Nurture and Care

Need time alone? Investing in yourself can help you better connect with others

A woman lies on her bed alone and writes in a journal
Martine Foreman
Martine Foreman May, 13, 2020

Book-lover, mom, kickboxer, motivator, dreamer 

There are definitely days when you need someone to vent to or just have some fun with — but other days, you might need time alone. This is totally common!

Living in a world that gives everyone instant access to you throughout the day can leave you stressed out and exhausted.

Whether it's the work emails that keep coming even after you've left the office or the nonstop text messages from well-meaning friends who want to discuss every detail from the latest episode of your favorite TV show, trying to keep up with all of it can make anyone wish for a little peace and quiet.

Solitude can do you some good

You shouldn't feel bad for craving alone time. If done in moderation, being a bit of a recluse is actually good for you! It's absolutely OK to make plans to be alone every so often.

Woman sitting in armchair and drinking coffeeYou can think of solitude as your chance to recharge your internal battery. For example, if a device is constantly in use, it tends to lose power quickly. But if that same device is placed in sleep mode, its battery gets an opportunity to rest between uses. Spending time by yourself is like your own personal sleep mode. It's when you can concentrate on reflecting and finding your calm so you don't end up feeling depleted!

Not only can time alone help you get much-needed rest, it can also lead to an increase in confidence, creativity and self-reflection. Not bad for an experience that doesn't require you to coordinate with anyone's schedule, right?

Using alone time to enjoy healthier relationships

Interestingly, one of the best benefits of spending time alone is increased satisfaction in your relationships.

Time alone allows you to look inward, so you can truly get to know yourself. This knowledge is powerful stuff, and it brings with it new levels of confidence — which can change how you approach your relationships with others. Finding clarity about who you are and what you need allows you to bring your best self to the table and helps you recognize unhealthy and imbalanced relationships.

 

Finding meaningful "me time"

With to-do lists that never seem to shrink, finding time to enjoy a bit of solitude can sometimes be a struggle. But here's the good news: While it might not always be easy, it's never impossible! Carving out time in your schedule for reflection gets easier when you make it a priority, just like you do for anything else that's important.

Maybe you spot your opportunity for alone time in the morning at your favorite cafe, at lunchtime under your favorite tree or in the evening when you finally get to decompress by watching a fun rom-com. When it happens isn't that important; what matters most is that you make it a priority to consistently find time for yourself!

Now, this might require some adjustments, and you may have to learn to stop feeling guilty about saying "no" to other things. Spending time without spectators fills a fundamental human need, and if you allow yourself to see it that way, you won't feel as guilty when you have to pass on a few things to make it happen.

Making the most of your solitude

Are you wondering what you should do during this newfound "me time?" Do you! Plan your next vacation. Daydream. Take a long walk with your dog and a mug of your favorite beverage. Read an engrossing book. Start writing that novel you've been dreaming about. Take a long, hot bath. Do anything that helps you feel relaxed and gives you an opportunity to truly connect with yourself.

Remember to be good to yourself — and whenever you need time alone, take some time to recharge and reflect. Those quiet moments could be just what you need to make your days that much sweeter!

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