Is Your 'Me Time' Really Healthy?
"Me time" activities are important for your happiness and health. They can be an opportunity for reflection, a break for self-care, a respite from socializing, or simply the expression of an introverted nature. However, for many people like me, me time can easily become a contributing factor for depression. Isolation is one of the more dangerous symptoms of mental illness because it encourages cyclical thoughts and keeps us from recognizing the love in our lives.
Three Clues Your 'Me Time' Isn't Healthy for You
People also use me time activities as excuses for unhealthy behaviors. Here are three clues that your alone time isn’t really good for you.
1. Your 'Me Time' Happens in the Middle of an Argument
While we may all need to cool down during a heated discussion sometimes, this need should be communicated clearly and handled respectfully. Saying to your conversation partner, “I need to take a time-out from this conversation” is perfectly fine. The situation is even better if you have an expiration date for the break: “Can we take an hour to cool off and then resume?”
However, if you’re storming off during the argument, especially after making your point, you may be practicing avoidance or using abandonment as a form of control. Check in with your desire to be alone; are you feeling like you’re losing an argument, or that fear of confrontation is driving you to go solo? Or are you feeling overwhelmed and drained, like you may not be able to further contribute to the discussion? If it’s the latter, you can respectfully disengage from the conversation to take your alone time.
2. You're Alone Because You Don’t Want to be a Burden
Me time is for you. It’s for your own healing, self-care, and rest. Your alone time is not for other people to be rid of you.
A common experience for many with mental illness is feeling like a burden on those we love. When life challenges us, we withdraw. We don’t want others to worry about us; we think our struggles would only bring them down. In those times, we feel like we don’t have anything to contribute.
If your desire to be alone stems from a desire to please others or to spare them pain, you may be entering into an unhealthy thought cycle rather than taking life-giving personal time.
3. You Aren’t Productive with Your Me Time
Not everything in life needs to have a goal or measure of productivity, of course. However, your alone moments should have a purpose. If you’re taking me time to relax, ensure you’re actually relaxing (through whatever method relaxes you). Watch a movie, meditate, take that hike you’ve been meaning to, or create a painting. If you find yourself frantically knocking chores off the to-do list, though, you’re not using your alone time for yourself. On the other hand, if you’re in bed crying, you’re also not taking alone time--you’re potentially experiencing depression (Depression Symptoms: What Are the Symptoms of Depression?).
As a litmus test for the effectiveness of your me time, take a look at how you feel afterward. Are you refreshed, revitalized, recharged? Do you feel more clear-headed? If not, you may be using “me time” as a mask for something else.
Meredith, M. (2018, April 16). Is Your 'Me Time' Really Healthy?, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2023, January 27 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/livingablissfullife/2018/04/how-to-healthily-take-alone-time
Author: Morgan Meredith
Loneliness is dangerous psycho-social condition that definitively ruins our mental wellbeing. But the feeling of loneliness and to be alone isn't the same issue. In real life there are many people that alone but they didn't feel as alone. however, every mental health person shout find out any close person to share personal. occupational and social preoccupations. This tendency is importance for healthy and mentally ill persons. "Me time" as personal need exhibits great and intrigued emotional experience that should use in adequate and productive way. Everyone has want to be alone sometimes, but this period couldn't be the life routine for solution of interpersonal problems and misunderstandings, as well. In contrary, "me time" is in need to be quite and to relax oneself from daily psychosocial overwhelming. If we didn't experienced the feeling of pleasure after period of loneliness then we ought to correct this form of psycho-emotiona;l relax. In a word, the period of "me time should be as much as shorter and rare behavioural undertaking. It ought to install, to maintain and to develop large social network as soon as possible, in order to improve our global health welfare.
Dr. Musli, thanks for the lengthy comment and the multiple perspectives. I completely agree that having a social network is important for the stability of someone with mental health concerns (and, well, really for all humans, as we're naturally pack animals). However, I also believe it's important for all of us to be alone at times for our own health, even as a daily practice. As solo meditation has been a proven health method for thousands of years, I'd say that making "me time" shorter or more rare may not necessarily be the right decision for everyone.
I think this is a fantastic read! Alone time should absolutely be a time that is for you, by you. Let it be your choice and let it be exactly what you need it to be. Everyone recharges in different ways, and there should never be any guilt when it comes to taking alone time for ourselves.