Everyone needs a break every now and then. Even those of us who love our jobs. Routine, everyday tasks can start to become overwhelming. The best thing that you can do for your mental health is to take a step back and to give yourself a break. Stress can cause things like agitation, sleeplessness, inability to focus. Over an extended period, these stress symptoms can begin to cause real damage to our mental health and even altering the way that we see ourselves in the world. Giving yourself alone time can have incredible benefits, in the long run, to help combat and even eliminate this impending stress.
Increased Energy and Concentration.
Sometimes, giving yourself some alone time means just setting yourself down in a chair and sleeping in the sunshine. Or curling up in a lawn chair with a book. Either way, you’re body and mind will receive rest from its constant running. This can benefit you in two ways — increased energy and concentration. This is a two-pronged effect and can help you get things done in the long run.
When all is quiet and peaceful, it’s easy to have your mood take a turn for the better. For me, my mood plummets when I begin to feel overwhelmed. It becomes a struggle to keep a smile or sometimes to even focus. There are days where I have to call it quits far earlier in the day than I care to admit because my mood declined so rapidly that I needed to step away. I’m not proud of these moments, but I know that it’s because I’ve become flooded with too much that I can’t seem to handle at that moment. By taking a breather, you can allow yourself a mood lifter, if not at least a reset to neutral.
Unlike some of the more immediate effects of the previous benefits, this one takes a little longer to set up. Increased self-analysis simply means being able to read your emotional and mental states better. This isn’t the only way to develop this ability, but it is an incredibly valuable skill. If any of you have ever read and participated in The Artist’s Way, Julia Cameron suggests taking an “artist’s date” weekly, to slow down and begin to listen to yourself. This becomes the self-actualization part of the process.
At first, you’ll feel a little strange going out by yourself. Over time, you’ll begin to listen to all the little things that get drowned out by having a flood of other people around you. Perhaps you’ll settle down enough to realize that your angry lashing out toward your partner was really regret and humiliation at your perceived failure at work or on a personal project. By taking that alone time, you’ll find that you can hear yourself more and before long, you won’t be able to ignore it.
Increasing your self-confidence will also come with time, almost simultaneously with your ability for increased self-analysis. These two traits go hand-in-hand, and it’s easy to see why. When you begin to listen to yourself and the joy you get from it will bring positive reinforcement. This positivity will breed confidence in your abilities for decision making, bringing other people similar happiness, and even boosts to creativity and cognitive functions. This can mean even more mood-lifting, concentration, and energy all around.
The best advice I ever got before I became a mother was that it is perfectly okay to let your baby cry while you take a breath. It absolved me from any potential guilt over giving myself a much-needed breath in moments of immense need. This can work in the rest of your life as well. Take a step back and allow yourself a moment, 5 minutes, an hour, or a whole day. Everyone needs a break from reality sometimes. Give yourself your needed alone time and let yourself rest.