Incorporate alone time in your life


Social connections are important for physical, mental and emotional well-being. While it is important to nurture our connections and relationships, it is also important to carve out some alone time to boost one’s mental health.
Alone time is a great stress-buster and also aids in nurturing creativity, energy and personal exploration. Many people can't simply switch off. This means that they are constantly thinking about work, their relationships, or social events even when they are not in the presence of other people. These thoughts can make them feel stressed and anxious which is why it is important to engage in alone time.
Alone time is the period when one person is in isolation from others. While some people may enjoy alone time because it gives them privacy, others may choose to indulge in solo activities like reading a book or taking a walk because it provides them an opportunity to reflect on their life.
Moreover, it brings a sense of peace and calm; a boost to mental health.While many feel that this may be true for introverts who need alone time in order to recharge after social interactions, studies have shown that not getting enough alone time affects the mental health even if you are an extrovert. Being constantly around other people can make us feel stressed, anxious or experience a burnout. Also, being alone is not the same as being lonely.
Feeling irritated or snapping at others
Having trouble focusing on task at hand
Losing interest in activities
Feeling anxious about being with others
Feeling overwhelmed or overstimulated
Emotional eating/loss of appetite
Feeling angry on trivial matters
Feel like running away or hiding from everyone and everything
Declining social invitations to avoid spending time with others
Feeling more distracted than normal
Often, as an escape from reality, people end up scrolling through social media for 3-6 hours daily, most of which is mindless, in a quest to shut the chatter in their head. This is not the ‘alone time’ to opt for. Instead choose activities that help you strengthen the connection with self such as journaling, dance, music, meditation, cooking, sketching, colouring, walk in nature, self-care activities, reading and researching. Although the natural tendency is to feel that I am very busy and don’t have the time for myself, it is important to make a decision and set that time out to boost not just the mental health but overall wellbeing and relationships.
Some ways to incorporate alone time in your life
Schedule a time for it - Plan and schedule the alone time. Make sure people around you know that you aren’t to be disturbed during this time. Honour your commitment to self.
Develop the right mindset - Don’t view ‘alone time’ as a to-do; instead, tap into the joy of indulging in alone time from time to time.
Create a safe space - Create a quiet & comfortable space to enjoy your time alone.
Practice Mindfulness - Be aware of the present moment without worrying about pending tasks or what others are thinking. Immerse fully in your connection with yourself.
Moderation is the key - Setting 15-30 minutes daily or every alternate day is good enough to receive benefits from the practice. Do not get carried away for hours at length (as a tool to escape from reality).
Being alone with the right mindset and in the right way rejuvenates and energises mind, body and being just as much as being with a supportive community—a healthy mix of both is pivotal for sound mental health. This would not only refresh you but also boost productivity, energy, confidence and creativity.
Opt for what works the best for you and in case you feel you are unable to get respite from the chaos of everyday life despite your attempts at healthy ‘alone time’, seek help from an expert.

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