’re constantly managing and reacting to the emotions of other people. Sometimes this is a welcomed distraction because sitting with our own emotions, especially if they are negative, can be uncomfortable.
I think that’s why we love social media. It’s an escape from some of the not-so-pleasant feelings we may be experiencing, but aren’t ready to deal with.
Time with yourself and your thoughts forces you to process your emotions– a necessary practice for emotional health and wellbeing.
6. Be more productive
Nowadays, many workplaces are centered around teams and have open floor plans that encourage constant communication. This can be useful, bringing about new and innovative ideas. But research shows that alone time actually enhances productivity, allowing you to clear your head and better concentrate on the task at hand.
A recent study found that people produce their best work when they are able to take breaks from the group and spend time working in solitude. They are able to think independently and creatively without distraction and bring those ideas back to the group.
7. Enhance creativity
Creatives of all types–artists, musicians, writers–have been known to seek solitude before creating their greatests works. Academics often go on sabbatical when they are in the process of deep thought and discovery.
In fact, there is scientific evidence showing the connection between solitude and creativity. Neuroscientists have discovered that your best ideas come when your attention is not fully engaged in your immediate environment. Without all the external stimuli your mind can wander freely to create original thoughts and ideas. Alone time gives you a fresh perspective and can lead to creative breakthroughs.
8. Time to reflect
Life is so fast paced. When we’re constantly on the go there’s little time to reflect on our experiences. Solitude offers you the opportunity to go inward and make sense of the things happening around you.
Self-reflection helps you process your thoughts and experiences, increases positivity and deepens the connection you have with yourself. Journaling is a great practice for reflecting on your life and the direction your headed in.
It’s easy to go through the motions in life and lose sight of your intentions. By making time to reflect, you’ll be able to consciously direct your life according to your goals, values, and purpose.
9. Become more independent
When you start to spend more time alone you will notice a shift in your mindset. You’ll realize that you no longer need to have people around you to keep you company. You start to think for yourself. You can make decisions without needing validation from anyone else. You’ll start to trust yourself and your instincts and your confidence will soar.
When you’re an independent person you don’t need other people to make you feel fulfilled. You’ll start to socialize not because you feel you have to, to avoid being alone, but because you actually want to.
10. No need to impress
Let’s be honest, we spend way too much time trying to impress. Whether it’s with friends, coworkers, or on our timeline, we want to show the best version of ourselves and be well-liked. When you’re alone, you can fully let your hair down and just be you. No judgement.
Plus, when you take the time to really get to know and understand who you are, you can be more authentic when you engage with others. And this will allow you to form deeper, more meaningful, and lasting connections.
Get the Most Out of Your Alone Time
Making time for solitude can have an incredible impact your well-being and quality of life. It’s something everyone should prioritize, even if just for a few minutes a day. Close your door, put your phone on Do Not Disturb, and enjoy your own company.
If you’re new to this whole me-time thing and are wondering what you can do here are a few ideas for some solo activities you can try:
A favorite hobby
Take a course or learn a new skill
Read a book for fun
Cook your favorite meal
Listen to music
Go for a walk
Listen to a podcast
Travel (if you’re feeling adventurous)
Time spent alone is never time wasted. It’s time spent refreshing and renewing your relationship with yourself. And that is the most important relationship we have.
I’d love to know what you think about spending time alone and what you do during your alone time?
Leave me comment below!