As my Mother’s only child, I mastered the art of alone time early in life. It’s actually something I’ve continued to enjoy as an adult. But there are so many of my friends and people I know who don’t know what to do when alone. Unlike them, I am a living witness to how spending time alone can improve your life, and ultimately your mental health.
Spending time alone is self care. Scoring some quality “me time,” even if it’s just 30 minutes can benefit your overall life in so many fantastic ways. Being in solitude has been shown to help with prioritizing responsibilities, improving relationships, sleeping better and alleviating overall stress. Below are ways spending time alone has helped me become healthier and happier.
5 Ways Spending Time Alone Can Improve Your Life
Every morning, I walk my dog Petey, about two miles around our neighborhood. Our walk gives me time to go over my daily schedule and make any necessary adjustments. But the biggest benefit? The weight is coming off and I am no longer winded when tackling inclines.
There is no better way to escape the all-consuming world around us than through a good book. I committed to reading all of James Baldwin’s books this year. Getting lost in his words has been relaxing and a beautiful education in American patriarchy, racism, slavery, Jim Crow and the resilience of black people. Studies have shown that staying mentally stimulated can slow the process of or possibly even prevent Alzheimer’s and Dementia, since keeping your brain active and engaged prevents it from losing power. That’s well worth spending time alone.
I’m More Creative
There’s reason why a lot of authors, artists and creatives venture out into a cabin in the woods or a private studio space to work. Spending time alone with your thoughts is empowering and gives your brain the space it needs to wander. It all results in more creativity.
I’ve Discovered Who I Really Am
Solitude has given me so many opportunities to discover myself and to find my own voice. When you’re part of a group, you’re more likely to go along with what the group is doing or thinking, which aren’t always the actions you would take or the decisions you would make if you were on your own.
I’m A Better Wife & Friend
Absence, for me, does indeed make the heart prow fonder. When I get the opportunity to spend some me time, I’ve seen how it truly enhances the quality of my relationships with others. By spending time with myself and gaining a better understanding of who I am and what I want our of life, I have made better choices about who I actually want to be around. I have honestly come to appreciate my husband and friends so much more after I’ve spent some time alone.