The Joy of Being Alone

The Joy of Being Alone

Is there any joy in being alone?  Solitude is not for everyone, but for me, despite a career in an industry that demands sociability, I love being alone.  In fact I would go so far as to say I positively crave it.

Research findings suggest there are some health benefits to being alone, not least in terms of our creativity but also in relation to our  mental health.

Right now I am alone.  The house is empty, eerily quiet in fact, but it is the kind of quiet which I love because it signifies I am completely alone.  A rare scenario for a parent of any kind let alone one of teenagers with their never ending hoards of friends and for a wife whose husband works from home.

Truth be told, this is my first 24 hours alone in six months since my cancer surgery.  There is no one here to ask how I am, how I feel or whether I need anything.

More importantly,however, it is the first real time my head space is totally my own.  There is no one cluttering up the periphery of my thoughts with requests for food, clean washing or a lift to somewhere.

It feels like my brain is having a spring clean.  Even a call from my eldest teen to confirm his safe arrival at Leeds for the festival weekend and check on my welfare, seemed like an unwelcome intrusion.

As a woman who loves not only the company of others but also the joy of being alone, it is difficult to describe or even understand this contradictory scenario unless of course you are like me, a happy loner.  In one word, however, it is quite simply euphoric.

There are those who simply loathe being alone but for me too much time with other people induces a sense akin to claustrophobia.

I always have an off switch when in the company of others, when I need to call it a day and leave.  I dislike staying over in other people’s houses and would prefer, if budget allows, to stay down the road in a B&B just to be sure that I get some time out, space to breathe and recharge.

Does this make me weird?  Well my husband remains simultaneously  frustrated and bemused by it and explains away my need for “me time” as my Greta Garbo phenomena and will rest his forearm dramatically on his forehead and say “I want to be left alone!”

There is however a significant difference, between enjoying some alone time and loneliness and there is no doubt that the latter which arises from a sense of isolation can be damaging to our mental health and wellbeing.

We all need people in our lives to make us feel whole and complete as nothing, even for a happy loner like me, quite matches the joy of having fulfilling relationships with people.

There is no doubt, however, in my mind as my 24 hours draws to an end that alone time is beneficial to our emotional wellbeing on many levels.

It is a great way to recharge, refocus and reflect.  It is an opportunity to get in tune with yourself as an individual, to indulge and catch up with things you enjoy.  The biggest benefit of all though is that in stepping back and focusing inwardly, your mind and your soul is strengthened and you are ready once more to exert your energy outwards to those around you.  Sometimes we all just need a break.

Editors Note: How do you feel about being alone?  Do you enjoy it or is it something you avoid?  I would love to hear your thoughts. 

 

The Joy Of Being Alone

 

 

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16 Comments

  1. August 30, 2018 / 3:23 pm

    I think I’m in the minority because I actually don’t like being alone. I’ve tried it this last year since the boys have been at Uni but that’s just confirmed it for me. On the other hand I am quite good at disappearing into my own head even when other people are around. Probably why meals aren’t always on time!

    • Jo
      Author
      August 30, 2018 / 10:39 pm

      Nancy it is lovely to find those that don’t enjoy it and there are many – including my own teens bizarrely. I know of course that I will miss them when they are not around, I suppose you are drawing attention to the time we all probably dread as parents when we don’t have a choice – I may be eating my words sooner than I think! Notice how I wrote this when I am midst madness of the summer holidays so 3 months of constant lack of opportunity may have added to my sentiment! x

  2. August 27, 2018 / 10:36 am

    I used to hate being alone. However, over the last few years, I have come to NEED that alone time – a chance to recharge my batteries. Maybe it is because I am now a mother and so rarely get the chance to be with my own thoughts, that suddenly I need that time alone. But I still like to have others around me. I choose to have my alone times in a busy place, like a shopping centre, or in my bedroom where I can hear the family still going about their business downstairs. I think we’re all different and we just have to learn to do the things that we need to do for our own wellbeing.

