Mia Petruccelli/Contributing Writer
Throughout our college years, we rarely find ourselves completely alone. Between class meetings, roommates, partners and hanging out with friends, it is easy to forget about spending time with the most important person: yourself.
Your relationship with yourself is the longest and most important relationship you will have in your life, so why is it so easy to neglect it?
One thing that I have had trouble with throughout my adult years is setting boundaries in my relationships. Whether it be a friendship or romantic relationship, each deserves the same consideration as to what makes a comfortable and secure environment for both parties.
I must also add that spending time alone does not mean sitting in your room and meditating. The most empowering and beautiful practices are the simple everyday activities that you usually complete with others. One of my favorite things to do with myself would have to be going on a date. Put on your favorite outfit, your best pair of shoes, and go to your favorite restaurant. By doing this, you can increase your confidence in speaking independently, find comfort in enjoying your food and you get to choose the appetizer without any polite discussion… what a dream!
It can be a little awkward at first, and the best combat partner is a book or journal. Having a book or journal on your solo date allows for a healthy distraction that isn’t as disruptive as a cellphone. Remember, you’re still on a date, so no phones. Taking yourself on a date allows you to recognize your worth and appreciate small, genuine actions. The newfound appreciation will allow for a greater understanding of what it feels like to give and receive in a relationship.
When you spend an abundance of your free time with others, it is common to collect bits and pieces of their way of thinking and sometimes neglect what is important to you. Spending time alone allows for reflection, recharge and a clear understanding of our everyday emotions. Like spending time with close friends allows for deeper connection and conversation, allowing more time with yourself generates the same positive outcome.
Actively choosing to spend time alone can allow for an increase in the regulation of emotions, reduced stress and even an increase in empathy. This regulation comes from allowing yourself to feel emotions that you may have been pushing farther and farther within yourself. When you digest everything that has weighed heavy on your chest, you have the room and knowledge to assist those you love with their struggles.
Considering the many positive health effects that come with spending time alone, one must also consider that the key to staying in the positive realm of solitude is, of course, balance. As much as I hope to influence you to spend time with yourself, remember to set aside time for socialization. When you take time to connect with yourself, I assure you that your external relationships will also bloom.
The opinions presented within this page do not represent the views of PantherNOW Editorial Board. These views are separate from editorials and reflect individual perspectives of contributing writers and/or members of the University community.