If you read my blog enough, you’ll know that almost a decade ago, I developed an absolutely crippling and debilitating anxiety disorder. It changed and ruined my life in equal measures. But every cloud has a silver lining (in my opinion anyway) and that experience gave me a much deeper relationship with myself. Especially with the benefits of alone time. Because for a number of years, I was TERRIFIED of spending time alone.
When my anxiety was at it’s very worst, being alone was my worst nightmare. I didn’t trust myself. I didn’t trust that I could take care of myself. It was awful. Even being home alone was torture. And that for me was the start of a longgggg journey to trusting myself again. To learning to be with myself again. And learning to love myself again – anxiety and all.
Next month, my book Finding Your Way Back To You is being published (eeeek!) where I go into the fine details of my anxiety disorder, how it affected my life and literally everything in-between. And I look much more closely at how I felt being by myself.
But now? My gosh, I value my time alone so much. It took me almost a decade to realise that, “hey, you’re alright on your own” but I finally got there and I value my alone time more than ever. The benefits of alone time are monumental and I truly believe that everyone needs that time and space alone to work on themselves. Being alone doesn’t mean you don’t enjoy the company of your partner or your children. It doesn’t mean you’re lonely either.
My need for alone time became particularly apparent during lockdown, when I was at home with 3 other people for over 4 months. I live at home with my parents and boyfriend at present with both my Mum and boyfriend usually working every day and my Dad being out and about doing things. I work from home and suddenly, I had no time or space to myself. In July, it really started to get to me and my anxiety was rising, I was getting agitated and even disassociating at times because I just couldn’t bare to be around people any longer.
It was then that the value of alone time REALLY hit me, so today I want to look at 6 benefits of alone time:
Alone time helps you learn more about yourself
I don’t know about anyone else but I can rarely go inwards and do a bit of soul searching when I’m surrounded by other people. When there’s constant chatter in my ear. One of the huge benefits of alone time is that it helps you learn more about yourself – more than you’ll probably ever learn with other people. Sometimes, when I’m alone, I feel completely and totally myself. And it’s wonderful.
It helps you start to enjoy your own company
You know what’s absolutely EXHAUSTING? Hating your own company. Honestly, during that period where I was scared of being by myself, I’ve never been more exhausted. But as a 20 something woman, learning to enjoy my own company was crucial. And now I absolutely love it. I’d highly recommend checking out Absolutely Lucy – one of my absolute FAVOURITE bloggers who’s a solo female traveler!
It allows you to relax and recharge
This one’s for all the introverts out there. Gimmie an I – gimmie and N! This is something I really missed during lockdown – a chance to be by myself in peace and quiet and relax. Because with 3 other people and a dog all doing different things, with a million different noises happening around you, it was impossible to relax at times. I took myself off for a walk by myself, made sure I got up earlier so I could have some quiet time in the morning and had a LOT of baths!
Related: How To Switch Off and Relax
Alone time can boost your productivity
Another thing that I really struggled with at times in lockdown was my productivity. Now, I am a productive as heck person. I rarely procrastinate and I always get the shit done that I need to get done. But it’s so freaking hard when you’re trying to work in the same room as your boyfriend who WON’T. STOP. TALKING. If you need something doing and you’re finding you’re not getting it done – find some space for yourself.
When you’re alone – you can do anything you want!
Like I said earlier, when I’m alone, I feel completely myself and that’s one of my favorite things about it. I can do whatever I want without anyone judging me. I took myself out for a walk to a lake during lockdown and spent like, 40 minutes just sitting on a bench and watching the ducks swim on the water. If my boyfriend was there, he’d have got bored. But I didn’t have to worry about anythinggggg. It’s fab.
It allows you to work on your most important relationship – the one with yourself
And finally, one of the biggest benefits of alone time is that it allows you to work on your most important relationship of you – the one with yourself. With all the above points combined, spending time alone can allow you to learn about yourself, be yourself, enjoy yourself and do wonders for your personal growth. Nobody else is going to do it for you!
Do you like spending time alone? What’s your favourite activity to do alone? Do you find benefits of alone time that I haven’t mentioned here? Let me know!