Alone Time – Its Value, Options, and How to Make Some

Alone time can sound intimidating to some, but did you know that it can be really beneficial?  We’re going to cover some of the benefits of spending time alone and how to help others understand your need for a break.

Alone time is an essential and fun element to living a simple and balanced life. Amount of alone time will vary by person, and personality; it helps to reset our minds and refresh our relationships, and improve concentration, communication, and happiness.

Do you ever feel like you just need a break from everyone and everything to reset?  When was the last time you spent some quality time with yourself?

What Is Alone Time?

Alone time is the time you spend by yourself, away from family, friends, neighbors, coworkers, etc.  It can be done anywhere-in your car, your office, your bedroom, outdoors, even travelling.  It’s great to have some alone time to reset and reinvigorate for the everyday or even something bigger.

Alone time is an opportunity for self-reflection and growth. It allows us to disconnect from the chaotic world around us and focus on our inner thoughts and needs. Allowing ourselves alone times allows us to recharge mentally, physically, and spiritually. During alone time, we can separate ourselves from daily distractions and enable personal development.

Man backpacking - Alone Time - Gone Minimal
Man backpacking

Benefits of Alone Time

When you spend time alone, you re-center yourself.  There are so many things you can do by yourself that will help make you a better person.  The activity is your choice-but here are some of the benefits of spending time alone:

  • Refocus attention
  • Improved concentration
  • Strengthens relationships
  • Creativity boost
  • Increased productivity
  • Increased empathy
  • Relieves stress
  • Increased gratitude
  • Improved mental awareness

Doesn’t this all sound great?  If you’re concerned about how to take care of others and spend some time alone, it can be done.  In fact-it can make relationships with others better while helping you recharge.

Types of Alone Time

Each person will generally have different preferences for what makes them happy, helps them relax, feel good, and recharge. Here are a few examples of helpful alone time that can get some ideas flowing.

Alone Time in a Relationship

Sometimes you need a break from your significant other.  When you live together, sleep in the same bed together, especially over time it’s good to get some alone time.  This can help rekindle the spark between you and enhance your bond.  What’s that old saying, “absence makes the heart grow fonder”?  It’s usually true!  When even the way they chew their food irritates you, it’s time to spend some time alone.

Alone Time from Family

Family can be hard work!  Whether it’s your own spouse and children or your aging parents, sometimes you need to take time away from family.  This can help strengthen your relationships with family members and even improve trust.  You might be surprised-it can even improve communication!  If you’re feeling frustrated with family members and it seems like they’re not listening to you, it’s time to spend some time alone.

Alone Time at Work

The demands at work can be many from the team you’re on to the committees and meetings you’re supposed to attend.  Sometimes we work better when we are alone, sans distractions.  Shut your office door or put in your headphones to help you focus on your work.  At the same rate, we need breaks from work to be alone. 

You earn vacation time for a reason-use it!  This can help you find your passion for what you do again-and even improve your productivity.  If you’re tired of your work and considering leaving, it’s time to spend some time alone.

Here is an insightful video that explores valuable reasons to include alone time in life:

How to Explain that You Need Alone Time

It can be difficult to tell the people you love and care about or those you work with that you need a break.  Sometimes you don’t even need to explain it-your actions are your words.  If you’ve been caring for a sick child, grocery shopping for your wheelchair-bound mom, or taking your father to doctor’s appointments, you need to take some time for yourself. 

Tell your family or coworkers that you need to take some time off to reset and refresh.  The details are your business, so you can choose to keep those to a minimum.  Arrange for childcare, for someone else to cover your work, for someone to help care for your parents, and take the time to care for yourself. Some important points to share with those you’re communicating your need for alone time to:

  • It’s nothing they did-just something you need
  • Specifically what your alone time looks like
  • Expectations for communication or lack thereof
  • How long you expect to need alone time
  • When you’ll return
  • How you’ll reunite-a special event or even drinks

These points should be specifically shared whether it’s for a week or a couple of hours.  This way your friends, partner, and coworkers know what to expect and have no need to worry.

Is it Natural to Want Alone Time?

Absolutely, yes!  Humans are pretty social creatures most of the time, so it’s only natural to want some alone time on occasion.  It can be pretty draining to keep up with family, friends, coworkers, and social events.  Some people need more alone time than others, and that’s perfectly natural as well.

Introverts especially value their alone time!  Your mind and body might even be telling you that it’s time for some alone time-check out these signs:

  1. You’ve lost interest in things you used to enjoy.
  2. You’re lacking energy.
  3. You’re eating more/less than usual.
  4. You feel stressed.
  5. You’re overwhelmed by small things.
  6. You’re getting snippy with family and friends.
  7. You feel the need to hide.
  8. You’ve lost your inspiration.
  9. You don’t care about things.
  10. Your phone alerts make you cringe.

How many did you identify with?  Even if you said yes to only two or three of them, it’s time to spend some alone time to recharge!  For some ideas on ways to spend time alone, keep on reading!

We need alone time to reset our minds and refresh our relationships.

Examples of Ways How to Spend Alone Time

There are so many ways to spend alone time to help you reinvigorate your brain and your life.  It’s always helpful to find an activity or two that you truly enjoy, which will encourage you to do them more often.  Here are just a few ways you can consider spending time with yourself:

  • Meditation
  • Journaling
  • Yoga
  • Exercise
  • Learn something new
  • Hobbies
  • Read a book
  • Pamper yourself
  • Put away your smartphone
  • Relax and do nothing!

This is just a few suggestions to get you started on your optimal alone time.  You may even consider scheduling some alone time each week to ensure you follow through with your self-care.  Try once a week for a couple of weeks and if you aren’t feeling recharged, up it to twice a week.  

Woman doing yoga - Alone Time - Gone Minimal
Woman doing yoga

Examples of Alone Time – From Real People

I asked 5 family/friends what top 4 favorite ways they like to spend alone time the most. Here is what I learned and what they shared:

How To Spend Time Alone# of People
Reading a book4
Watching tv/movies4
Listening to music3
Playing games (console/phone)3

Other Resources:

Alone time can be an absolute necessity for some, even those extroverts you know and see at all the social events.  It doesn’t have to be a lonely time!  Get to know the signs that you need a break and pay attention to them!  Spending time with ourselves can benefit us in so many ways from mental clarity to productivity at work, so there’s no good reason to avoid alone time.  How will you spend your alone time?

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