When I first moved across countries into a new and unknown town, I had no idea how to be alone. Never mind how to enjoy spending time alone. The truth is, we believe spending time alone is feeling lonely. When the reality couldn’t be farther away from that concept, spending time alone – and learning to cherish it – will be the best thing you’ll ever do for your self-care practice.
Being alone sparks creativity, gives you time to reflect, makes you more empathetic, improves your self-esteem, and even gives you more energy if you do it right, of course.
It Helps You Recharge
When it comes to living, we’re almost always running on autopilot. We wake up, go to work, make sure everyone around us is happy, we stuff our feelings and emotions into our pockets, and carry on with our days. Then, we get home, greet our special someone, our family, even our dog, and keep putting on a brave face to make sure everyone else’s needs are taken care of.
This is exhausting.
When you spend time alone, you give yourself a chance to recharge and break away from everyone’s expectations for a second or two.
Let’s Practice Self-Discovery
From the moment we’re born, up until the moment we die, every single one of our decisions will be influenced by someone else. Whether we’re aware of it or not. When was the last time you sat down and tried to discover what genuinely makes you happy? Are you happy right now?
Spending time alone allows you to practice self-discovery. Find who you genuinely are. Explore the things you genuinely love to do and point out those activities you do to satisfy others’ wants and needs, but that feel draining to you.
It Improves Your Productivity
Trying to conquer the world while also attending every possible meeting at work? How is that side hustle going in between your partner asking for movie recommendations at home? How about that tight deadline you must hit by the end of the week that keeps getting pushed back due to friends’ invitations to go out?
I get it. Trying to keep up with our social lives is exhausting and often makes us fail in the productivity department. When you spend time alone, the only distraction is your mind. If you plan, ditch the phone, and set yourself up for success, time alone can be just what the productivity doctor recommended.
Let’s You Have an “AHA!” Moment
When you tune out the noise from the outside world, it’s easier to let your mind wander and dream. Spending time alone, doing the things you enjoy the most, can significantly boost your creativity. Not to mention, while you practice self-discovery, it wouldn’t surprise me if you experience one of those “aha!” moments when suddenly everything bothering you falls into place, and you can see what your next steps should be.
It Improves Your Health
Just as having toxic people in your life can harm your health, spending time alone can improve it. Many studies have linked spending time alone with enhancing your brain’s health and possibly reducing your risk of Alzheimer’s disease. However, keep in mind that feeling lonely (not social isolation) can increase your chances of dementia. Not to mention, spending time alone has also been considered the best way to recharge and have more energy.
Lastly, spending time alone will eventually help you live a calmer and happier life. When you prioritize “me” time, you can prevent overload burnout, improve your self-esteem, and plan your life with a clearer mind.
A Note from GR8NESS
If you do choose to start spending time alone, make sure you do it correctly. Set the stage for your alone time, making sure you either have the house for yourself or can go to a quiet place alone. Forget about your phone or constantly checking your social media. This moment is for you and your mind alone. Set your boundaries before you start. Note how long you will be alone and the purpose of these “me” time practices. Choose your distractions wisely, meaning, know what you’re willing to compromise during your alone time for it to be successful.
In the end, enjoy your own company because you’re GR8.