Being Alone: The Pros and Cons of Keeping to Yourself

woman sitting on white bed

Many of us are currently sequestered indoors, away from our invigorating and purpose-driven routines. It can be argued that those who are confined with others, like roommates, family, or friends, are lucky in that they are at least allowed to engage in conversation with others and aren’t made to struggle with complete loneliness. Wherever you are, you should know that there are benefits to being alone. And, of course, some drawbacks.


woman wearing red dress underwater
Photo Credit: Engin Akyurt

Being Alone Helps With Productivity and Creativity

Just ask any creative thinker—the process of sitting down and coming up with ideas is most often successful when done on one’s own. By disconnecting the outdoor voices, you allow yourself to become more in sync with your thoughts, which gives your brain a chance to wander while also getting the creative juices flowing.

Being Alone Helps Our Brains Recharge

Socializing will always be beneficial for proper brain function, but occasionally shutting your brain off is a boon, too—it’s all about balance. An empty house, free of distractions, allows you to clear your mind and begin thinking more clearly. Just don’t forget to eat well and get plenty of sleep throughout.

Being Alone Can Be Healthy for Relationships

Believe it or not, time away from our partners can be a good thing. By separating, you allow yourself to revisit a sense of independence you may not have experienced in years, while simultaneously instilling a greater feeling of appreciation for our significant other. It’s good to miss people, especially if a physical reunion is just around the corner.


photo of woman underwater
Photo Credit: Engin Akyurt

Being Alone Can Make You Lethargic

You’ve heard the expression: don’t let your mind go soft. Well, too much idleness can do just that. Not literally, of course, but it is vital that you periodically engage with a book or puzzle, or any logic-based task to keep your brain functioning at peak performance.

Too Much Time Alone Is Not Good for Your Mental Health

There is a significant difference between spending time alone and being lonely. And obviously, too much of the former can begin to look like the latter. It is important to distinguish between the amount of time you spend alone, and how you feel about the time you spend alone. Feeling lonely can bring with it not just emotional pain but physical pain. So be sure to engage with friends and loved ones via televisual platforms or text messaging.

Being Alone Can Lead to Depression

There is a longstanding link between loneliness and depression—some studies have even shown structural differences between a “normal” brain and one starved for companionship. Too much isolation causes fluctuations in thinking, causing sufferers to perceive the world around them in a negative light. Tele-health centers and hotlines can help with those who may be experiencing stronger than normal feelings of depression.

Normally, there is no harm in stealing some time for yourself. However, right now, we are living in a time that can be described as anything but normal. While isolation may be a mandatory, government-ordered ask, restricting your mind and body while indoors is not.