6 Compelling Reasons To Spend Some Time Alone

Man Sitting Alone

“There are times when alone is the best place to be.” ~Unknown

Some people think it’s awful to spend time alone—that it means you're antisocial or no one needs you.

Some people feel sad and lonely when they don’t have company every evening or weekend.

But being alone doesn't mean that no one needs you. And it can actually be quite useful to take some time to yourself.

I am almost thirty. This is an age when you start to rethink your whole life, trying to understand what you should change or improve, what you should do next, and what specifically you need in your life.

I felt this way a couple of months ago.

I thought I’d achieved nothing in my almost thirty years, and I felt I should have changed something but couldn't figure out what or how.

I had to cope with my feelings, but the everyday chaos of my life didn't allow me time to concentrate on myself.

The decision came like a bolt from the blue—to spend some time completely alone.

When you're alone, nothing prevents you from listening to your inner voice, heart, and mind.

Here are a few other benefits of spending time in solitude.

1. It's a great opportunity to recharge.

We often try to make people around us happy and help them work through their feelings. This can be emotionally draining.

For example, I have one friend who lives abroad, who comes online to talk to me only when she feels bad and wants to share all her problems with me. It takes a lot of energy and makes me sad and frustrated.

Time spent alone helped me take a break from constant interaction with other people so I could recharge.

2. It's a good time to think and reflect.

Life moves at a crazy speed. It doesn't often give us time to stop and reflect. When alone, you have a great opportunity to focus on yourself.

Thanks to my voluntary solitude, I had a chance to question whether I was moving in the right direction, I've realized what I should change in my life, and I've finally found time to relax and meditate.

3. It's a chance to understand what really makes you happy.

When you spend time with other people, you often have to make compromises. There's always a chance that what you want may not coincide with others' wishes. When you're alone, it's only you who decides what to do.

Do you want to spend the whole day lying on the beach? Go! Do you want to visit that contemporary art exhibition? There's no reason to skip it. As for me, I've finally visited the city of my dreams, Prague. None of my friends ever had the time, money, or desire to go with me, but that no longer mattered.

4. It makes you more productive.

It can be fun and exciting to spend time with friends, but it can also distract you from things that are important to you, like exercise, hobbies, a long-delayed book, and unfinished work.

Spending some time alone can be a good opportunity to make progress toward your personal goals.

5. It makes you more self-reliant.

We often seek approval from friends, colleagues, and family members before we take action or make a decision. There are times when it's necessary to do this, but there are also times when it's possible to act without consulting others first.

When you're alone, you'll learn how to make decisions without anyone's help. This was difficult for me at first, but in time I became more self-reliant.

6. It teaches you to value people who are close to you.

When you regularly take time for yourself, it becomes even more enjoyable to engage with others, as you’ve given yourself time and space to miss their company.

Don't be afraid of being alone. Very often it helps us understand who we are, what we want, and what we can do to become better people.

Man sitting alone image via Shutterstock

About Lesley Vos

Lesley Vos is a novice writer who is working on her novelette at the moment. She teaches French to high school students and is in the search of herself. You are welcome to contact Lesley via Google+.

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  • Lana

    Good article! Made me rethink spending time alone 🙂

  • Megan

    Thank you for this inspiring article! I can certainly relate. I spent some self appointed time alone with myself after feeling very let down by my friends on a regular basis. I ended up allowing myself to focus on my inner emotions without distraction. I ended up writing my first forum post here within the safe haven of Tiny Buddha entitled, ‘Raw Emotion’. This alone time allowed me to recognize that I am the best friend I could possibly have. This article is valuable to me in giving me the push I need not be afraid to spend time alone. My new word for the day will be self-reliant. Thank you!!!

  • Peace Within

    Love my alone time =) Thank you for the reminder of why it is important.

  • Steven Barer

    spoken like a fellow introvert – glad you’ve figured out how to nourish yourself. I’m 55 and have been making significant amounts of time for myself for a long time, for all the reasons you mention.

  • V.Associate

    This little memo resonated with me on many different levels. First of many is that it is not only okay to have alone time, but necessary to maintain sanity if you are a family oriented person, married or have children. It allows the opportunity to take inventory and have the option of self choice to make your own decisions.

    Like Confucius said: If you think you can or can’t, your right on both accounts!

    Any decisions, ideas, or choices that are made while alone is the essence of who you are,either revel in your greatness, or wallow in your sorrows.

    Eventually you will be forced to see who you are without other peoples influences, at that time you can build on your changes, ideals and become empowered or knowledgeable in what you need as a person.

    Great things were created in solitude, make more time for it.

    Be sure to include others in your quest for solitude as it becomes a great tool to share time with others and not say a word and walk away from the time shared feeling like you had the best conversation ever.

