The Benefits of Finding More

Do you occasionally crave time to yourself? More importantly, do you make time for yourself? Many people need some rejuvenating alone time and making this time a priority is one of the best things you can do to care for yourself.

Most of us are running non-stop between work, family, and other obligations. Taking time just for you can feel like a selfish indulgence. There's so much to do and people are counting on you.

However, alone time is an important way to protect ourselves mentally, to restore our vitality, think through problems, and tap into our personal creativity. The American Psychological Association promotes alone time as an important stress management tool. Although it might be counterintuitive, by slowing down, we gain more energy to accomplish our goals. Individuals' need for alone time can vary widely among individuals and can change as we age.

Bella DePaualo, author of Singled Out: How Singles Are Stereotyped, Stigmatized, and Ignored, and Still Live Happily Ever After, writes in Psychology Today online that she believes Americans are trending more towards solitude. She says an increasing number of people today live alone or work from home. Many older adults are living alone and independently for as long as possible as well.

Men and women both need alone time, although men are less likely to come out and say they want to be alone; they just go away-physically or emotionally-for awhile. John Gray, of Men are Mars, Women are from Venus fame, has a post on his blog titled, "Why men go into caves." It says men often need time alone to think through problems, regain control when they are stressed or upset, or simply to find themselves.

If you have a partner who needs more alone time than you do, don't worry that it's a rejection of you or your relationship together. A bit of space apart can actually enhance intimacy when you are together.

Taking time for yourself is especially important if you are a caregiver for someone else. Caring Today Magazine recommends caretakers find a craft or artistic hobby they enjoy because the rhythmic and repetitive nature of such activities allows us to tune into our body and creativity, release frustrations, and tap into our deepest emotions. Furthermore, these care-giving experts remind us that the act of performing a craft is incompatible with worry, anger, obsession, and anxiety and makes us focus on the present.


Monson, Nancy. "Reap the benefits of crafting." Caring Today Magazine. Web.

American Psychological Association. "Financial Concerns Remain Top Stressors For Americans Heading Into Holiday Season." Medical News Today. Web. 27 Nov 2009.

Buchholz, Ester. "The Call of Solitude." Psychology Today. Web. 28 September 2010.

DePaulo, Bella. "The American Psyche: Tipping Toward Solitude?" Psychology Today blog. Web. 21 August 2008.

"Why Men Go Into Their Caves." Web. 13 July 2009.