Human is social creature, and researches have revealed that social relationships are vital for both emotional and physical well-being. However, alone time also plays a crucial role in mental health.
Being around people comes with benefits, but it can also create stress. We start to worry about what people think. Hence, we alter our behavior to dodge rejection and to fit in.
Having time for yourself gives you the chance to break free from such social demands and tap right into your own thoughts, feelings, and experiences.
The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the trials of loneliness and the absence of solitary time. While many people struggled with feelings of isolation and solitude, others faced the challenges of suddenly spending a great deal of time in close quarters with family members or roomies.
This was the same time when talks about mental health problems and mental health awareness surfaced up.
Aloneness vs. Loneliness
Research suggests that people experience more loneliness now than they have in the past. There is an abundance of evidence showing that loneliness can have devastating health consequences. It has been linked to elevated blood pressure, hastened cognitive decline, social anxiety, and an increased risk for Alzheimer’s disease.
Loneliness is linked to a wide range of negative mental health consequences including a higher risk for depression, anxiety, and obesity, high blood pressure, and early death.
But it is important to remember that being alone doesn’t equal loneliness. Where loneliness is marked by negative feelings associated with isolation, alone time involves finding freedom, inspiration, and rejuvenation in solitude.
More recently, researchers have begun to explore the idea that a certain amount of quality alone time can be just as vital for mental health and physical wellness.
Why Alone Time Is Important
Finding time to be alone can have plenty of key benefits. Some of these cover:
Becoming content in your own company can give you the time and freedom to truly explore your own passions without interference. It can be a way to try new things, research topics that excite you, receive knowledge, and even practice new methods of self-expression.
Giving yourself alone time means you can explore these things without the pressures and judgments that others may impose. Having time to yourself is critical for growth and personal development.
Alone time is an opportunity to let your mind wander and stimulate your creativity. Without the need to care for, or interact with other people, you can neglect outside influences and focus inward.
Researches actually suggest that being alone can lead to changes in the brain that help feed the creative process and improve the mental health of a person.
Living alone tends to be seen in a contradictory way. However, researchers have found that people who live alone may actually have more vibrant social lives and more social energy than people who cohabitate.
Signs You Need Some Alone Time
It’s not always easy to recognize the signs that you might need some time away from other people. Some signs to watch for include:
Getting easily irritated by sometimes minor things
Losing interest in doing things with other people
Feeling overwhelmed or overstimulated
Having trouble concentrating
Getting anxious about spending time with other people
The good news is that even if you are struggling with any of these signs, a little alone time can have a significant restorative effect on your mental health.
How to Spend Time Alone
If you are thinking of spending some time alone, it is important to do so in ways that are beneficial to your mental well-being. Being alone is most beneficial when it is voluntary. It’s also important that you feel like you can return to your social world whenever you like.
Pick a time
Turn off social media
Take a walk
While being alone sometimes gets misunderstood for being lonely, it is clear that having time to yourself now and then is essential for mental health and well-being. If the logic of spending time on your own makes you feel bored or uncomfortable, try starting with a small chunk of alone time that enables you to focus on a particular task.
For more such ideas and coping skills, reach out to us.