Why being alone creates opportunities for health and happiness
- Self-care isn’t selfish, it’s necessary
- Putting yourself first leads to lower stress and better relationships
- Get the answers you’ve been missing with much-needed alone time
Humans by nature are social creatures. We feel the need to surround ourselves with other people and yet many of us don’t realize the importance of spending time alone. Often, we associate being alone with loneliness—eating dinner alone, going to the movies alone, spending time at home alone. But being alone doesn’t necessarily have to be accompanied by a stigma. Finding time to be by yourself and taking stock of your present situation, without the distraction and pull of social obligations, can be extremely beneficial for your body and mind.
It can be difficult to disconnect, and you certainly don’t have to shut yourself off from work or your home life. Simply take a step back. You are allowed to make time for yourself so that you may continue to thrive and live a happier, healthier life.
Here’s why self-care, and much-needed alone time, are so important:
It helps you relax
Leisure time seems more and more out of reach, whether it’s work or social obligations, which means you may really have to intentionally try to find a few moments of solitude. It’s perfectly alright to pick and choose which activities to say “yes” to, in fact, you may need to say “no” a little more often. If you’re a parent, there’s no shame in asking your partner to attend your child’s recital while you take time for yourself. Spending time alone will help you declutter your mind, which in turn helps you relax, relieve stress, and boost your mood.
Alone time gives you answers
Learn to tune out in order to tune in. Turn off your electronic devices for a few hours every day, including during dinner time, and take in the world around you. Pay attention to the little things you would normally miss and reflect on some of the issues you haven’t had time to tackle. You may be surprised at how many positive solutions you can think of when your phone isn’t clamoring for your attention.
It helps you prioritize
It’s easy to get lost in the little problems of the day as tasks pile on. Taking a step back and assessing the big picture will help you realize the things that are truly worth your attention. Are there family or friends that you haven’t seen in a while? Is there a trip you’ve always wanted to take? What about that new skill you’ve been wanting to learn? Always make sure to take the time to do things you want to do, before doing everything for everyone else.
Solitude gives you a window to self-discovery
Who were you before you became consumed with the tasks of everyday living? Maybe you were a talented athlete, painter, or marketing guru. Treat your self-care moments as an opportunity to reintroduce yourself to yourself. You may discover a new hobby or skill, or you may just take the time to pamper yourself. No matter what you choose to fill your spare time with, these precious chances for growth and discovery will stimulate a newfound passion for life – and perhaps convince you to add more alone time into your routine.
Self-care enhances relationships
Taking care of yourself means not burning out, even in friendships and romantic relationships. Depleted energy can take its toll, and prevent you from fully enjoying your relationships. Here is where you take care of the “me” in order to take care of the “we”. Value yourself, put your contentment in your own hands by creating opportunities for fulfillment. By doing this, you end up laying the groundwork for balanced and independent relationships.
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This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your health care professional's instructions.