Whether you have just separated or have been separated longer, it can take a while to get used to being alone. Many of us fear being alone for various reasons. I used to feel selfish if I wanted time alone because I could be spending that time with my daughter, but in actual fact, spending time alone isn’t necessarily a bad thing, and it definitely isn’t selfish to want time alone if you have children.
I’m not saying abandon the society and the children, go to the forest to hibernate, live off the land and become one with Mother Nature, but I think once you accept and embrace time alone, there are plenty of benefits that surface, and you will grow as a person.
Here are 10 positive things that happen when you embrace spending time alone.
1. Become more independent.
Some people enjoy being alone, and some people are so anxious about being alone, they settle for a substandard relationship. Once you start to feel more confident about being alone, it will allow you to get to know yourself a little better and, subsequently, become more independent. You will no longer feel that ache and burning desire for company, and you will be more content and happy to wait and find someone who you deserve.
2. You begin to do things for yourself again.
When we are in a relationship or group, we make compromises so all parties get to enjoy the event or activity, and sometimes we slowly stop doing the thing we as individuals love to do, because the things we want are not always the same as others. When you’re alone, you get to spend the time how you want to spend it and do things you’ve always wanted to do, because you have the freedom and opportunity to do it.
3. You are far more productive.
We all enjoy being with our significant other, friends, and family. It’s fun, entertaining, and gives us a sense of belonging. However, when we are around others, our productivity reduces greatly. Just the presence of others distracts you in your ability to complete the task at hand, from the smallest noise to joining in a conversation. Time on your own is when we get things done and when our productivity is at its highest.
4. You get time to reflect on everything.
Life is passing us by in the blink of an eye and is constantly moving at what feels like a million miles per hour. It seems like only yesterday we were at school. It’s often challenging for us to sit back and take a moment to breathe and to reflect on life, especially when we have gone through a separation or a traumatic event. Being alone gives us that time to put our feet up for a moment and reflect without outside distractions. Sit back and process your own thoughts and feelings, and focus on yourself.
5. You get to know your own emotions.
When we have children and are going through a separation, even though we are hurting inside, we often put our own feelings and emotions to one side as our children are our priorities and we have to cater to them and their needs and emotions, leaving no time to feel and keep up with our own. Spending time alone gives us the time we need to get a better understanding of why we are sad and what makes us happy. Once we are aware of these things, we can address the reasons for feeling that way and put into motion how to address those feelings. It also becomes easier to regulate our feelings and emotions.
6. You get to recharge your batteries.
When we are in the company of others, it can often drain us of our energy. We have to constantly engage in conversations and cater to their needs, making them happy, playing with them, and making them laugh. With our children, we are subconsciously on edge, reading their emotions and listening to where they are and what they are doing. It can be mentally exhausting looking after and being constantly connected with others. When we are alone, we can switch all of that off and focus solely on ourselves, giving ourselves an emotional and mental break and the opportunity to recharge both physically and mentally.
7. You don’t have to keep everyone happy.
We fill our lives with so many different relationships — family, friends, co-workers, gym friends — the list is endless, and all of these relationships are maintained through all parties compromising and keeping them happy. Depending on the type of relationship and who it’s with, it can become extremely exhausting, and none more so than when we have children as we want to keep them entertained and happy. When we spend time on our own, the only person’s happiness we have to concern ourselves with is our own, and this becomes relaxing.
8. You don’t have to apologise.
When we are in relationships, we tend to do things that may upset others or unintentionally hurt their feelings, and we then have to apologise for the hurt we have caused. We don’t do these things on purpose, but when we have that time alone, the solitude means we can do what we want, as we want, when we want, without unintentionally hurting anyone’s feelings, and we no longer have to apologise for doing so, removing any pressure and making us feel content and relaxed.
9. No validation required.
When we are in relationships, we have to think about others and, therefore, feel we need the approval from our significant other, family, and friends before making any decisions and taking any action. We love to look to other people for advice on our next move, should that be personal or professional, but there are plenty of times that we are capable of making the decisions on our own. I’m not saying asking for advice is a bad idea, but when we spend time alone, we become in tune with ourselves and learn to trust our own instincts and make a decision without any influence, therefore, making a decision true to ourselves.
10. Your relationships become more enjoyable.
Spending time alone helps us connect with ourselves again, and when you do this on a regular basis, you will begin to enjoy it and look forward to the time alone. You will, in turn, notice that you begin to enjoy the time spent with others because you spend time alone. It gives you a greater appreciation for yourself and others, making your relationships stronger and more enjoyable. Spending time alone also make you more confident as an individual, and when you take that into another relationship, only good things can come of it.
So the next time the children are with your ex, instead of worrying what they are doing or where they are, take this time to relax, do something for yourself, find a new hobby, join a new club, start writing that book you have always wanted to do, and then, once the children come home, you will be relaxed both physically and mentally and ready to be the best mummy you can be.
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