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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at SAU chapter.

Spending time with friends is a crucial component of our overall health as social beings. This valued time can be calming, reassuring, and formative for our character. However, there are times when we all need to be alone. Being with other people can easily become overwhelming, unproductive, and even irritating to some of us. We spend time with friends in order to maintain and develop healthy and fulfilling relationships, but returning this favor to ourselves is often overlooked or ignored. The simple action of dedicating portions of time to yourself can be extremely beneficial. Spending time alone delivers a multitude of benefits that can help you heal, achieve peace, reduce stress levels, understand who you are, find faith, and even promote productivity. According to the Jed Foundation, being alone cultivates a no judgment and minor-distraction environment which allows you to be more connected to and responsive to yourself and your needs. I understand the hesitation to step away from all other responsibilities in order to work on yourself, but it truly is a vital form of self-care. If you are lost on what you can do by yourself, here is a loner’s list of activities to do solo. 

Sit down and plan

While this may sound counterintuitive, taking the time to sit down and think about what you need to get done and what commitments you have coming up and physically scheduling them out can provide a sense of control. If you are feeling like you are drowning in work and are disorganized, take the time to be alone and plan out your next week or two. 

Listen to music or a podcast

Getting absorbed in a newly released episode of a podcast or long-time favorite songs can be an escape from the hassles of daily life. Give yourself the time to disconnect and focus on something else, or nothing at all. 

Journal or create art

Channeling your emotions into words or images can be highly therapeutic and reduce stress levels. This action may also be a crucial step for understanding and processing your feelings. Even if art is not therapeutic for you, it provides a much-needed break from daily work. 

Physical self-care

We all have things that we inevitably get behind on due to a lack of time. Take the time to paint your nails, shape your eyebrows, condition your hair, or even do your night routine for the first time in a week. Not having time for yourself can take a large toll on you over time. 

Talk through your thoughts

This one may sound odd, but talking out loud to yourself can help you voice your intentions and get organized in order to put those actions into motion. If you are overwhelmed, see if verbally guiding yourself helps in getting back on track. 

Read a book or educate yourself on a new topic

If you like learning new things, this is perfect for you! Reading an educational book or watching documentaries can equip you with new knowledge, but this process is also refreshing. It is rare that we are able to focus solely on content rather than worrying about what to memorize.

Watch a movie or YouTube videos

Many of us have movies or videos saved on our list to get around to when we have time. Watching a new movie is the perfect time to get comfy and spend some time engaging with a good storyline. 

Meditate and stretch

Multiple research studies have demonstrated the positive benefits of meditation and stretching. Among these benefits are its capacity to reduce stress and pain, boost psychological health, improve certain health conditions, and return flexibility and stability to the body (Kaiser Permanente, 2018). 

Declutter a space that is weighing on your mind

The external environment is extremely powerful and can easily begin to influence our internal environment, causing unnecessary stress and feelings of being overwhelmed. If there is a certain space that needs to be gone through and tidied, dedicating the time to tackle this project can help you reduce these negative feelings. Additionally, this method allows you to physically feel as if you are letting go of things that no longer serve you. 


The Jed Foundation. The benefits of being alone. https://jedfoundation.org/set-to-go/the-benefits-of-being-alone/

Kaiser Permanente. (2018). Meditation for your total health. https://healthy.kaiserpermanente.org/health-wellness/mental-health/tools-resources/meditation/101-benefits

Hello! I am a Forensic Psychology Major with Minors in Criminal Justice and Sociology. I am the secretary for Sexual Assault Awareness Team and am involved in STEP and Psychology Club at St. Ambrose University. In my free time I enjoy painting and embroidering, being a dog mom, and spending time with my friends!