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.
Photo by Tanya Trukyr on Unsplash
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.
Related: Who Am I Without My Anxiety Disorder?
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.
Related: How To Stop Procrastinating and Get Things Done
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!
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I nodded my head vigorously while reading this post. In b-school itself, I realized I liked being on my own. My friend & I switched roommates so that we could be together but as soon as we moved in together, shit hit the fan.
We fought & finally she started spending more time in another room. As soon as our cohabitation ended, we were friends again. I was naïve then but now I know that it was largely due to me. I felt my personal space badly encroached. Since then, I’ve appreciated being alone.
It took me a long time to learn to enjoy time on my own. Now I absolutely love it!
I’m so glad to hear that!
Really needed to read this today. Been thinking for a while about moving out of my mums house and living by myself. The thought terrifies me but I know it will also help my anxiety and personal growth after the inital, scary part of being alone is over. So, thank you.
I don’t live by myself but I really would like to. I think that would be an amazing step to take.
I have only recently gotten used to spending time on my own but I am learning to use it to my advantage. Great post!
Amber – The Unpredicted Page
Thank you. Glad you’re discovering the benefits!
I’ve always needed a lot of alone time – I was an only child up until 8 plus I’m really introverted, so I think it became really crucial for me from that. I need a good few hours alone each day which I use for all sorts of things – reading, writing, gaming… Just time where I can unwind and get away from chatter!
Oh yeah I bet. I’m an only child too so I can imagine that’s had an impact too!
Thanks for sharing, sometimes spending time alone does help, with all the points that you have shared, but also having company does help esp. at the time we are going through at the moment. Plus sometimes going to places and exploring is better with others 🙂
Nic | Nic’s Adventures & Bakes
I’ll have to agree to disagree with you there! As I’ve been in lockdown constantly with 3 other people, I need my alone time right now!
I love having some alone time, I know when I lived at home with my parents the only alone time I really had was if I disappeared to my bedroom in the evenings or if I decided to go out by myself but that was about it so I feel like I had to really learn to enjoy my own company when I moved out. Now I enjoy it, even today my boyfriend has gone out and I am left at home by myself and I am loving it haha xx
I loveeeeee spending time on my own. I think it’s the thing I’ve struggled with the most since becoming a mum as I don’t care that chance as much anymore and when I do I feel guilty for it. I really need to find a happy medium xx
Great post. I’m finding more and more these days that I need to spend time alone. I’ve now created space in the conservatory and go there every day to sit and just ‘be’. It’s wonderful
This is so true. Although being alone has never made me anxious, I can totally relate to all these points. I crave my alone time so much, more than anything and it doesn’t mean I don’t like spending time with people I love, I just want to breathe for a minute.
Whenever I’m alone, I’m the most productive person I’d ever be and I get to do what I want or just recharge. It’s truly liberating.
I love my alone time, unfortunately it’s mostly gone out of the window this year since corona came along.
Oh yeah, I bet. Sorry to hear that!
I love being alone.
Bath time is prime alone time, but I also like walking alone, and visiting museums and galleries alone, and sitting in a cafe or bar and people watching while pretending to read. I can’t wait to be able to do it all again.
Cora | http://teapartyprincess.co.uk/
Oh same! This comments makes me want to do LOADS more alone.
I have to say, I’ve never felt so disconnected from myself, hadn’t really thought about it being due to any reason but it is absolutely because I have spent no time alone!
From being single a really long time, I got used to my own company and I LOVED it, genuinely. Now I adore my time with Rob but that time to myself is so needed from time to time.
Thank you for the great points and a reminder that we all need time alone sometimes x
Absolutely love having a bit of me time sometimes. It can make such a difference to my mood and I feel so much more like myself after having done something that I love to do for a few hours.
Tash // A Girl with a View
Oh same girl!
I’ve been taking some alone time of myself and I absolutely love it. I love being in the comfort of my own company, doing little chores, relaxing, catching up on things. I love how you’ve broken it down! thanks for sharing xx
Totally agree. Thanks for commenting 🙂
thanks for sharing!!!
