Alone Time is Beneficial for Your Mental Health
During the course of this pandemic, where we have been isolated for almost a year now with a lack of social interaction and plenty of alone time. In this blog, I will describe the benefits and how to make the most of your alone time. Spending too much time with other individuals can be overwhelming and can make you feel anxious or irritable, sometimes making you lash out at the people around you. This pandemic has forced people to isolate away from others, yet people still find themselves not enjoying being by themselves. Alone time can improve your moods whether you are an introvert or extrovert, whether you enjoy being alone or not.
What is the Difference Between Being Lonely and Having Alone Time?
Believe it or not there is a difference in being alone and being lonely. Experiencing loneliness is an emotional state and taking alone time for yourself is a physical state to not be around anyone else. When you feel lonely, you feel a disconnect from others, even if you are surrounded by people. Spending time by yourself is not necessarily making you feel lonely.
The Benefits of Being Alone
Even 15 minutes out of your day to spend time by yourself can help yourself restart and refresh!
1. Reduces Stress Levels
In a study from 2017, researchers discovered that people who actively choose to be alone will experience stress relief and feel more relaxed when alone. Being that we are social beings, we always have the pressure to please people around us which can be a stressor. When you are alone, those pressures go away. Taking alone time to practice relaxing activities like yoga, exercise, and even meditation. Click here to read our previous blog for tips learning how to meditate!
2. Your Brain can Relax and Refresh
Being alone gives your brain the time to clear itself, focus, and think clearly. No matter what, when you are around others your brain is always on and distracts your mind. Alone time revitalizes your brain and your body.
3. Productivity Increases
Just like I mentioned above, with a clear mind you are able to focus better and think clearer which in turn will help your productivity. You are removed from distractions to keep you focused on the task at hand. Whether you are trying to do schoolwork, work, or chores that alone time boosts your productivity by removing those distractions. If you need to get something done, isolate yourself and allow yourself to take alone time, it will pay off to help you focus.
4. Time to Self-Reflect
Finding time to process everything happening in your life or day can be difficult when you are always around others. Alone time gives you the opportunity to catch up with what you have been going through and process the emotions you have been going through. Journaling is a helpful way to reflect and gives you an activity to do during your alone time. Take this time to count your blessings and be grateful for the positives in your life. It can be very easy, too easy, to only focus on the negatives. Journaling or focusing on gratitude’s will boost your sense of well-being to lead you to a more positive outlook on life.
5. Increases Mental Resilience
Sitting alone with your thoughts can be a terrifying experience and we all experience fear, anxiety, worries, hopes, dreams, and many other emotions. These emotions can overwhelm us. Being alone will build up your mental ‘toughness’ per say and forces you to face those emotions head on. Especially with the pandemic you may feel left to deal with your emotions and thoughts a lot more, but as they arise you deal with them. This prepares you to deal with them in the future.
Strive for progress, not perfection