    Thats the power of intellectual learning from others body language while they practice their own personal solitude. It becomes silent learning, achieving the goal without the introverted personality.

  • Lesley J. Vos

    Hello Steven! Glad you’ve liked my article. I am a 100% introvert, and I am happy to know I am not alone here 🙂

  • Lesley J. Vos

    Glad you like it, Lana. I think we all need time to sped alone from time to time. People are social creatures of course, but we still need a kind of “reboot”.

  • Lesley J. Vos

    Thank you, Megan!
    I am happy to know you’ve liked my article and it has inspired you!

  • Lesley J. Vos

    It’s my pleasure! Thanks to Tiny Buddha, we all have an opportunity to share our thoughts and encourage or inspire each other 🙂

  • This is soooo valuable. Being alone (not to mention living alone) is not something we’re taught, in spite of how fundamental it is!! Too many people struggle with it, one way or another. Either by not fully enjoying or taking pride of their time alone or life alone – or the other way round. As in “I would kill to be alone”, as a friend of mine said when we were discussing this topic.

  • I am a post graduate student and live alone. Point number 5 has been the biggest breakthrough for me. FEELING SELF RELIANT.

    Also, while spending time alone, we allow our natural self to take space which often gets sidetracked in social company.

    The result is a deeper sense of peace and inner joy.

    We also begin to realize what truly matters to us.

  • Peace Within

    Very true. I love this site! =)

  • Me time is awesome! Sometimes I look back on times that I was lonely or bored and think what was I thinking?? I LOVE being alone. I like your point about learning to make decisions and being self-reliant. This is something I struggle with and hadn’t thought of as a me time bonus. Meditation is my favorite me time activity, followed by reading, followed by pretty much anything I want 🙂 It’s the best!

  • ClearBlueSky

    Thank you for sharing this wonderful perspective, Lesley! I have been and will always be an ambassador of ‘Me-time’.

    While it is important to spend time alone I think it is equally important to focus on how you’re spending that time. There is no perfect formula for a ‘productive’ time alone but I have benefited the most when I just sat there with my thoughts and allowed them to freely flow without any judgement (mindfulness). I have personally been tempted to watch television or call friends/family and every time I did that I ended up more agitated than calm and composed.

    Everyone has his/her own definition of quality ‘me-time’ but I believe that a common thread that runs through all of us is the need to spend time with our thoughts and by that I mean just sitting still with no distractions and interaction with the outside world. It’s hard work and I still struggle with it but that’s what truly accentuates the ‘Me’ in the term ‘me-time’.

    Have a blessed day everyone!

  • Drewbob

    Very good article, Lesley! This really opened my eyes to some things and it couldn’t have come at a better time 🙂

  • I love this. Alone time is my favourite time of the day, and also happens to be when I get the most work done. I just wish more people realised how valuable it can be to spend time on your own 🙂

  • To me, solitude is like an oasis I need to dip into whenever I get too dry in the desert of the world. That’s how we (introverts) revive, recharge, and come back alive again 🙂

    Love that you visited Prague all on your own… bravo Lesley!!

  • Lesley J. Vos

    Thank you, Annie!

    Meditation is greek to me now (( Though I want to practice it very much!

  • Lesley J. Vos

    You are welcome! It was a pleasure for me, as I experienced it myself. I understand how important it was and how it changed me.

  • Lesley J. Vos

    I am happy to know you like it and find it useful! Have a blessed day!

  • Lesley J. Vos

    Agree with you Ankit! Spending time alone helped me understand what (and who) is really important for me

  • Lesley J. Vos

    Many people mix “being lonely” with “spending time alone”… They think if they live alone or do not spend evenings with friends for example, it means no one needs them, and it is bad…

  • I love being alone more than not. So much so that sometimes it’s a struggle to find enough. Whether it’s drowning a day away gaming, or having a productive day re-organizing, cleaning, and crafting, both can be so rejuvenating compared to a weekend full of social interaction. ‘Me time’ is so underestimated! When I do find some ‘me time’, my sleep is better, I’m more alert and productive at work, and more confident because I usually got more progress done one personal projects.

  • Just Wants Happiness

    I found this perfect for the part of my life right now, great read good job!

  • Mṛ Gaurav Sharma

    I loved this article. I don’t consider myself socially adept, but I feel good after reading the article. I think, there are some things, which I being alone, can see, and understand, while others simply overlook it. For example, I live in a partially modernized world, with increasing divide between the rich and the poor, with two worlds overlapping each other, but never merging, I see socially unacceptable incidents occur almost daily, but others simply overlook it, or choose to ignore it. I’m disturbed, but others far more mature, educated and resourceful, are not disturbed in the slightest. I agree, when one spends time alone, one can think and reflect, and realize as to what is critical and what is not.