I recently read an article about the importance of ‘me time’ as a business owner and mum to a young family it is a bit of an alien concept to me at the moment. But, the article highlighted the importance of time alone. Stating that it is not just a luxury, but a necessity.
Being alone often brings with it some negative connotations, speak to anyone who has asked for a table for one in a restaurant, or as I once did, buy a ticket for one at the cinema. The social nature of us humans draws us towards spending time together, not apart.
“There is such pressure to be social in our culture that we forget that being alone is also necessary for our mental health and well-being,” Margarita Azmitia, Ph.D., a psychology professor at the University of California, Santa Cruz, tells Thrive. “The mindfulness movement is an example of how one can use solitude to relieve stress and ‘take a moment’ that results in increased well-being — and we have research evidence of this.”
The article discussed Margarita’s recent study that concluded that when it’s a choice, solitude has many benefits and can be restorative and educational. Being alone is something that I know I struggle with, perhaps because it’s not something that I am able to do that often. When I do get 2 moments to myself there is generally something else going on. Be that the TV or radio in the background or my never-ending to-do list running through my head. Knowing how to be alone is an important skill and one that we should be teaching our children. The report highlighted that it can help contribute to positive growth, self-acceptance and self-awareness. It went further to say that the effects can even extend to greater memory and increased creativity.
In our always switched-on, technology focussed culture taking time away from everything, not just everyone is becoming harder and harder, but it’s a space that we need to create for ourselves.
With the upcoming bank holidays, why not use the extra time off and set aside some time to spend in your own company. Give yourself the chance to relax, and while doing so let your brain rest. They say the best ideas come when you’re not thinking about them, so who knows what might happen.