Human beings are naturally social creatures. We gravitate towards others and often seek comfort and companionship to enrich our lives – and there’s nothing wrong with that!
But, setting aside time to be alone with yourself is just as important for your mental health and balance as building and maintaining those social connections.
Solitude has historically been tarred with a negative brush with it being used as punishment, seen as a sign of bad character, or leading to feelings of abandonment, but it’s not all doom and gloom!
Being alone by choice
Loneliness is a feeling no one enjoys and can often lead to negative health impacts. We generally feel lonely when we’re not alone by choice
On the contrary, choosing to spend time doing things solo can have a big positive affect on your mental and physical health.
Benefits of spending time with yourself
It’s great for your imagination and creativity
In a world full of noise and distractions, zoning in on your own ideas and sense of creativity can sometimes feel impossible. Eliminating those distractions frees up your mind to explore and unpack ideas on a deeper and more detailed level, analysing them without influence or external pressures.
Our minds are capable of incredible things, and the imagination is where so many great ideas are born. By allowing ourselves the alone time needed to focus inward, we nurture and feed our imaginations and creative freedoms.
It can be great for relationships
Relationships are often viewed as the coming together of two people into one union, but it doesn’t mean you should never be apart! Allowing yourself and your partner to spend time doing things alone feeds your sense of identity and highlights how special your connections really are.
It promotes self-reflection
Taking time for some self-reflection is one of today’s most neglected activities because it needs to be done alone.
Reflecting on your behaviour, ideas, decisions, challenging situations, and anything concerning the self can be incredibly therapeutic and cleansing, and often provides clarity to the mind.
Great activities to do on your own
Go for a long walk in nature
Surrounding yourself with nature, away from technology and life distractions is a refreshing solo activity. Breathing fresh air and practicing mindfulness in your surroundings is great for your mental and physical health.
Try a new restaurant
Taking a leap and doing something new can also involve some seriously tasty food. Dining by yourself allows you to focus on your meal – the flavours, textures, and atmosphere of the restaurant. And no, you won’t look weird!
Go to the movies
Is there a movie coming out no one’s really interested in seeing? Perfect! Take yourself out to the cinema, grab some snacks, kick back and enjoy a film on your own. If you can do it alone from your couch, what’s stopping you from doing it at the big screen?