Sometimes we’re so concerned with finding a way to fill every single minute of every day interacting with people that we forget to take a step back and give ourselves some quality “me” time. Spending time alone is a way to recharge your mental batteries. It can be difficult to feel uncomfortable doing things on our own. But it doesn’t matter whether you’re someone who loves their alone time or gets energy from being surrounded by people—even extroverts need a break once in a while. Here are 5 activities you should try doing alone.
In a recent study done by the British Journal of Psychology, scientists found that highly intelligent people became less satisfied the more time they spent with friends. In other words, spending some quality time with me, myself, and I is good for your overall well-being and results in greater life satisfaction—which makes total sense. When you’re doing something solo you can go at your own pace, you can think for yourself, you can discover new things about yourself, and you can improve your self-esteem.
With all of the works, relationships, stress in life, it probably seems like it’s tough to grab some alone time. It is important to make some room for yourself. In this article, 5 Activities You Should Try Doing Alone, here are some activities to try on your own.
If you’ve ever traveled in a group and felt that tug of desire to go off and see things the group isn’t into, it’s time to plan a solo trip. Experts say that exploring a new place surrounded by new people—and possibly a new language—helps your brain create connections and builds resilience, strength, and mental flexibility. “Traveling alone can build a sense of independence and self-reliance, and a feeling of confidence that you may not have had before,” says Gail Saltz, M.D., psychiatrist and author of The Power of Different: The Link between Disorder and Genius.
It doesn’t matter how far you go or what you do while you’re there, as long as you challenge yourself a bit, create some memories, and have a blast while doing it.
Adopt a Pet
Research suggests that interacting with animals can reduce stress and anxiety—and possibly even improve heart health. Pets provide day-to-day structure and a sense of purpose for their humans too, Saltz says. Physical contact with pets may even cause the same physiological change in our brains as the touch of other humans. And pets are adorable!
Binge on a TV Show/ Sing Karaoke
There is always another show to catch up on or re-watch, and there’s no one better to do it with than the one person who you know is just as excited as you are to plow through an entire series in a day or pick a spot you never go to and sing your heart out to a bunch of strangers. If you can do this, you can do pretty much anything.
Most health experts agree that exercise tops the list of activities that are good for our bodies and brains. “Vigorous exercise several times a week can help mild to moderate depression and anxiety—and it definitely boosts your mood,” Saltz says. “Exercise can help you organize thoughts, be able to concentrate more clearly, and alleviate stress.” And while exercising with other people doesn’t negate any of these physical and mental benefits, going solo can allow you to go at your own pace, rather than feeling pressure to keep up with a group, she adds.
Explore the Outdoors
The health benefits of nature are no secret: Studies show that being outside makes us happier, more creative, less stressed, and even physically well. Daniel Amen, M.D., psychiatrist, and founder of Amen Clinic notes that many Americans have low vitamin D as a result of getting too little sunshine. And while it’s great to spend time outside with other people, a solo walk in the woods can make you feel more centered.
According to Derocha, there are also perks to taking our solo workouts outside, where we tend to exercise longer than indoors, feel more eager to return for future workouts, and experience higher self-esteem.
And that’s pretty much it. Try out the above mentioned ‘5 activities you should try doing alone’.
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