Me Time Instead of We Time

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Even Superman has his Fortress of Solitude.

Not that you’re claiming to possess any superpowers, but you have to admit that getting up and facing the daily grind of life can, at times, seem like an insurmountable herculean task. It’s OK. Everyone has been there. In today’s world with so much emphasis and pressure to conform with the societal norms of staying hyper-connected, opening up and sharing, carving out a small slice of time for yourself can feel a bit greedy and selfish.

But it’s not.

In fact, closing yourself off from the larger world around you for a little while can result in psychological as well as physical benefits. The word “solitude” itself may immediately conjure a variety of negative relatives: loneliness, sadness, antisocial, isolation, depression. However, the Bizarro World viewpoint (since we’re sticking with Superman imagery here) are the many positive attributes when it comes to a bit of alone time.

  • A little solitude can go a long way to increase focus and productivity. External distractions can be the Kryptonite (sorry, I couldn’t help myself) to concentration. Removing them may assist in getting more work done faster as well as uncover more effective solutions to problems or issues.
  • Being by yourself stimulates being creative. A 2017 study conducted by researchers at the State University of New York at Buffalo found that not all forms of social withdrawal are unhealthy and, in fact, could be linked in some cases to increased creativity.
  • Solitude can help you think more deeply and find your own voice. Stepping outside of a group dynamic and away from day-to-day distractions can allow you to think more independently and delve into topics more thoroughly. When you are able to have a better understanding of yourself, it can also enhance your relationships with others, according to an article in Psychology Today.
  • Some personal downtime gives you the breathing room to rest, reset and reboot. Just like Superman derives his powers from the yellow sun of Earth (that was the last one, I swear), taking a break from the hamster wheel of life allows you to revitalize and replenish by giving your brain a chance to unwind.

The English poet and cleric John Donne are credited with coining the phrase “No man is an island,” but he obviously never frequented the Caribbean. Sure, you may not want to live there, but it really is a nice place to visit.

Go ahead, put on your red cape and be your best antisocial self.


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