Time alone is essential to our sanity and overall well-being. Despite some social bias against it, many people enjoy and even relish time alone.
Research has suggested that alone time may even help lower the instance of adolescent depression. A study in 1997 found that although teens didn’t necessarily describe solitude as something positive, many reported increased feelings of well-being afterwards.
It’s not really a far stretch to think solitude may help a person of any age stave off feelings of sadness and enjoy a better state of mental health. When you’re away from people as well as all the distractions of modern life, like work and high-tech gadgets, you can take time to breathe and simply be.
When you’re forced to constantly be “on,” it doesn’t allow your brain to rest and replenish. Solitude can be used as a chance to clear your mind and get back in touch with yourself, revitalizing the mind as well as the body.
Alone time also gives you a chance to reflect on relationships and other areas of your life to determine what changes, if any, need to be made. If you’re constantly distracted by incoming information, whether it’s human or electronic, it can be difficult to come up with effective solutions to problems.
Spending time with yourself can also help you to gain a better understanding of who you are and what you really want out of life, which can help you make better choices and sometimes even enhance current relationships by appreciating them more.
Plus, spending time alone can be a lot of fun, particularly once you get used to the idea. Doing something alone, whether it’s going shopping or taking part in activities like hiking or biking, means that you can do whatever you want without worrying about someone else’s needs, schedule or preferences.
If you’re crunched for time and aren’t sure how you can find the time to spend alone, there are options.
Wake up earlier. If you wake up a little earlier, say 30 minutes or even an hour before everyone else in your household is up, you can use that time to meditate, create, problem solve, or anything else. Another option is to get to work before everyone else arrives and use that time for a little peaceful solitude.
Take lunch alone. If you work outside your house, use your lunch time for some alone time. Don’t spend it working at your desk or running errands. If you usually go to lunch with a friend or co-worker, try to spend lunch by yourself once a week, or even just once every other week.
Schedule time for yourself. Just like you’d schedule any appointment, schedule time for solitude by putting it in your calendar. It doesn’t have to be for a long period of time – any time for yourself that allows you to re-energize, think, create, relax, and/or meditate, is better than no time.
Steal time. Perhaps not literally, but there are little ways to sneak in some alone time and no one even has to know. For example, the next time you have to go to the grocery store, stop in at a coffee shop and spend 15 minutes lingering over a cup of java. When you’re at home, sneak into the bathroom with a good book and lock the door for a little while.
Learn to spend quality time alone with yourself, you will very likely be a happier person as a result!
-The Alternative Daily