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Lately, I feel like I’ve been exhausted from almost everything. Maybe it’s because our lives have been so drastically altered by the current pandemic, or maybe it’s just because of a lack of sleep compounded by midterm season. But one thing I’ve learned in the past week is how important it is to monitor your energy levels and adjust your behavior accordingly. Part of doing that, however, is knowing when and how to spend quality time with yourself.

I would describe myself as an extroverted introvert - the kind of person who enjoys socializing and meeting new people, but also needs a good chunk of time to myself every so often. Sometimes it’s easy for people like me to feel insecure about alone time, feeling that we might be missing out on social activities that we simply don’t have the energy for. But it’s important to understand that it’s much better to spend quality time with others, rather than forcing yourself to exert your social and mental health in order to be flexible to others’ routines.

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It’s become a common tendency to assume that if someone is alone, they’re lonely. I think that couldn’t be further from the truth. Only people with true assurance of themselves and the people who care for them are able to dig deep during times of isolation and truly reflect. It took me several years to finally understand that taking time away from others isn’t an act of social ineptitude, but rather an appreciation for yourself and your own well-being. You deserve to feel at ease, so do things that allow that. Take the time to understand why you distance yourself from others without blaming or pitying yourself. How does it make you feel?

The way to answer that question differs for everyone, but for me, being alone allows me to be honest with myself. Sometimes when I’m around my friends, I get swept away in certain conversations without allowing myself to actually think about my own opinions. My alone time lets me revisit those situations and set my priorities;it gives me time to think logically and rationally about certain topics so that I can better understand my own principles and better articulate them in the future. 

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If you can relate to this article in any way, you’re probably the type of person who wants to always portray their best self to others. Having that expectation of yourself can be extremely tiring, no matter how well-intentioned it is. So in order to balance that desire, we have to make time for our faults to surface so we can work on them freely. This is another reason why alone time can be so powerful and meaningful - it allows us to face our true selves and reform so that we can be better.

At the same time, being alone also lets my mind rest. My mind relaxes amidst silence and allows for my inner thoughts to breathe. Sometimes there is no substantial purpose for wanting to be alone and that’s perfectly normal.

Charging your social battery is a treat. Don’t let it be something you reprimand yourself for needing. Sure when you look back it may not be the most memorable period of time of your life, but it’s because you take that time for yourself that other memories become much more vivid and meaningful. It’s a time where you can be completely selfish. No one’s watching, so go crazy! 

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Sabrina Lian

Notre Dame '23

Hey! My name is Sabrina and I'm currently a sophomore at the University of Notre Dame studying Business Analytics and Sociology. I've loved reading and writing ever since I was a kid and want to continue polishing my skills as a member of HCND! I plan to write about college, being Asian-American, food, books, movies/TV, and politics. Fun fact: I can move both of my pinky toes on command.
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