Avoiding a plague is not the only reason spend some time at home alone. As Introverts, it’s where we can explore our greatest creativity, reflection, thinking, and innovation.

Even though introverts look forward to time with peers and getting out of the house, they will inevitably need to soak up some alone time to get back to a comfortable level of energy[1]. Introverts need alone time to recharge their social batteries, self-reflect, and process the experiences they have with others[1]. Without proper amounts of alone time, introverts can begin to experience irritability, fatigue, poor sleep, and trouble concentrating[1]. The mental stimulation that takes place during an extroverted experience can dramatically affect an introverted mind[1]. Alone time is a great opportunity for self-reflection and self-discovery. It can also rejuvenate you by balancing your emotions and letting your body physically relax[2]. Not only does this practice help improve your well-being, but it can also improve your relationships with others[2].

Alone time encourages independence and helps build confidence in your ability to be alone, act alone, and find enjoyment alone[2]. The solitude you find lets you relax and self-reflect without distraction. Additionally, spending time alone reduces high emotional states both positive and negative. It creates a centering and regulating of emotions fostering a sense of peace[2].

Introverts may enjoy spending time alone in part because of acetylcholine. This chemical may produce a happy feeling for introverts when they’re quietly reflecting or concentrating on something for long periods of time [3]. Rewards are things like money, sex, social status that make us feel good. One reason why introverts enjoy being alone is how they respond to rewards [4]. Extroverts place more significance on people than introverts do [4].

How to make the most of alone time

There are many ways to make the most of alone time. One way is to choose activities that you love and that refuel your energy; especially activities that are congruent with your core values[1]. Another way is to find a personal space that speaks out to you[1] and that you value; a space that is your sanctuary. You can also be very intentional when and where spending time with yourself, so you get the most out of your time[1].

Journaling is a great activity that goes well with alone time[1]. Self-care should be relaxing, not a chore, so it’s important to figure out what works for you and make self-care personal[2]. It’s also important to stay away from social media during alone time[2]. Communicating that you need alone time is another way to carve out some much-needed alone time when you don’t live alone[3]. You can also wake up earlier or set up agreed-upon spaces during the workday[3].

Taking a daily intention-setting break or going for a walk are other ways to carve out some alone time when you don’t live alone[3]. Finally, there are many things real people do to make alone time awesome such as talking to favorite fictional characters, taking a boozy bath, reading a book in total silence, traveling alone, just sitting quietly with nothing – not even your phone or a book – to keep you company, taking yourself on a date and enjoying not having to make conversation, watching movies, shows, or documentaries on Netflix, Amazon Prime, or other streaming media, playing video games until further notice, putting your phone on airplane mode and wandering around while listening to podcasts or music. [4]

Benefits of alone time

Alone time can help introverts recharge their social batteries, self-reflect, and process experiences they have with others[1]. It can also produce a happy feeling due to the chemical acetylcholine[2]. Exercising alone can help introverts get into better shape and provide relaxation[3]. Without proper amounts of alone time, introverts can experience irritability, fatigue, poor sleep, trouble concentrating, increased anxiety, decreased motivation and mood swings[1][4]. It is important for introverts to get enough alone time to avoid burnout and maintain a balance between social exertion and quality time with oneself[1][4][5]. And that need for quality alone time can be rooted in how they respond to rewards. Rewards activate the brain’s pleasure centers by releasing dopamine. Rewards are things like money, sex or social status that introverts respond differently to than extroverts do[5]. Research shows that extroverts get worn out by socializing too[4]. So alone time can benefit them too.

The Importance of spending time with others

Group gathering around a bonfire.

While introverts may enjoy spending time alone to recharge and process after socializing[1][2][3], it is still important for them to spend time with others. Socializing can help introverts develop new relationships, gain new perspectives, and improve their communication skills[4][5]. And it’s time well spent for others to get to know us and benefit from our insights and abilities.


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