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Alone Time: Why It’s Important for Your Mental Health

For most of us, we are always surrounded by people, engaged in conversation, or having events to go to. By the end of the day, we can be worn out and exhausted.

You start your day at work, you might have to run to the grocery store, you have a dinner date, and once that is all done, you go home to your partner. You can’t even process what they say because you are so drained from your day. Before you know it, it’s time for bed already. Does this sound like you?

You may feel like keeping in constant contact with others is beneficial, it keeps you from being lonely, and you can keep up to date with family members and friends. Sometimes we don’t even realize what’s happening.

But what about you? You bought a book four months ago that you haven’t opened, and the canvas you bought to paint remains bare. Without proper time to yourself, you can’t decompress, relax, or even breathe sometimes.

There are so many benefits to being alone, and making sure to carve out a little alone time in your schedule can have a big positive impact on your mental health.

Why Is it Important To Have Alone Time?

One of the first benefits of having time alone is the chance to have a break. This can be especially important to those who are introverts. While extroverts also benefit from alone time, an introverted person needs that time alone.

Being alone can help introverts decompress from the social interactions they experience each day. Most people with this personality type need some downtime away from others to recharge. Most extroverts don’t necessarily need that alone time to recharge, but they do benefit from it.

Additionally, alone time lets you work on your self-reflection. You’ll have the time to reconnect with yourself, and this will allow you the time to digest your thoughts and feelings. You can more easily think about how you feel about a situation or a person without outside influence.

You may be able to work through past grudges or hurt feelings when you give your mind a chance to process them. Possibly, you may find out something new about yourself or what you like; this solo time gives you a chance to plan out new goals without pressure or the opinions of others. You could even spend time learning about something you’ve wanted to do for years!

Alone time can be used to do some things for yourself; many people put themselves on the back burner. They’re overloaded at work or caring for loved ones, sometimes both. It’s paramount to remember that you need care too.

Ignoring your own needs can cause an array of negative effects that affect your quality of life. Doing nothing to combat your stress can make you ill and worsen your mental health. By allowing yourself more alone time, you can effectively decompress, relax and learn about yourself.

Your creativity, self-growth, and even your social interaction and stamina will improve!

Effects of Not Enough Alone Time

So you’re probably wondering how to determine if your alone time is adequate. Some signs to look for if you have a lack of alone time include:

  • Easily agitated
  • Irritable
  • Fatigue
  • Unfocused
  • Loss of interest
  • Overstimulated or overwhelmed
  • Anxious in social situations
  • Decrease in creativity
  • Increase stress levels
  • Chronic pain or disease flare-ups

When you aren’t able to have enough time to yourself, you suffer. Your attitude, body, and mental health can be strained. Those with mental health disorders may feel their symptoms magnify faster and stronger.

We all know stress isn’t good for your mind or body. Although stress is unavoidable, it can get to a point where your body suffers. Longtime exposure to high levels of stress can cause high blood pressure, heart disease, hormone imbalances, skin disorders, gastrointestinal issues, sleep deficits, and so much more.

Any little bit of stress you can knock back, the better. This can be done with simple things you can accomplish when you set time aside for yourself.

What To Do During Your Alone Time

Carving out time for yourself is the perfect time to do some self-care. Self-care can take many forms, but using your alone time to do some self-care is the best time.

You don’t have to act a certain way, you have no expectations from other people, and you can truly be completely you! You can choose to do one or all of these as a way to take care of yourself.

Some things to do as a form of self-care could be as simple as journaling — allowing yourself a brain dump of all the thoughts, stresses, and feelings you have ruminating in your head. You could take a luxurious bath that uses products to allow deep relaxation. Using a Himalayan body scrub in the bath is a great way to elevate a nice hot bath.

Gentle movements like a walk or yoga, practicing some meditation. Even a break from your phone on silent and ignoring those constant alerts from social media is a form of self-care; it lets you remove yourself from the hustle and bustle of life and connect to yourself.

Take this time to sing or dance because no one is watching or judging! Start or learn more about a hobby you’ve always wanted to do. Select a new book or podcast that you’ve been interested in, and start that painting you have in your head.

Put down the to-do list and do something you have been wanting to, not feeling like you have to. Spending time with your own thoughts and letting your imagination run is another perfect way to de-stress and unwind.

Balancing It All

Making yourself take any amount of time by yourself is an act of self-love. It can be hard to turn your back on the hustle culture of our current society. But being alone and feeling alone are two separate things.

You can have alone time and not be lonely; it’s important to separate the two. It’s also important to have a sense of balance in your life. Try to plan out enough time with friends, family, and yourself. Setting boundaries for specific times or people allows you to respect yourself.

For example, let’s pretend that we have Thursdays off from work. On that day, you will focus on what you need to do in the morning, like chores or errands. And at night, it’s a self-care evening — you’ll read your new book after a relaxing bath. It can be hard to implement this change, but it’s really important for improving your well-being.

Self-love is such a difficult thing to start towards. Many of us are afflicted with self-deprecating tendencies, anxiety, depression, and body image issues. All of this can make it hard to care for ourselves and appreciate ourselves as humans.

Even by reading this, you are making a step towards self-love; by seeking out resources, you are learning how to better take care of yourself, and you should pat yourself on the back because that’s a hard step!

This blog post can give you some tips on other ways to work towards self-love. It’s a tough thing to keep up on, so just remember that any little thing counts. Nobody is perfect, and everybody is learning.

Alone Time Is Important

Whether you are an introvert, an extrovert, or somewhere in between, alone time is very important. It allows you time to break down your thoughts and feelings from the day, relax, and take care of yourself.

You matter as much as anyone else, and how can you be the best version of yourself for yourself or those you love when you are stressed, burnt out, and exhausted? You simply can’t.

You couldn’t possibly keep up with it all. And you don’t have to; it’s okay to allow yourself a few nights off. It’s okay to do something you want or for yourself. You deserve to have a break!

Your relationship with yourself is the most important relationship you have, so it’s important to take care of yourself. The benefits to your well-being by allowing that much-needed and deserved alone time are beneficial for you and those around you.

Just remember, those who love you want you happy and healthy, and soon you will too.


The Benefits of Being Alone | The JED Foundation

Alone Time | University of Rochester

Be Alone, It’s Okay! | Relationship Counseling Center of Austin

5 Signs You Need Alone Time | PyschCentral