7 Ways Alone Time Can Improve Your Quality of Life

Whether you’re introverted, extroverted or somewhere in-between, everyone needs a little alone time. But for a variety of reasons, solitude can sometimes be hard to find. Many of us are uncomfortable spending time on their own. Others have busy schedules that seemingly don’t allow for time alone.

The benefits of alone time are significant. Even spending just a few minutes alone daily can improve your quality of life. People who make solitude a part of their schedules find that they’re not only kinder to themselves; they’re kinder to others. In addition, time alone can give your body a break and relieve stress after a long day spent around others. You owe it to yourself and those around you to take some time every day for rest and recuperation.

Want to learn why and how alone time can improve your well-being? Read on to discover the mental, physical and social advantages of spending time alone. Then learn five ways you can make more time for solitude.

It Gives You Time for Reflection

How often do you sit down and think about who you are, what you believe in, and where you want your journey in life to take you? If you’re sucked up in the hustle and bustle of everyday life, you might not have as much opportunity for reflection as you’d like. Making space for alone time can give you the chance to consider your goals in life and how you can best accomplish them.

You can also use alone time to think about what you’ve done so far and recognize your accomplishments while thinking of ways to improve. Even if you dedicate just five to ten minutes of your day to personal reflection, you’d be amazed how much you can learn about yourself and what you want out of life.

It Will Help You Feel Rested and Relaxed

According to a survey conducted by Durham University and taken by more than 18,000 people in 134 different countries around the world, the most popular relaxation activity is “spending time alone.” Too much time spent around others can be tiring even for social butterflies. Whether you plan it first thing in the morning or at the end of the day, alone time can help you balance your emotions and cultivate a calm mindset.

It Provides Stress Relief

While stress is natural and even healthy in small doses, too much can take its toll. Over time, excessive stress is linked to mental health issues, chronic fatigue, and even social withdrawal. If life has you overwhelmed, try to take some time away from the world and do a solitary activity that makes you happy. Alone time may sound selfish to some, but it’s the best way to keep your body healthy and stress-free.

It Will Help You Build Compassion

As it turns out, solitude can be just as much an act of service as it is self-care. A study in 2014 found that young teens who spent time alone in nature were better able to pick up on emotional cues and facial expressions. This suggests that alone time helps us strengthen our empathy for others and recognize when to show compassion. The more you understand and are comfortable with yourself, the better you’ll be able to recognize and react to the needs of others.

You’ll Gain Better Communication Skills

The biggest misunderstandings in relationships often result from poor communication skills. Spending time alone can give you time to think about relationships in your life that you’d like to improve. By considering what you and the other person wants, as well as how to convey your own emotional needs, you can get closer to finding the best way to communicate with that person.

Additionally, thanks to the emotional benefits, solitude can help you keep a level and open-minded head in difficult conversations. Sometimes, spending time alone can help you think before or after an otherwise stressful situation and see it with a clearer mind.

You Can Help Your Spiritual Growth

Spirituality involves a connection to something greater than ourselves, whether that’s a religion, a cause, or just a sense of belonging toward those around you. Some of the most powerful spiritual activities you can practice are done best alone. If you’d like, you can use your alone time to meditate, journal, or try another spiritual activity that relates to your beliefs or personal philosophy.

Next time you have a few minutes alone, try dedicating it to spiritual fulfillment in a way that best fits your needs. Spirituality looks different for everyone but can help you find a deeper sense of fulfillment in your life.

You’ll Be More Productive

You may think that the office is the most productive space again, but think again. In 2013, a group of psychologists found that productivity actually decreases with the number of people around you. When you’re around others, you’re more likely to get distracted and complete fewer tasks than you normally would. Employees who had more personal space, on the other hand, got a lot more done and felt more comfortable at work.

Regular alone time can help us not only become better people but better employees, too. Next time you’re talking with your boss, add that to the list of reasons you should be able to work from home or have your own office.

How to Fit More Alone Time Into Your Day

If you’re a busybody or you gravitate towards social situations, finding time alone can seem difficult or even uncomfortable. But if you’re interested in the benefits, you can make alone time a part of your schedule. Use these five tips to make daily solitude as easy as it is rewarding:

  • Turn off your smartphone, computer, and all other electronic devices for at least an hour a day. Going unplugged for a little while can give you time to focus on yourself and ignore incoming messages for a while

  • Sit back, relax, and open a book. Remember that study conducted by Durham University? They found that the second best relaxation activity was reading, an activity best done alone

  • Add a little self-care to your schedule. Activities like self-massage, putting on a face mask, or taking a warm bath can encourage you to reflect while making the most of an opportunity for relaxation.

  • If you have a hectic schedule, try using a planner or online organizer. You might be able to find a fifteen- or twenty-minute window for alone time after you map out your to-do list

  • Exercising is a great opportunity to work on your physical health while enjoying alone time. If you want to work out while self-reflecting, try a low-intensity activity like doing yoga, going on a walk, or biking.

4 comments
  • Leigh Williston
    Leigh Williston
    1 follower
    As much as I love my family the solitude of alone time is always nice. Nothing better than time to think.
    March 27
  • Marta Gomez
    Marta Gomez
    0 followers
    So many great suggestions here. Thanks!
    March 27
  • Rachel Carrington
    Rachel Carrington
    0 followers
    Some of my favorite weekend getaways have been solo :)
    March 28
  • Dylan Boor
    Dylan Boor
    84 followers
    My alone time is incredibly valuable to me. Everybody needs it sometimes!
    June 7