Real Stories

Why Time for Yourself is Important

Why are so many of us against spending time alone? 

Personally, I think too many people associate being alone with loneliness and so they avoid it.

When you set aside time for yourself you reap great benefits. As you make time for solitude and just taking care of you, then you begin to have a healthier and happier mindset. This helps you to start taking better care of yourself outside of this scheduled “me time” and also gives you the ability to take care of people who are important to you, without feeling like you are giving too much.

People in our culture feel that they need to be going all the time. If we are not working and putting our energy into something, we somehow believe we are wasting time. We sometimes feel that taking time for ourselves is a waste and will not accomplish much.

However, going for long periods without time for yourself may cost you big in the end. Stress and the inability to just enjoy a little “time-out” can have very real health and psychological effects. Your mind will be more clear and calm.  This will allow you to have an easier time organizing your thoughts and will help you to process new information without feeling so overwhelmed. 

First of all, “me” time can help you avoid irritability and also enable you to control your emotions. The people you spend the most time with may not understand your need to take “me” time, but they will appreciate the way your mood has improved. Both the people who are close to you and the people you work with will appreciate that you have greater stamina and even better ability to concentrate.

A lack of time to yourself can cause you to build up resentment that can harm you and your relationships. When you spend all your time filling other peoples’ cups, it is very likely yours will run empty. Sometimes, especially when we are tired, we may become angry about giving so much. Slowing down and removing yourself from distractions while taking time to be alone with our thoughts (whether they be positive or negative) will benefit you in so many ways.

We oftentimes minimize our need for time to ourselves by thinking about how we are denying attention to other things that are important to us. Things that can include: our family, our friends, our schoolwork, cleaning up, etc. We feel selfish taking the needed time out when there is so much left to do.

I promise, the people who matter will not mind (and will support you along the way), and those who mind do not really matter. 

One thing is for sure, though. If you run yourself into the ground you are not going to be much help to anyone, and you will not be able to fully engage in your activities anyway. Your health is vital, and if you think these obligations cannot succeed without you, just think of what would happen if you become sick and have to set them aside for a longer amount of time. You always need a little time to recharge your batteries.

I read somewhere that the only way to have sustainable happiness is to be satisfied with the bare minimum. This includes being in our own solitude. The only thing you can never lose is you. You can lose everything else but you cannot lose you, so take care of yourself and remember that it is okay to do so. 

It might seem easy to schedule a little “me” time, but often it is not. You must give yourself the time and permission to take at least a half-hour per day, even if it is divided, just for yourself. If you have to, set an alarm, schedule it on the calendar, or put it on your to-do list for the day. Whatever you have to do, try to make it happen every day.

by Abriel Cleaver

Abriel is a multifaceted creator. She is also a cancer survivor, writer, and mental health and social justice advocate. In her spare time, she enjoys connecting with family and friends, creating art, reading a good book, and creating new playlists.


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