I adore alone time, sooo much. It’s definitely how I recharge and feel most at home. Every reason you mentioned here is spot on for me as well!! Nothing beats being in control of your own schedule, routine, and relaxation time. And eeep!! I can’t believe your publication date is coming up so fast!
I totally agree. I love being on my own pace and schedule! Ah I know!
This is very interesting. As an introvert, I’ve always loved spending time alone. It energizes me. But for an extrovert (like my husband, for example), he gets his energy from being around people. I’d like to think I’ve helped him to enjoy being alone a little bit more. 🙂
That’s good to hear! We’re all different though 🙂
Exactly! That’s what makes the world go round.
Great post! I love spending time with others, but I definitely need time alone. It is a way to recharge so you have more to give back to the people in your life.
Totally agree. You can’t pour from an empty cup!
So relate to this. As much as I enjoy company, I loveee time alone, I guess some people love it more than others. Being a introvert, my personality just likes the time with no one to please and being able to do what i like
I love having no one to please!
I know covid 19 brings many disadvantages for us. But, there is part of me thanking this situation for giving me time with myself A LOT.☺️ I finally read my tbr and can start my own book blog. I have much times to think about my life and what I really love and want to pursue.♥️ Thanks for writing this!
That’s some amazing benefits it’s brought you!
I used to HATE my own company but I am really starting to enjoy it now and I crave more time for my own thoughts and to just be on my own!
That’s good to hear!
I agreed with all points. I also love spending time alone. In fact, I’m the kinda person who always need my Me Time.
Definitely sounds like me!
I LOVE alone time. Not that I don’t like the company of my partner or friends, but I do love just watching my own stuff, playing video games or reading, and having no one to annoy me. It’s bliss and something I really didn’t experience prior to 2018!
Same, same, SAME!
I love spending time with family and friends but there are times that I need my own space and company. After about a week, I start getting snappy and cranky with people unless I have space from them! Thanks for sharing these benefits 🙂
I’m the same!
I absolutely love and need my alone time. Being a classic introvert, I NEED my alone time to recharge, otherwise I can become quite the monster! This lockdown season has been especially hard for me because you’re just constantly in the house with others, and it’s really impacted my mental health in a negative manner.
I am happy for you for your journey. Becoming comfortable with being by ourselves is a process, and I know a lot of people struggle with it! And congratulations on your book. Can’t wait to read it. 🙂
Thank you! I feel exactly the same. A couple of weeks ago, I practically ran out of the door because I couldn’t be with people for any longer!
I completely agree with you Jenny. I’ve been on both sides of the coin too – afraid of being left alone (largely because of toxic or intrusive thoughts) and also relatively dependent on alone time. Sometimes I feel like alone time is the only time I can truly breathe or relax. And I completely sympathise with you on the productivity thing, my husband decides to launch into long winded conversations when I’m in the middle of writing something and it’s soooo frustrating!
Oh same! I can’t work with my boyfriend in the same room because he just talks ALL THE TIME for no reason!
I have mixed feelings about alone time so for me, its important to get the right balance of alone time and time with others. I do mostly really enjoy alone time though because I can do my own thing and listen to my own music without anyone else complaining haha 🙂 x
Yeah having a healthy balance is so important, I agree!
I actually love being by myself sometimes, whether I decide to take the dogs for a walk or just sit in a separate space and read a book. I sometimes feel like my head is going to explode if I’m around other people, especially big groups, for too long. I find it tiring being around too many people sometimes and really enjoy my own space. Wonderful read!
I feel exactly the same!
Oh my goodness I LOVE alone time! I feel so much better when I am able to get a little alone time during the day!
Same! I just can’t function otherwise!
Great points! Honestly, I am a firm believer that alone time is necessary if we’re going to listen to our hearts and find our way in life. Otherwise, the outside ‘clutter’ drowns us out and makes it difficult to find out what our hearts and our guts are actually saying.
I totally agree!
I love this post! As much as I love being around people and being social I also absolutely love being alone. Whether its just reading a book or doing something such as going shopping, being by yourself is so important to relax and recharge.
It really is. Even the mundane tasks can be relaxing if you’re doing them alone quietly.
I love being alone – but still struggle with it at the same time. It’s an odd balance I’m trying to manage though.