    And this post must’ve really resonated with someone because they added it to the BlogCrush linky for some extra exposure! You’re welcome to grab the “I’ve been featured” badge for your blog if you’d like it #blogcrush

    • Jo
      Author
      August 27, 2018 / 12:30 pm

      Lucy you make a good point actually that we can of course enjoy some alone time even with others close by and that can be just as beneficial for recharging the batteries. Am delighted someone linked it to your linky – in fact the anonymous soul also added it to That Friday linky too. I am grateful and touched by their support whoever they may be. Thanks for the feature too. Hope you are still enjoying your summer.

  3. August 26, 2018 / 2:57 pm

    I think spending some time to yourself is a crucial part of self care. Its important to be able to settle your thoughts and recharge a bit. #thatfridaylinky

    • Jo
      Author
      August 26, 2018 / 5:08 pm

      I couldn’t agree more Jeremy and now I reap the benefits of that alone time. Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment.

  4. Nige
    August 26, 2018 / 6:50 am

    Alone time is so important to me to re-connect to what I am about great read Thank you for linking to #Thatfridaylinky please come back next week

    • Jo
      Author
      August 26, 2018 / 2:34 pm

      I am sure it is tough in your house Nige with teens and your twin girls so well done if you manage it! Not sure who linked my post but am grateful to them anyway for sharing it regardless. Hope your eldest is still enjoying his university time.

  5. August 24, 2018 / 1:34 pm

    I’m so glad I found your site (from #BlogCrush). I have teens too and I totally get how you feel. As much as I love my family and my friends, I need alone time. I’m finding I really like that I have more me time now that the kids are getting older and I too really prefer to stay at a hotel or B&B rather than stay at friends houses when visiting. I love seeing them, but need time to myself to unwind.

    • Jo
      Author
      August 25, 2018 / 1:02 pm

      Oh a kindred spirit Julie, how wonderful to meet you. It is probably quite good that we are happy and comfortable with our own company, as with teens there is certainly more time alone, as they spend more time with their friends. Thanks for reading the post and taking the time to comment I really appreciate it and will check out your blog for sure.

  6. August 24, 2018 / 8:32 am

    Sometimes I think you need time alone to just be yourself. If you’re running around after your family for example, having alone time just helps you to relax, almost to ‘reset’, and come back refreshed. Great post!

    • Jo
      Author
      August 25, 2018 / 1:04 pm

      Thanks for your lovely comment and I am glad you enjoyed the post. You are completely right too, as parents it is so easy to forget ourselves amidst all the madness of running around after the family and the chance to reset is important – after all the family benefit too.

  7. August 23, 2018 / 6:02 pm

    Like you, I love being alone and that is what has been the hardest for me in this world trip – together with the kids and husband for 24 hours a day, although being absolutly fantastic , I can feel it getting to me. I am a nicer person when I’ve had time alone – my kids will testify to that!
    Hope you are enjoying your time xx

    • Jo
      Author
      August 23, 2018 / 7:25 pm

      Yes that would be tough for me too Liz but oh my days what an experience you have all had! Actually my husband is the only one in our family who doesn’t enjoy time alone in fact he positively hates it! The teens and I are all quite good at expressing that we want some alone time and grabbing it when we can so they understand when I say I love you but I need some time out! It’s been great although I did go a bit demob happy last night – lots of loud music – ie MY music and a bit too much Petit Chablis! I seized the moment with both hands. Have caught up on some writing which is also good as it has been a bit haphazard over the summer – deliberately so but need to break myself into it again. Hope you are all well. Lovely to hear from you. X

  8. August 23, 2018 / 5:43 pm

    I admit I can’t wait for the kids to go back to school to have some proper me time … things to write, things to do!

    • Jo
      Author
      August 23, 2018 / 7:29 pm

      Yes it is a real test of patience isn’t it? The biggest change for me is my husband has set up his own business over the last 6 months so is now home 24/7 with me! We fight for the office, the computer and to not have those discussions over the last 24 hours has been so wonderful! Sad that I went in to blog but “seeing” people doesn’t fit with “me time” in quite the same way. An empty room, a screen, music and a glass of wine was perfect. Look forward to catching up on your posts, have disengaged too much over the summer! X

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