WORK-LIFE BALANCE / MAY. 29, 2015
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Why You Need Time For Yourself [Infographic]

This charming infographic from happiness company Happify explains why building in some ‘me time’ is important, and how this is best achieved. Drawing data and information from a number of studies, the infographic explains the following:

  • Why we need ‘me time.’
  • How to get more ‘me time.’
  • The best ways to use your ‘me time.’

See Also: Why Your Happiness is Important

The Case For Solitude

“The great omission in American life is solitude; not loneliness, for this is an alienation that thrives most in the midst of crowds, but that zone of time and space free from outside pressure which is the incubator of the spirit. -- Marya Mannes, author and critic (via Psychology Today)

As the infographic shows, ‘me time’ doesn’t have to mean being on your own, but being alone has its benefits. Although there are social biases against being alone and against introversion, studies have found that solitude can bring about specific cognitive benefits such as improved concentration.

Solitude is a great incubator for creativity, enabling it to flourish, as this article in Zen Habits confirms with its assertion that solitude is the “number one creativity habit”.  Many thinkers, writers, artists and musicians, from Michelangelo to Kafka to Goethe, all cultivated the “art of solitude” in order to produce their masterpieces. In addition to boosting creativity, solitude, or ‘me time’ in its purest form, has a number of other benefits, which include the following:

  • Being alone helps you to slow down and ‘recharge your batteries’: When you are away from the motley collection of distractions of day to day life, you can take the time to rest and ‘just be you’. You can use the time to clear your busy mind and simply get back in touch with yourself.
  • It allows you to reflect:  It’s easy to get caught up in the busyness of life, but often we’re left with little time to reflect on those things that matter most to us. Me time gives you the chance escape life’s distractions for long enough to reflect on your life and its general direction of travel.
  •  It reminds you that you can enjoy your own company: It is liberating to discover that you can actually enjoy being alone. You can do what you want to do without having to conform to others’ expectations. So go to that opera by yourself if no-one else will accompany you – you’ll enjoy it much more than if you’d managed to drag others along with you.
  • Me-time will enhance your self-esteem:  The more time you spend on your own, the better your relationship will be with yourself. With knowledge comes understanding; through that understanding you will learn to learn to ‘love yourself’ for the wonderful person you are, and this is the key to self-esteem. Studies have shown that a capacity for solitude is correlated with a “strong sense of personal freedom and higher self-acceptance”.
  • Time spent alone can support decision making:  Time spent alone in reflection can make it easier to think through difficult decisions: “solitude is the essence of leadership”.

 Do you think you get enough me time? Your thoughts and comments below please...

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