Loneliness and lacking the desired social connection is a big fear for many people. Whether it is a result of failed relationships, moving, or children moving out, there is a void that many long to fill when they begin spending their time alone. Instead of looking inside themselves, they look for the company of new and old friends to rid them of this lonely feeling. This works for some but is likely a band-aid solution to avoid facing what they are feeling. People who are in long-term relationships or are constantly around people also experience loneliness, likely due to dissatisfaction of inauthentic relationships.
Spending time alone can actually be one of the most rewarding and positive experiences if you change the way you view your isolated state. If you were used to taking care of other people and their needs, either as a parent or a partner, this is an opportunity to focus your energy and attention to yourself and fulfilling your needs. If you were used to having someone else take care of your needs for you, you can now be your own best caretaker. The relationship you have with yourself is the most important one you will ever have, but people tend to forget that in their pursuit of connection with others.
What spending time alone can do for you
Opportunity to rest & recharge
We often expend a lot of energy when we are around other people all the time. We are carrying conversations and reading situations and emotions in order to build and keep connections with the people in our lives. These day-to-day interactions seem mindless if they are what we are used to, but we could all benefit from a break from this routine.
When we spend time alone, we do not receive the validation that comes with conversations and praise of others. While this is difficult at first, you will learn to give this to yourself. What you used to consider flaws will become things that you will either work on or come to accept. This is your life, and you will realize that other’s ideas of you are insignificant compared to how you see yourself.
Time to reflect
Life moves very fast and it is hard to find time to take in our surroundings. Often, we will spend our lives moving from place to place and person to person, that we do not think about our own needs or emotions. When we are alone, it is a chance to check in with ourselves and evaluate what we want and how we can make that happen. The time we spend alone is needed to contemplate the upcoming phases in our life, but too often we spend it hurting. We wonder why we are alone or what we did to deserve this instead of capitalizing on the opportunity to grow.
You can do your own thing
If there is a skill you have always wanted to learn or a perfect day that you have envisioned, being alone gives you more freedom to make that happen. You do not have to live your life for anybody else, so do what you enjoy when you can. It is easier to find happiness when you do not feel responsible for anybody else’s happiness.
Hey! My name is Stacy, and I am a licensed mental health counselor working in Broward County. I graduated from Barry University with a Masters Degree in Mental Health Counseling, and a specialization in Rehabilitation in 2013. I have worked in substance abuse treatment at a variety of care levels, including within the prison system.
I specialize in working with individuals struggling with a variety of addictions. I have also worked with clients whose loved ones are struggling with addiction, individuals who experience a variety of mental health struggles including depression, anxiety, and other co-occurring disorders as well as phase of life issues, low self-esteem, and anger.
For more information about Stacy, visit: https://caringtherapistsofbroward.com/staff/stacy-lloyd-lmhc-therapist/