As humans, we thrive when we have meaningful connections because we are naturally social creatures. Meaning we need connections with other people. Whether that be work relationships, community involvement, or fellowshipping at church. We are energized and our lives are more vibrant when we interact with others.
But you can’t be social all the time. You cannot neglect yourself. If you really want to be your happiest, healthiest, and most productive self, you also need a meaningful connection with yourself and that means spending quality time alone.
Spending quality time alone relaxing and making yourself a priority is extremely important and has a lot of benefits. There is nothing wrong with taking 30 minutes to an hour each day to just focus on yourself. Here are some benefits of spending quality time by yourself.
Spending time alone can help you develop creative ideas
Spending time alone can give you creative ideas to help create a peaceful environment in your home. Children are happier and calmer when their love tank is full, and they receive the attention they need. When you spend quality time alone you can come up with ideas and activities that will foster a peaceful and fun environment for your children. That takes the stress off you as the parent.
Spending time alone can help you be more productive.
Studies show employees work better in private office spaces than in open floor plans, mostly because of distractions (like noise or getting pulled into side conversations). This is an example of why being around other people can actually make you less productive. In situations like this spending time alone can be beneficial. Therefore, if you are struggling to get things done, spending time by yourself, even working alone, can help you stay focused, remove distractions, help you get through your to-do list, and increase your productivity in the process.
Spending time alone can help you recharge
Depending on your personality, spending time around other people for extroverts can be energizing. On the other hand, for introverts, it can be exhausting. But even the most extroverted of people need time to rest, relax, and recharge. Spending time alone is the way to do it.
In 2017 a study showed that when people chose to spend time alone, they felt less stressed and more relaxed. So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed with work and life commitments, including the social activities that go along with it, scheduling time for yourself can be exactly what you need to recharge. Then you can resume those commitments feeling energized, engaged, and ready to move forward.
Spending time alone helps you better understand yourself
Spending time alone and learning more about yourself can profoundly impact your life. It helps you learn your identity, your needs, and what boundaries to set that will enhance your life. When you’re alone, you don’t need to adjust your thoughts, speech, or behavior based on anyone else’s needs or opinions; you’re free to just be yourself.
How to spend time alone
Now that you understand the significant benefits of spending quality time alone, if you want to reap the benefits, you have to manage your alone time effectively. You also need to understand that not all alone time is created equal. Here are some tips and strategies on how to effectively spend time alone and maximize the benefits in the process:
Clearly understand how much alone time you need. In order to make the most of your alone time, it’s important to get clear on how much alone time you need. Different people need different amounts of alone time; for example, introverts typically require much more alone time to recharge than extroverts. What is your limit of being around people before you need to recharge? When do you find yourself desiring alone time? How much alone time helps you feel restored? When do you start to feel lonely during your alone time? It is very important to get clarity on what your ideal amount of alone time looks like for you to feel relaxed, restored, and refreshed.
Put away your phone. When you’re spending quality time alone, which you rightly deserve. Do not allow yourself to be distracted by your phone. Turn off your phone notifications so you’re not disturbed, or, even better yet, turn your phone off completely. You’re not going to reap the benefits of spending time alone if all of that time is spent staring at your phone screen, playing games, scrolling through social media, and responding to text messages and emails. Understand the world will still be there after you take some time to replenish and recharge yourself. Afterward, you will feel more relaxed and better equipped to handle whatever comes your way.
Use your personal alone time for restorative activities. Sometimes, spending your alone time catching up on your favorite TV show is exactly what you need. It can take your mind off of your responsibilities at least for an hour or so, but it’s not always what you need. So make sure you also spend alone time doing other restorative activities (like reading, reflecting, meditating, yoga, sitting quietly having a cup of coffee, or taking a walk in nature). You will be glad you did.
I have heard many people say, “I don’t have time to spend with myself. I am always on the go”. Be mindful of this, your life is your life, and you are the only one who can make the choice for how you live your life. Don’t live your life to impress anyone. It is not mandatory to try and keep up with what everyone else is doing, or over-obligate your life so you can convince yourself you are being productive. We all have heard the term “work-life” balance. Well, that is exactly what it is. A balance between your work and your life. I tell parents all of the time, you are the blueprint for your children’s lives. They will grow up to do what they see you do. If you live an over-obligated, rushed, angry, stressful life, they will too. The truth is you are better than that. Know in your heart you are already enough. You don't need to impress anyone. I love this quote by Maya Angelou which says, “when you know better, do better”. I live my life learning to do better than I did the day before. Do it for yourself, because you are worth it, and do it for your children because their lives will be a reflection of the learned behavior they see you do.
Love and Blessings,
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