For someone who, when their anxiety was at it’s worst, would crumble at the notion of spending time alone – I very much enjoy it now. Being alone in the house would render me essentially useless and made me feel isolated and unable to cope with doing every day things just in case something was to happen in which I would need assistance. But now, I’ve learned there are so many benefits of spending time alone.
Although thinking back now, it seems ridiculous – I don’t live in the middle of nowhere – I have neighbors either side of me, people to call and things to do and over time, as I began to understand my anxiety more and more, the feeling on isolation and worry of being alone soon turned into contentment and peacefulness.
However, I completely understand, especially if you’re in the midst of an anxiety disorder that it’s not always easy to recognize the benefits of spending time alone when it can cause so much worry.
Suddenly, being alone in the house meant I could do anything I wanted to. It meant I could relax and not hide anything. It meant I could cry if I wanted to without anyone disturbing me. It meant I could wander around and look like a tramp without anyone judging me. It meant I could make up my own rules – even just for a couple of hours whilst people were out – and the only person I had to worry about… Was myself. And my dog.
Over the past few years, this feeling has grown and grown until now where I don’t have a single pang of anxiety when I’m in the house alone after getting my thoughts in order and realizing that I can trust myself to be with myself. And that was my main problem a few years ago: I didn’t trust myself to take care of myself. And it was the worst feeling in the world.
I spend a fair bit of time alone but I do love being around people, meeting people, chatting to people but there’s always that moment where I crave a silent room, by myself. I don’t think there’s anything wrong at all with enjoying being my yourself. There’s also nothing wrong with hating it. But I wanted to share my own little list of reasons and benefits of spending time alone:
10 Benefits of Spending Time Alone:
You learn more about what worries you, your fears and anxieties
When you’re not surrounded by external chatter and distractions all the time, you begin to go inward a lot more and notice things about yourself which could be crucial. It also gives you the space to figure them out and work through them by yourself.
You also learn how to cope on your own without relying on someone else
This was always a big one for me because my anxiety disorder made me lose basically all my independence and it was absolutely awful. One of the big benefits of spending time alone is that you have to do things for yourself – and that’s never a bad thing to practice.
You will learn to trust yourself – the person who can take the best care of you, is you
Another big one for me because I spend a good chunk of my twenties not trusting myself. It was a sad and helpless feeling; one I wouldn’t wish upon anyone. Spending time alone allows you to build up that important trust with yourself.
You can do what you need to do: cry, scream, dance, watch 49 hours of Netflix
I mean, this is a pretty good reason to spend time alone, right? I love it when I can literally do whatever I want for a few hours without having to think or worry about anyone else! It’s great!
You will learn new skills on your own that are important for life – even if it’s just using a tin opener!
Similar to the above point about trusting yourself and coping on your own, spending time alone also allows you to learn how to do the boring every day stuff that’s important for life on your own too.
You can spend time doing something you and only you enjoy and put all your energy into it
Spending time with family and friends is obviously wonderful and needed but there’s often some level of compromise involved in anything you do. When spending time with yourself, you can be completely and utterly selfish – and it’s great!
You have time to assess yourself and how you can better yourself and your life
As well as being able to identify your anxieties and fears without the external chatter, you can also go deep within yourself and figure out what you need to make your life better, too, when the only person to think about is yourself.
You can work through your issues with no outside influence
Sometimes working through your issues by yourself is the best way to do it (unless it’s something serious that needs outside help). Learning not to lean on people or be influenced by everyone else is great and a huge benefit of spending time alone!
You will notice little things and appreciate them
Honestly, one of the huge benefits of spending time alone is that you’ll start to NOTICE things more. Whenever I’m alone or going for a walk by myself, I notice small things like the birds, the trees and the smell in the air. Something that never happens when I’m with people.
You learn that being alone is okay
And finally, if you’re someone that’s always struggled with being alone then the more time you spend alone, the more you’ll learn that it’s okay. That there are a ton of benefits to it and it’ll help you grow in the long run!
What would you add to this list? Do you enjoy your alone time? Let me know in the comments!
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