Is Being Alone a Good or Bad Thing?
The holidays are here with us, and as much as we want to have an amazing time with family and friends, the truth is that this can be a polarising time. On one hand, you’re ready to throw yourself into all the activities and festivities of the holidays, and on the other hand, there’s the nosy auntie- or friend- who’s always asking you where your plus one is.
At this point, you either love the holidays or abhor them. The truth is that being alone can be pretty hard for so many single people because the festivities of the holidays are linked to blossoming relationships, couples that are in love with each other, and love from family and friends.
Even so, this doesn’t mean that being alone during the holidays is a deplorable thing. Far from it. There are many advantages to being alone at this time. Let’s take a good look at some:
The Pros of Being Alone During the Holidays
1. You Can do Whatever the Heck You Want
Nothing beats being able to do whatever you want to do, on your own terms. Being alone during the holidays means that you’ve got the chance to create your own schedule, and new traditions, as well as indulge in pastimes without having to compromise or make concessions for other people. Being by yourself with no distractions gives you the chance to clear your mind, focus, and think more clearly. It’s an opportunity to revitalise your mind and body at the same time. This is your time to take self-care to the next level and indulge in all you’ve ever wanted to do!
2. You Can Practise Independence and Self-Reliance
If you didn’t know it yet, you should know that it becomes very easy to become reliant on other people for validation and emotional support when you’re in a relationship because it provides a strong support system. When you’re alone, you learn to be independent and build resilience and a stronger sense of self. This could be a great time to prioritise and focus on our personal goals. You can also use this time to attend to projects that you may have ignored in the past. Creativity tends to flourish in solitude. Studies are now showing that people are actually more likely to come up with their best ideas on their own, rather than during group brainstorming sessions. Use this time for that means of creativity, in any way that is to be channelled. You never know what you may discover about yourself.
3. You Can Try New Things
Being alone during the holidays offers you an excellent opportunity to step outside your comfort zone and try new things. If you’ve been scared of travelling alone or trying new hobbies, maybe this is the best time to beat your fears and start exploring on your own. This can be an exceptional way of making new memories and gaining loads of experience while you discover parts of yourself you never knew existed. By spending time with yourself and gaining a better understanding of who you are and what you desire in life, you’re more likely to make better choices about who you want to be around.
The Cons of Being Alone During the Holidays
While there are plenty of advantages to being alone, we can’t ignore the downsides. Here’s some to keep notice of:
1. You Can Easily Feel Isolated and Lonely
When you’re alone, you’re bound to take more notice of couples or families that are spending time together. Seeing other people having fun or bonding with their significant others or families can make you feel lonely. This is the time when feelings of loss or sadness are heightened especially if you’ve recently experienced the loss of a relationship or a loved one. Our article How To Get Out of a Funk can be a good guide to aid with resetting your mindset when you feel this certain type of way.
2. Being Alone/Lonely Can Lead to Depression
Time spent alone during the holidays can feel especially lonely and can even lead to depression. When someone is lonely, their neural responses to positive images and events get suppressed, so the world is perceived through a negative filter. We are more likely to believe that things are hopeless when we are lonely. This makes it more difficult to summon up the energy and bravery to find happiness and change.
3. Being Alone Can Be Bad for Your Health
Studies have found that social isolation and loneliness can increase the likelihood of mortality by up to 30%. Yes we know that sounds quite dramatic, but researchers claim, “Being socially connected is not only influential for psychological and emotional well-being but it also has a significant and positive influence on physical well-being and overall longevity.” It is important to maintain strong social connections, even if you prefer to spend the majority of your time alone. So go to that holiday party, reach out to those friends/family members you’ve not heard from in a while or volunteer your time helping others that struggle tremendously during this holiday season.
So What’s The Verdict?
The truth is that being alone can be both a positive and challenging experience. This can be the opportunity you need to practise self-care and self-reliance. You can still find ways of being connected to others and build a strong support network while exploring solitude. Ultimately, being alone doesn’t mean you’re not fulfilled and being in a relationship doesn’t exclude you from feeling lonely. It is important to distinguish between healthy time alone, where we are being productive, creative and introspective, versus negative time alone, where we are being self-critical or feeling lonely.