It’s okay to be alone. It is okay to take some time for yourself and just catch your breath. “Aloneness” has this negative connotation because no one wants to be alone. However, it can be quite refreshing. Do not run from it, embrace it. People tend to think that being alone equals loneliness, when, in fact, they are two different things. Loneliness is a negative state of mind where you are always longing for something to fill the void. Aloneness is a positive state of mind where you can learn to love yourself. By being alone you complete yourself. You are independent.
There are certain times in particular when it is important to have some time to yourself.
- When you have just gotten out of a relationship and everything reminds you of it…you are NOT ready to start over with someone else. You need to take time to heal, for yourself and for your next partner. You need to be alone when you cannot give anyone your whole heart.
- When you lose yourself and then once you find yourself. Some day you will find someone that will be alongside you for this, but you must learn it for yourself first. You need to know yourself inside out, and how to make yourself happy.
During times like these you will most likely be grasping for someone, anyone. You are going to feel like you need someone to fix you, to complete you, and to fill that empty pit in your stomach. I will admit, someone may be able to fill that pit temporarily, but in the end, the only one that can make you whole again is yourself. Your friends and family are important, but ultimately you are the only one who puts yourself back together when you find yourself in a mess. People can help cheer you up, act as a distraction, and be there for you, but most importantly you need to be there for yourself.
You need time to hear your own thoughts, to zone out everything around you, to daydream, to be dazed. Being alone is how you notice the small things in life. The beauty around you, and the beauty within you. Being alone is how you come to make decisions without the influence of others. You can figure out who you are and what you stand for.
If you’re having a bad day, stand in front of the mirror and put your arms up like superman for a few minutes, no matter how stupid it may seem. When my friend originally told me about this, I rolled my eyes but later googled the concept and found how beneficial it truly is. Cortisol is a hormone associated with stress whereas testosterone is a hormone associated with power. In a study, people who stood in the superman position had higher levels of testosterone and lower levels of cortisol, showing they felt more powerful. People who did not stand in the superman position had low levels of testosterone and high levels of cortisol, showing they felt more stress.
Do one thing everyday for yourself. Whether that is treating yourself to your favorite coffee, taking a bath, or just listening to music. Remember that song from Bratz? “Just join in this love fest you know that it’s all about me, It’s all about me, me, myself, and I.” Be conceited and over-confident for a minute. It IS all about you. Make decisions that make yourself happy. You need time to love yourself, and to take time for yourself, so that you can allow yourself to love others and be loved in return.
Jordan Cohen is a student at Elon University.