Why it’s important to spend time alone

Nowadays people barely have a moment to breathe with the demands of every day life. We are constantly stimulated by technology, and the reminders on your phone telling you ‘don’t forget to pick up milk on the way home’ and ‘must call back [insert name here]’. Working days are now longer than they used to be, so demands to get more done in a day have never been higher.

All very well you say, from the point of view of a student. However, 3 full days a week with hours of work in between can definitely take its toll- it may not be a 9-5 but the pressure of performing to a high standard and revising for tough exams can be just as testing as a full time job. Not mentioning the constant, draining conversation with yourself asking ‘What am I actually going to do with my life?’ and realising that you actually kind of suck at this sometimes (why did I pick this degree again?)

It is easy to forget to make time for yourself- which is just as important as spending time with family and friends.

Going somewhere by yourself can be intimidating; we often feel sorry for someone who sits and eats their lunch alone. Why?

We don’t need constant conversation with others all the time. A lot of it can often be redundant, and can sometimes make you feel crappy. Sometimes no company is better than some. It’s not that you don’t want to spend time with other people, of course you do. But sometimes you just need to take five minutes for yourself, go to a bookshop, have a coffee or just sit somewhere and read a magazine.

Being alone with your thoughts can be weird (sometimes counter-productive), and sometimes sitting on your own in a coffee shop can feel weird. But it’s good. Don’t rely on other people for gratification all the time, and don’t stop doing things you like just because other people you know may not like it. How many times have you not done something because no one was free to come with you?

Do it by yourself, and enjoy it without the pressure of boring someone else in the process.

“I think it’s very healthy to spend time alone. You need to know how to be alone and not be defined by another person.”

– Oscar Wilde

You can find some great magazines at Papersmiths if you’re around the Bristol area and looking for some inspiration.

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4 Comments

  1. Remember always the wisdom of Don Quixote who said:
    “I know who I am and who I can be if I so choose.” -Cervantes

    And one day I intend to roam the countryside with nothing but madness as my guide…
    There’s a kind of freedom in that.

  2. I love this article and it is so true but so many of us fundamentally forget it. Travelling independently has made me realise how important it is to have and learn about your own company and actually having to learn to be alone. We are always so constantly intrigued and surrounded by everyone else’s lives that we forget to live our own. I think it’s a balance between the two- immersing yourself with other people but also stepping back and reflecting on yourself.

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