How to Enjoy Spending Time Alone
Alone time can be good for your health. Discover the benefits and 5 ways to increase enjoyment of time spent alone.
In a connected world where someone or something is always jostling for your attention, it’s can be hard to find the time to switch off and enjoy being alone. While many of us have adapted to this constant stream of distraction and entertainment, there is real joy to be found in time in solitude.
The benefits of solitude
Regulate your emotions
Switching off can help you feel rested and restored. By giving the mind space to be still without the interruptions of others, you allow yourself time to process how you feel, before letting these emotions go and finding yourself feeling more centred.
Develop your sense of identity
As social animals, we’re hard-wired to connect and seek out people similar to ourselves. These groups help us feel a valuable sense of belonging and safety which we need. These days, with constant access to millions of people sharing ideas and opinions that we subconsciously take in and absorb as our own. Spending time alone can help you develop your unique identity and spend time considering your own opinions and values without the influence of others.
Increase your creativity
Ever had the feeling you get your best ideas in the shower, or right before you fall asleep at night? This might be because these are the few times when you’re alone with your thoughts and no distractions. Your subconscious mind needs solitude to process and detangle the thousands of thoughts, ideas and interactions we have every day.
How to enjoy being alone
Schedule your time
If solitude doesn’t come naturally to you, it can help to carve out time during your day. For example, you could plan to go for a walk alone during your lunch hour, commit to 10 minutes of meditation before bed or set an alarm on your phone to turn it off for a certain amount of time each week.
Disconnect from technology
Have you ever felt like you were completely focused, only to be drawn in by the sound of a notification on your phone? Even if you can resist checking it, phones are designed to distract and garner attention. If you can, try turning off your phone, disabling notifications or putting it away entirely.
If you find being alone challenging, use your journal to explore why you feel uncomfortable, and brainstorm ways to make it work for you. Try a Halo entry like Self Discovery, Visualization or Savoring to use this time for introspection and mindfulness.
Make it your own
When it comes to enjoying time alone, there is no one-size-fits all way. For some, a walk in nature listening to music can be restorative. Others crave silence, finding that an almost meditative approach helps return them to the moment and feel more present.
Have a backup
Solitude can be better enjoyed when you have social support to fall back on, and when you have the tools to regulate your emotions. In order to experience solitude in a healthy way, make sure you have a social group to return to after time spent alone. It is also important to feel equipped for spending time alone, and acknowledging any mental or physical health barriers that may cause solitude to do more harm than good.