Imagine this scenario.
It’s Friday night, and your dinner plans were canceled unexpectedly. Do you frantically attempt to make new plans with another friend? Or do you gleefully embrace the sudden alone time?
The thought of being home alone on a Friday night can be very uncomfortable for many people. In fact, the idea of being alone any day of the week can be a frightening thought for some. Some people struggle with the fear that they are missing out. Others find it challenging to be alone with their own thoughts. Still others worry that they should be doing something more productive with their time.
If you fall into any of these categories, you might be interested to know that alone time has some very real benefits. Spending time with yourself can help you recharge, sort through difficult issues and work on your personal hobbies and interests. A little solitude does not have to bring up feelings of despair. When done right, alone time can be just the self-care you need.
What are Some of the Benefits of Spending Time Alone?
Boosts creativity. Have you ever noticed that some of your best ideas come when you are driving or showering? When your mind is allowed to wander, it can work through ideas subconsciously. Spending time alone gives you a break from conversations and tasks that occupy your brain, giving you the space to get creative.
Increases your energy. An afternoon or evening alone can give you the time and space to rest. We often don’t realize how much we engage throughout the day. Always being “on” can be draining. Time alone gives your body and mind the chance to recharge.
Creates a greater sense of well-being. When you take some time for yourself, you can focus on healthy habits that make you feel good. Meditation, exercise or walking outdoors are just some examples of good habits that will make you feel happy, healthy and calm.
Allows you to be more present for others. You know that when you take care of yourself, you are better able to take care of others. A big part of self-care is giving yourself the time and space to work on you. Rather than being a selfish act, caring for yourself will provide you with more patience, energy and compassion for other people.
Cultivates a better understanding of yourself. When you slow down and eliminate distractions, you will find that you have a lot to say! Alone time allows you to think through issues in your life, assess patterns and maybe even have some significant breakthroughs.
How to Make the Most Out of Your Alone Time
Now that you’ve seen how amazing (and not scary!) alone time can be, you might be wondering how to make the most of it. While Netflix binges can be a great way to decompress and take care of yourself, there are plenty of other ways to take full advantage of your “you time.” Here are three of our favorite tips for making the most of your alone time.
Turn off your technology. Put your phone away and stop scrolling through your social media feeds. Our devices are designed to keep us entertained and connected. While this is great a lot of the time, it’s not ideal when you are trying to maximize your alone time. Filling your time with mindless activities or worrying about what other people are doing will only distract you.
Experiment with self-care practices. Self-care doesn’t mean the same thing for everyone. Explore the self-care practices that work for you. If you aren’t into bubble baths and meditation, don’t do it! Find the things that energize, relax and make you happy.
Do something that will build confidence. While it might seem counterintuitive, alone time can help you develop a stronger sense of self-confidence. Doing things solo helps you to remember that you can rely on yourself and that you are enough. Take yourself out on a date! Grab dinner by yourself, go to a movie or take a class.
Next time you find yourself with some time alone, we hope you embrace it as a special opportunity to take care of yourself. Some quality time with yourself can be just what you need to take care of your physical and mental health.
How do you make the most out of your alone time?