How Lockdown Helped Me Fall In Love With Alone Time

There was a point in my life where I could not be comfortably alone. I packed my schedule with plans and gatherings, intent on avoiding the negative stigma of spending time on my own.

If I wanted to attend an event, I would ask a friend to accompany me. If I wanted to grab bubble tea or try a new restaurant, the thought of taking a solo trip wouldn’t even tread through my mind. Alone time was not valuable to me. In fact, if I spent time by myself, I felt that I was wasting it.

In fact, if I spent time by myself, I felt that I was wasting it.

During the pandemic, the cushy comfort of consistently surrounding myself with people was ripped out from beneath my feet. In a time where it is unsafe to spend time with others, I was forcefully introduced to a world of doing everything on my own.

At first, I eagerly craved social interactions, and regularly video chatted and remained in constant contact with friends. I mourned the loss of my college years, considering this time alone a waste of what was supposed to be a pivotal period of change and growth, not realizing that it still was.

As the general attitude surrounding the pandemic gradually shifted from shock and fear to acceptance, I began to accept being alone.

As the general attitude surrounding the pandemic gradually shifted from shock and fear to acceptance, I began to accept being alone. I found solace in the simple act of being independent, of going through my daily routine at my own pace, and dedicating my efforts to solely working on myself and my goals, without the pressure of devoting my time to others.

A groundbreaking discovery was made: alone time is not “sad” or “shameful,” and the negative stigmas attached to it mean nothing. Spending time with yourself is the most liberating act of self care. Alone, you are free to do as you want, and all of your actions possess the sole purpose of serving your own desires and needs.

It can be as simple as picking up the food you’ve been craving, enjoying your own music, indulging in hobbies, cleaning your room, taking a walk, doing some workouts, or getting work done at your own pace. There is no pressure to accommodate or satisfy others. The only goal is to make yourself content.

Spending time with yourself is the most liberating act of self care.

Although spending time with friends and family is always valuable, it is easy to allow this need to overshadow the necessity of alone time. Before the pandemic, we didn’t hesitate to engage in fun activities or splurge on ourselves while with others.

We would try a new food place, go on a picnic, or visit a place we’d been wanting to see, all as long as we were with someone else. Why is it that we aren’t willing to do these things when we are on our own?

The negative social stigma of doing things alone is difficult to rid ourselves of. It’s normal to feel lonely or withdrawn when we are on our own.

The art of being alone requires developing the mindset that we are the most important person in our lives, and that we should spend time with and treat ourselves accordingly. It requires understanding that we do not need to be with others to be fulfilled.

It is not to say that we shouldn’t spend quality time with our loved ones, but simply that our happiness should not derive from external sources.

“The art of being alone requires developing the mindset that we are the most important person in our lives, and that we should spend time with and treat ourselves accordingly.”

Being alone shouldn’t be as taboo as it is. Not only is it the most liberating act of self care, but it is also vital to learning about ourselves, experiencing growth, and finding happiness. It is a blessing to be able to focus solely on ourselves.

Tiffany Liang

Tiffany is a second year college student living in Southern California. She is passionate about mental health and self care, and hopes to use her voice to help others achieve self growth.

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