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Why spending time alone is a good thing

Spending time alone

Humans are social creatures; its in our nature. While some of us are more extroverted or introverted, having others around at least some of the time feels right.

But what do you do if there’s no one around? While for a day or two, this might seem nice – having the apartment or house to yourself, no one around to bug you or interrupt anything you’re doing – it’s easy to get stir crazy and feel like you have to go out in public just to have some sort of human interaction.

Time alone, in my opinion, is an essential part of your growth into adulthood. It’s a time when you are forced to face yourself and anything you’ve been bottling up; time to be yourself without the pressure to please or entertain anyone; time to figure out who, at the core of your being, you really are.

While, sure, the chances of you being sent to a shack in the middle of Siberia or sentenced to solitary confinement are slim to none (or maybe not, I don’t know your life), opportunities that leave you alone for an extended amount of time (even if it’s just a long weekend or a week or two) are important and should be welcomed.

It’s a good thing, I promise.

You get to figure yourself out

As the great RuPaul said, “If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else?”

While being completely comfortable with and loving yourself wholly isn’t always a prerequisite to every relationship, it’s a nice feeling to know yourself when you are without somebody else. It’s proof to yourself that you are your own person even when there’s no one else around.

Now that you’re alone, you can try new things and figure out what you like and what you don’t, in all aspects of your life. Got a recipe for a food you’ve always wanted to try? Okay, that was gross, now order yourself a pizza with the toppings you want on it. Is there a show that you’ve always secretly wanted to binge on but were afraid of people judging you for it? Well microwave some popcorn and snuggle in for a day of guilt-free watching.

Time alone is time to find out what kind of routine works for you, how you can fill your free time, and for you to find things that get your juices going when no one else is around.

You get to do what you want to do when you want to do it

When you don’t have to entertain other people, you actually have time to do what you want to do, or don’t do it. If you’re alone time means that you’re actually living alone for a little while, you can do as many or as few of the chores as you want. Sink full of dishes low on your priority list? Leave ‘em. Want to do a full scrub down of every inch of your apartment? By all means, go for it. Even a little goal of when you’re finally going to take out all of your recycling is up to you.

Without the pressure of other people, you’re free to spend your days however you please. If you just have a weekend to yourself, I recommend spending at least one of your days alone treating yourself. Rub yourself down with some nice lotion after taking all the time you need to shave your legs (or even if you don’t shave your legs). Watch your favorite movie and then rewind it and watch it again. Go get dinner from a restaurant you love or from a place you’ve never tried.

The world is your oyster when you’re alone; do whatever you want.

You’re not distracted from the Big Bad Sad

Everyone has a thing that, at the mere mention of it, will leave them incapacitated. As Louis C.K. said, we sometimes look to our phones to keep our mind off it when there’s no one else around. When you’re alone, without any distractions from people or other things going on, that thing has a chance to creep up on you and overtake you.

Let it.

The best thing you can do to help you through that big horrible thing is to let it fully envelope you where you’re forced to deal with it straight on.

Now, how you deal with it is up to you; be it a creative outlet (writing, drawing, etc.), working out in someway, or even playing a mindless game on your phone while your brain crawls through the muck. However you choose to face your demons, do your best to end up on top.

That’s not to say that you’ll win or you’ll never have an issue with your horrible thing ever again, but it’ll be a step towards fully winning the war – a step that can only be taken when you’re alone.

Getting time alone, for whatever length of time, is essential to knowing who you are and who you will be as an adult. Sure, surrounding yourself with your significant other, family members, friends, or whoever on a regular basis is awesome, but sometimes you just need time to yourself to be who and do what you want you want to do.


About the Author

Julie Winsel

With a background in magazine and newspaper publishing with a splash of business-sense, Julie (Eckardt) Winsel is re-pursuing her passion for writing. Now living in Eugene, Oregon, with her husband and cat, she likes vodka-crans and getting caught in the rain.