That being said – I’m super productive when I’m alone in the mornings!
Finding a balance is definitely important. And I’m the same in the morning! I love my quiet time alone in the morning.
I honestly love being alone. It took me years to realize that, and like you, I was once really worried about being on my own. Now, it’s so pleasant! Don’t get me wrong, being with my husband is wonderful, and when he’s home a lot, it’s great because I adore his company. But, when I get a whole day to myself to just focus on my tasks and get everything done? It’s AMAZING. I feel so productive. And then I get to chill with sole possession of the remote control haha!
YES! Literally same to all of this!
I love love love love being alone, probably a little bit too much. My mum worked away a lot when I was younger so I spent a lot of my teenage years home alone and I got so used to having my own space and freedom that other people being around became a bit annoying at times 😂. But it really is great for self reflection x
Oh I can imagine! A few years ago, my boyfriend, Mum and Dad all worked full time and because I work from home, I was home alone a lot. Now due to COVID and my Dad no longer working, there’s people in the house ALL THE TIME so it’s a difficult shift!
I too love time alone. It is peaceful and quiet; I can think what I want to, wander into myself without worrying I will be interrupted. I can plan stories, think of stories, piece together stories, or just watch the trees move with the wind. I also love the opportunity to sort out my thoughts and reconnect with myself before heading back out into other people’s company.
Yes to all of this!
I love living with my hubby to be. I love his company. But I love my alone time. I love being able to just sit and read or watch a movie and enjoy it without him lol I think that alone time is so important to be able to think and reflect in a way that you can’t when others are around. It’s freeing, being on your own.
Thanks for sharing xo
I agree. I love being with my boyfriend so much but my alone time is mega important to me too.
I love spending time alone at home! xx
After living alone for 4 months, I’m not exactly looking forward to my brother and his girlfriend moving back to our apartment – I love them but I love being alone and doing whatever I want. I never knew how important it is to have time to myself 🙂
I adore my own company, probably because I so rarely get to enjoy it. Don’t get me wrong, I love my daughter and my husband but sometimes I CRAVE my alone time. Usually that’s in my garden, because they’re not so interested. And I love your point about the most important relationship being with yourself – that’s spot on, Jenny, thank you! xxx
Lisa | http://www.lisasnotebook.com
Ah I can imagine your garden being your proper little safe sanctuary to spend time alone in 🙂 That’s what I’m hoping my office will be for me!
Alone time always makes me more productive. The last few months have definitely been very challenging and I find myself wishing the other half would hurry up and go back to work
Haha I’ve had that thought too for sure!
I’m an introvert and need my alone time! I struggle to get it though with two young boys, so I have to be assertive and ask for it when I need it. You’ve reminded me how important it is!
That’s a really important point and I’m glad that you take that control to get the alone time you need to function!
Alone time is really important, especially for your own mental health!
Love, Amie ❤
The Curvaceous Vegan
Oh it sure is!
All of these are true! I have really struggled with loneliness during lockdown but I do have moments like you described! High-five for coping!
Daisy xoxo | According To Daisy
Sorry to hear that Daisy! xx
Love this post! That’s exactly how I felt during lockdown. Being with people 24/7 is not great and every time my partner was invited to the pub, even if it was a virtual meeting at the beginning I was telling him, almost begging him to go so I could have some alone time. As you, I started to go for more walks just to get at least one hour to myself a day.
I honestly don’t blame you!
Loved this post and the reflection on alone time as a positive. As someone who suffers from social anxiety, I’ve always cherished my time alone but can understand how it can be debilitating for some. Quarantine has really shown us more about ourselves than I’m sure we’re all loathe to admit lol
I agree. It’s taught me a lot about myself too!
Completely agree with you Jenny! I’m extremely introverted as well as having social anxiety, so time alone is something I really need to thrive. Lately I’ve been living with Blair’s family and it’s been really hard not being alone at all, I have been so stressed out. Hopefully soon though I’ll be back to getting a bit of alone time and it will be glorious! I’m so glad you’re managing to find the good in something that used to make you anxious x
I can imagine that was a difficult adjustment! Hopefully you get your own place and that time and space you need soon!
