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Alone Time and Mental Health

Introduction

People tend to be social creatures and socializing is important in our life. However, having alone time is also essential to one’s mental health. Having some time to yourself gives you a chance to care more about your own emotions and thoughts.


Aloneness vs. Loneliness


AlonenessLonelinessInvolved in finding freedom, happiness and inspiration in solitudeMarked by negative feelings associated with isolationVital for emotional and physical wellnessNegative health consequences


Remember that aloneness DOES NOT equal loneliness. Finding time to be alone can have a number of key benefits while loneliness can have negative health consequences.


Importance


1. Personal exploration

  • exploring your own passion / particular interest

  • without pressure and judgements

  • critical for personal development: focus more on yourself instead of others’ opinions

  • self-reflection: improve yourself as a person with a positive mindset


2. Creativity

  • One study found that people who tend to purposely withdraw in order to spend time alone also tend to be highly creative people


3. Productivity

  • Complete the things not yet done


4. Focus on health

  • eliminate toxicity in your life and allow yourself to “reset”

  • care more about own self

  • e.g having a healthy diet, meditation


5. Find comfort

  • have more control over your life if you spend your alone time meaningfully

  • increase your overall happiness


Signs when you need alone time

  • Have trouble concentrating

  • Feeling overwhelmed

  • Feeling anxious when spending time with others

  • Losing interest in doing things with others


Ways to spend time alone and get the most out of it

1. Pick a time

  • choose a suitable time that you feel comfortable with and ensure that others won’t interrupt you

2. Get rid of distractions

  • turn off social media or electronic devices

  • only concentrate on yourself

  • Stop all negative thoughts

3. Planning

  • creating structures in your life

  • cherish the time you get to yourself

  • e.g. meditation, slow reading, exploring hobbies, taking a walk to restore yourself


Creating space to be alone

1. Be clear

  • Tell the people around you, such as family and friends, that you need time alone

2. Be specific

  • Tell them what this means

  • e.g you need to spend some alone time to meditate

3. Return the favor

  • Be considerate when others need to do the same thing


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