Why do we need alone time?
Alone time is underrated in our society. There is a push to be extroverted, to be around people, to not be “lonely” or a “loner.” However, spending time alone can be one of the most healthy things that we do for ourselves. Removing the stigma for ourselves is often the first step to accepting and building in alone time for ourselves. Here are five reasons why alone time is so crucial:
Alone time gives your brain a break and can foster a sense of calm and well being.
We are bombarded by so much sensory input all day long. We are trying to process so much, so many demands that we can feel overwhelmed. Having some space to just be alone can give our brains the recharge we need.
Alone time can spark creativity.
We are filled with ideas and creativity but often those ideas don’t get the space to be manifested if our minds are crowded with other things. Taking some space can give our creative minds the opportunity to come forward. This is the reason why some of our best ideas or “revelations” come in the shower. When we are alone!
Alone time can enhance relationships.
If one is spending time reflecting and getting to know oneself, understanding one’s motivations, needs, strengths and weaknesses, this can help in relationships. If someone blows up at your partner out of the blue, the person who reflects and understands why they did it is going to have a better outcome than someone who has no idea why.
Alone time can build self-reliance and confidence.
Insread of relying on others to stimulate you, to make you laugh or feel good about yourself, learning to find ways to do this on your own can bring a sense of confidence. In my own younger years, I would never be caught dead in a restaurant or a movie. As a result, I often missed out on an opportunity to see a movie I enjoyed or go to a restaurant I liked. Now that I’m older (and more confident), I don’t mind at all. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy doing things with people. But if I want to do something and no one is available, I just go and do it myself.
Alone time can help buffer depression and anxiety.
Being out in the world having to perform, to be on top of our game, to be social and oftentimes not our most authentic self, can be taxing. And this can for some people feel overwhelming and lead to depression and anxiety. Being alone can help us come back to who we are, to know we don’t have to always be on top of our game, that we can just be ourselves and that we are ok.
Being alone is often looked down upon in our extrovert-biased society. Some may also feel “selfish” for taking time to be by oneself. However, this can often be the healthiest thing you do for yourself. Make the time and enjoy spending it with yourself.
About the author: Lia Huynh is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist for the San Jose, Milpitas and Fremont areas. She is an introvert who needs her daily alone time. She helps others overcome their guilt for taking time for themselves in order to be better versions of themselves for themselves and their loved ones. If you are interested in working with Lia, find out more here. She specializes in couples therapy, Christian counseling and Therapy for Asian Americans.