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Claim That Power! Here’s How Alone Time Can Do Wonders To Your Mental Health

Claim That Power! Here’s How Alone Time Can Do Wonders To Your Mental Health

When was the last time you just sat by yourself? And I am not referring to late-night OTT binge-watch sessions or scrolling through your social media feed. Nope. I am talking about quality alone time—something that has become a luxury in today’s hustle culture. We are constantly working the daily grind, always chasing those goals. To make things worse, it does not stop even when we are finally “free” and alone. Pretty sure, I’ll see a show of hands if I were to ask how many people today shut their work laptops only to watch endless hours of Netflix. 

So, here’s the deal—no matter how busy or occupied you are, alone time is integral to your well being. Sure, you might be smashing those goals but you need to spend some time taking care of yourself to feel truly content and alive. But do not just take my word for it. I recently got in touch with Dr Chandni Tugnait, a psychotherapist and the founder & director of Gateway of Healing to talk about the importance of alone time. Here are the excerpts:

Benefits Of Alone Time

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“While it is important to nurture our connections and relationships with others, it is also important to carve out some ‘alone time’ to boost one’s mental health. ‘Alone time’ is a great stressbuster as it aids in nurturing creativity, energy, and personal exploration,” explains Dr Tugnait. 

While many feel that alone time is only for introverts who need it to recharge their social batteries, that’s not true. According to Dr Tugnait, not getting enough alone time can adversely affect your mental health irrespective of whether you happen to be an introvert or extrovert. Plus, being constantly surrounded by people can eventually burn you out. This is exactly why you need some time, exclusively dedicated to yourself and your well being. 

“There are many benefits to spending time alone including improved mental health. When you’re alone, you can focus on your own thoughts and feelings without interruption. This can be a valuable opportunity to process emotions and work through difficult thoughts or experiences,” adds Dr Tugnait. Additionally, being alone can also be a time to relax and rejuvenate especially if you are feeling overwhelmed or stressed out. Alone time can improve mental clarity and help you focus and get in touch with your intuition and instincts. 

Signs That You Need Some Alone Time Stat 

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Now, we get that it is not possible to manage some “me” every day and it is okay. However, somedays you need it more than others. Here’s how to tell if you desperately need to take out some time for yourself:

-You are feeling irritated or snapping at others

-You are having trouble focussing on the task at hand

– You are losing interest in activities that you used to enjoy

– You are feeling anxious about being with others

-You are feeling overwhelmed or overstimulated

-You are struggling with emotional eating or loss of appetite

-You are feeling angry about trivial matters

– You are feeling like running away or hiding from everyone and everything

– You are feeling more distracted than normal

Some Tips To Manage Your Alone Time

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Now, that we know the importance of alone time, let’s discuss what it entails. Here are some easy albeit effective hacks to ensure quality alone time as shared by Dr Tuganit:

-Plan and schedule your alone time. Make sure people around you know that you aren’t to be disturbed. Honour your commitment to yourself.

– Don’t view it as yet another entry on your to-do list. Instead, it is an indulgence and a self-care ritual that should be regarded as such.

– Create a quiet and comfortable space to enjoy your time alone.

– Practice mindfulness. Be aware of the present moment without worrying about pending tasks or what others would be thinking. 

– Moderation is the key. Setting 15-30 minutes daily or every alternate day is good enough to receive benefits from the practice.  

– Write your thoughts. To avoid getting swayed by overthinking and negative thoughts, jot down all your thoughts on paper so that you can segregate the redundant and the important thoughts. 

-Enjoy the process. While every task we take up comes with an end goal, it is important to enjoy the time we spend with ourselves. 

Lastly, it is important to understand that being alone is not the same as being lonely. Alone time is a choice—you can choose to be alone or not. Loneliness, on the other hand, is involuntary and often stems from feelings of isolation or rejection. It can be unpleasant and even debilitating. So if you’re feeling lonely, don’t hesitate to a counsellor for help. 

Featured Image: Unsplash

11 Apr 2022

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