I love some alone time too. I’m an introvert but I’ve really learnt the value of spending alone time at home rather than going out constantly to get alone time since I too have a busy home. Thanks for sharing.
I think alone time anywhere is important, whether that’s outside or not!
Nice post. I’ve really enjoyed spending time with myself during this lockdown. I’ve discovered myself.
That’s amazing to hear.
Nice post. I’ve come to enjoy alone time due to the reasons you listed. I’ve known myself more and it helps my productivity.
I love my alone time too!☺️
This is a really great post! I think spending time alone is very empowering, i struggle sometimes with anxiety when spending a lot of time alone but if I make a plan of what im gonna do, whether relaxing and pampering or getting some work done i do much better!
I can really relate to that. When my anxiety was really bad, if I was faced with an extended period of time alone, I’d get really anxious about it but as soon as I had some tasks to do and a plan, it grounded me.
I totally agree! Alone time for me really recharges me and makes me ready for the next day. Thanks for sharing!
MagicandBliss | https://magicandbliss.com/
Same! Thank you 🙂
I’m such an introvert that I need alone time after a while. I need that time alone to recharge my social batteries, as I get fed up of people after too long and I find it really draining xx
Hannah | https://luxuryblush.co.uk/
Same! After I’ve seen people for a while I definitely need a day to myself!
I’m such an introvert and homebody so I love spending time alone!
This is a brilliant post, very important and true!
Thank you 🙂
I absolutely love spending time alone! But I wasn’t always that way. Like you I’ve developed anxiety over the last few years which left me no able to do anything alone at one point! It was a nightmare but I’m so much better now and I can relate to so many of these good points!
Congrats on your book also! 🙂
So glad you can relate. Sounds like you’ve had a very similar experience to me! And thank you 🙂
Congratulations on your book!!!
Thank you 🙂
I love spending time alone! Especially on weekend after 5 days of working, I need to recharge by just lying on my bed lol.
I don’t blame you!
I love alone time! I always find I can get more things done when I’m on my own, all these benefits are so true Jenny x
Lucy | http://www.lucymary.co.uk
Oh same! I can’t stand all the distractions!
Such a lovely post Jenny! I love having some alone time every now and then! It is like a must isn’t it! The proper time to relax and unwind!
It sure is!
I love my alone time – I do find I learn more about myself and it gives me time to explore exacty where my interests do lie
Same! I always learn much more about myself when I’m alone compared to when I’m with others.
I love my alone time, I love to sit and read in peace. I’m currently organising a room so I can sit with all my nice things in peace. Great post thanks for sharing. My other half usually works away but due to the situation he can’t. Love spending time with him t but I do enjoy alone time.
That sounds lovely!
Love this! I value alone time so much. Whilst lockdown has had its benefits, there have also been times where I’ve really needed just a few hours to myself and not being able to have that was hard at times so I can totally understand where you’re coming from. Great post Jenny 🙂 xx
Tiffany x http://www.foodandotherloves.co.uk
Thank you 🙂 Sorry to hear you’ve struggled with that too over lockdown.
Amazing post! Thank you for sharing! I totally agree with you on these points! I try to have some alone time sometimes and I feel quite comfortable doing it!
That’s good to hear 🙂
I agree with a lot of what you say here. Although I love spending time with other people, I love spending time on my own. I also really like going up to London on my own and wandering around the sites. I think I like having the freedom of being able to do what I want to do.
Sounds like a lovely thing to do!
I totally agree with your points. Spending time alone is very important. I know that a lot of people find that hard to do. I don’t know if it is because I’m an introvert or because I just feel comfortable not being surrounded by people, but I’ve always found alone time to be so therapeutic for me. I just need time just for myself so I can think clearly and reflect.
Antonia || Sweet Passions
I’m the same. But yes, not everyone is like that. I’m an introvert too so I can’t imagine wanting to be around people 24/7!
I’m not at a stage where I feel totally comfortable being alone. I’ll spend time alone at home but will not go anywhere alone,my anxiety is too bad atm xxx
Sorry to hear that. If you want any tips, I’m only a DM away!