In Defense of “Me Time”

I remember going to my first concert by myself when I was 17. Many of my friends didn’t know the Aussie pop punk band, Tonight Alive, and instead of extending the invite in fear they would waste their money on a concert they wouldn’t enjoy, I went by myself. I had an amazing time; jamming out in second row. I felt very much alive and loved surrounded by the music that collectively fueled the crowd and my soul. It was the defining moment in my life where I realized I should do more things on my own.

In general, people aren’t comfortable with solitude. Even when we find a moment when we are physically alone, we itch for connection and find it by scrolling through Instagram and reblogging images from people who are also bored, alone, and in their own version of “privacy.”

We crave independence, yet are shackled by the stigma of being alone. Lonely and alone are not mutually inclusive. In fact, finding solitude is essential to your creative juices, and, as Drake said, “know yourself.” Alone time is your opportunity to occupy yourself with your own thoughts, observations, and emotions.

Quality time spent alone is key to figure out who you are sans society telling you how you should act and feel. This is the time to do exactly what you want, plain and simple. There are so many activities you can do outside of your room to try solo. You can take a walk, wander around a library or museum, or go to exercise classes like yoga, spin, and ballet.

If you want to take baby steps toward spending time alone, I would recommend sequester yourself in a movie theatre. Pick a movie you’re super stoked to see, and enjoy it. There’s no need to feel awkward, paranoid, or self-conscious, because this is the time to revel in the film experience from its score, the setting, and acting. You’ll catch yourself at the parts you laugh at, the one part you cry at, and learn more about your quirks, interests, and thoughts.

Taking alone time can also be your new way to explore the city you live in or even better, travel alone. Whether it’s a flick or gig you wanted to see and none of your friends are able to tagalong, this is a chance to feel liberated and spend energy to treat yo’ self.

In the search for external connection and interpersonal communication, we often neglect the most important and longest relationship we will have in our lives: the one with ourselves. By fostering this relationship and carving out “me” time, you are better able to be the best family member, friend, partner, and most complete version of yourself. And you get to say you did all this self growth and experience all by yourself.

Do you crave alone time? Have you ever gone to a concert or movie by yourself? If so, comment below about your “me” time.