We live in a world where we’re constantly connected to other people, whether that’s through face-to-face interaction, messaging, or social media. You may think that you have enough alone time, but it doesn't really count when 'alone time' consists of non-stop group chat notifications and screenshots of the funniest memes, does it?
Try not to be so quick to brush off real, quality time with yourself. Remember, not everyone seeking solitude is lonely. Sometimes, they’re just looking for a way to reboot and recharge their mind and body. In fact, it’s actually beneficial to your health in the emotional, physical, and psychological sense.
In a study made by Harvard University, they found that people have the ability to form “more lasting and accurate memories if they believe they’re experiencing something alone.” This gives you a stronger grasp of what you remember and confidence in what you believe in since you went through the experience independently.
“There is something very liberating for people about being on their own," says Eric Klinenberg, a sociologist at New York University and author of the book Alone in America. "They’re able to establish some control over the way they spend their time. They’re able to decompress at the end of a busy day in a city...and experience a feeling of freedom,” he adds.
Aside from that, spending some quality time alone makes you more empathetic towards others and helps you improve your relationships – whether that’s the platonic or romantic kind. Going solo even for just a few minutes of your day can make a big impact on how you form real attachments and how you value your relationships.
“Solitude is where you find yourself so that you can reach out to other people and form real attachments. When we don't have the capacity for solitude, we turn to other people in order to feel less anxious or in order to feel alive,” says researcher and founder of the MIT Initiative on Technology and Self Sherry Turkle. “When this happens, we're not able to appreciate who they are. It's as though we're using them as spare parts to support our fragile sense of self.”
Don’t be afraid to step back and recharge if the world and the people around start to overwhelm you; you’re not obliged to cater to everybody’s needs – and they’ll still be there when you decide to reconnect with them again.
Take care of your mind, your heart, and your body. There’s nothing wrong with embracing solitude once in a while as it’s good for your health – and YOU of all people should know that taking care of yourself is the first step to achieving happiness and fulfilment in life.