From a young age, we’re told that it’s essential to surround ourselves with people. We go to day camps when we’re young and join sports teams as pre-teens. In high school, it’s all about finding your friends and spending every moment with them. And then we’re thrust into college roommates and classes. And every point after that is about finding people to surround yourself with- but it’s never about surrounding yourself with no one. It’s never about learning to love to be alone and finding the value in alone time. Although it is vital to surround yourself with friends and people who care about you, it’s equally important to know how to spend time alone. These are just a few reasons why alone time is more beneficial than you think:

Builds mental strength

Sometimes getting a cup of coffee and reading a book alone can do more wonders for our mental health than hanging out with a bunch of friends. Spending quality time with yourself can lead to an elevated mood and less stress. When you’re alone, you have more space to think about yourself.

Increases productivity

Do you ever find that when you “do work” with a friend, it ends up with you both just talking the entire time? Yeah, we’ve all been there. “Doing work” with a friend rarely ever is more productive than doing work alone. When you focus on your work alone, you have fewer distractions and will most likely be more productive.

Can improve your relationships

Spending every waking moment with someone can take a significant toll on your relationship. I mean, we all know the phrase: distance makes the heart grow fonder. And it really is true. Spending time alone and apart from someone can make you value yourself and them way more.

Learn who you are

It’s hard to learn who you are when other people always surround you. When we’re taking in other people’s ideas, passions, and thoughts, it can be challenging to differentiate theirs from our own. And that is why spending time alone is imperative in discovering who you are, separate from the people you surround yourself with. Do your favorite hobbies alone one time, and you might end up learning more about yourself than you thought you could.

Gives you more freedom

Want to go out to eat for Thai food? Got it. Want to spend the day exploring this town? Your choice. When you’re alone, the only one who can make decisions is yourself. Spending time alone gives you complete freedom to make decisions. And although it’s essential to learn to compromise, there’s nothing quite like making a decision for yourself and following it.

Improved creativity

If you’re passionate about art, writing, or anything creative- being alone is crucial. Alone time is often where your creativity will spark, and you’ll get ideas you probably wouldn’t have gotten if you were around other people. And even if you’re not into art, being alone can improve your creativity in all aspects of life.