Wellness | Why is it so hard to be alone?
Both socially and culturally we are encouraged to want to be with others. From a young age we feel the need to belong, be social and fit in. So, why do some of us hate being alone? Well, just as we benefit from the comfort of surrounding ourselves with others, humans also require alone time.
The importance of spending time alone
Allows you to reflect and acknowledge self-development and growth, and gives your mind a break from external stimulation. Being “on” all the time will exhaust and tire out your brain. Alone time will free you from distractions and give you time to approach things with a clear mind. It will give you a sense of self-understanding and allow room for self-expression. When you understand more about yourself, you are more suited to seek out relationships with those similar to you. Contentment with spending time alone will make you more present in your other relationships, help you surround yourself with like-minded people and increase your empathy. When you free yourself from distractions, you avoid disrupting your mental flow during work and continue to remain focused.
Solitude helps improve concentration, increases productivity and helps you work through problems more effectively. When you spend more time alone, you free yourself from little distractions, open your mind to new thoughts and allow for more reflection. You’ll have more “aha!” moments and realise that you get to do what you want without any outside influence, which is empowering. You’ll hear your own voice (and yes it’s okay to talk to yourself, it’s healthy for that matter!), embrace the freedom of making your own decisions without having to worry about what others are thinking. Your thoughts will flow deep and clear and you’ll notice a deeper connection with your own energy. Spending time alone is a great form of self-care, you’ll actually feel calmer and happier.
How to lay away your guilt and embrace solitude
Disconnect. Put down your laptop and read a book, take a walk, go on a hike listen to music and admire the beauty around you. We are constantly connected to others through our phones, laptops and tablets, but seldom consider the impact it has on our wellbeing. It can be exhausting having to live up to the expectation we set for ourselves on social media, so find time in the day to unplug. Put your phone on do not disturb just for a short time to allow your thoughts to rest. Jogging and yoga are some activities that are amazing to do alone and don’t require technology.
Wake up early. Give yourself more time to complete your tasks before distractions arise. If you know you’ll have a quiet house before everyone wakes up then make an effort to claim that time and call it your own. It’s amazing the amount of work you can get done if you cut out distractions. You’ll find yourself completing more in a shorter amount of time and you’ll feel less stress regarding time management.
Close your door. Whether you’re at home or at work, closing your door can greatly decrease the chance of distraction. Create a physical barrier between you and the things that cause your mental train to go off track. This doesn’t mean you are antisocial, it simply showcases determination and focus, allowing you to complete the work that needs to be done.
Use your lunch time for solitude. When things start piling up, it sometimes feels right to stay in during lunch to get ahead of the game, wrong. Rather than using your lunch time to work or complete your other tasks, try to use this time to practice solitude. Almost all other moments of the day are used to fill up the time of others, be selfish with this opportunity for alone time.
Schedule your alone time. At least 30 minutes a day, do something for yourself. This can consist of yoga, painting, sleeping, reading a book, walking, running, cleaning.. Whatever it is, find time to reboot. Solitude gives us the ability to push a refresh button on our energy. Utilise this special gift, acknowledge its rarity and learn to work with it.
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