Why Alone Time is Essential for our Wellbeing

Peter Bui. 02/27/2023

(The Student Life)

Balance is a strong word. Many times, it’s considered perfect to have a somewhat balanced lifestyle between the good and bad. Junk food and healthy food, having fun and studying, exercise and rest. However, one balance that is key to an individual’s psychological wellbeing is balancing time spent alone and time spent socializing. Studies prove that even the most extroverted people need some time alone for reasons including personal development, self reflection, and positive effects on mental health.

Alone time is simply spending time on and by yourself. Sometimes being around others for an extended period of time can be hectic and it results in less time focused on one’s own goals, wants and needs. Though it may be difficult to believe, people can benefit from simply being alone since it could improve concentration as well as memory. For example, if one were to work in a group, they might spend less time and effort memorizing information due to the assumption that their group members would fill in the gaps in their place, a phenomenon known as ‘social loafing’. Working on tasks or assignments without a group can help individuals direct more of their attention on the task, which can improve retention and recall. It provides an opportunity for individuals to plan their lives, meetings, vacations, and all sorts of plans. We plan and reflect for work and fun   but why don’t we do the same for our dreams, aspirations and personal lives? Take a break from the rhythm and rush to reflect on whether you’re living a life true to you and your goals. It improves your mental wellbeing. Studies have shown that people who learn to find comfort in solitude tend to be happier, experience lower levels of stress and are less likely to have depression.

How to Utilize Alone Time

During your me-time, there’s a lot of things you can do. Taking yourself out to dinner, making yourself a meal, or going to a museum or art exhibit are all activities you can engage in alone. Maybe go to a museum or art exhibit. Or even simpler and more homey, think about things in the comfort of your room. If you have a hobby or are interested in having one, you can spend time focusing on that particular hobby. Instead of being focused on doing what other people want to do, you can pursue something that satisfies your own interests. However, while spending too much time socializing can be more harmful than helpful in some cases, being alone too often is also an unhealthy lifestyle. There’s a fine line between being alone and loneliness. It is important to remember that these are two very different things. Loneliness involves being isolated despite wanting social connections, whereas being alone means taking time for yourself between regular social interactions. Solitude is beneficial when it’s voluntary, as you can return to social groups when you want to, and is done in order to maintain positive relationships. Although spending time alone is certainly beneficial, it is important not to cross the line into loneliness since this can harm you in more ways than one. In conclusion, spending time alone is a healthy break every individual deserves. There’s plenty of benefits that can be achieved by doing something as simple as going to a museum, a movie, or even a restaurant all by yourself. While spending time alone is beneficial, being lonely is not. With that in mind, whenever you’re too strained from social interaction, or just need some time to focus on future plans and self improvement, take into account the benefits and peace you can find in somewhere as simple as your bedroom.

Cover Photo: (LifeHack)

Peter Bui