Our society constantly puts down those who spend time alone. It’s looked down upon to spend a Friday night at home, and eating lunch alone is detrimental to your social status. I would argue that this is wrong.

Spending time alone can be one of the most beneficial things we do for our own personal health.

Since being home from college, I have a lot more free time. Days that were previously jam packed with practice, school, and studying are now wide open. My siblings are still in school, and both my parents work—leaving me home alone on days I myself am not working.

These days alone can be sort of boring, and sometimes I do crave some type of company that wants to hold a conversation (dogs don’t always cut it). But, I have come to realize that this time alone is extremely beneficial.

Spending time alone allows us to truly figure out what matters to us. We are able to be introspective without any interruption, something that we often forget to do in our busy lives.

With this idea of “alone time,” I think it is equally important to set aside time for yourself even in the midst of a busy schedule. Stress is a real thing, there’s no denying it. And stress has the ability to wreak havoc on our lives.

I believe the answer to combating stress is spending time alone.

If there is 20 minutes to half an hour each day where you only spend time with yourself, there’s a big chance that you will be able to resolve many stressors that might be “wreaking havoc.” I have found that this time alone can be revitalizing. It leaves me recharged.

I’m not exactly sure why society thinks spending time alone is a bad thing. There is no possible way to spend every waking moment with other people and realistically lead a healthy life. These relationships can’t be genuine, because you can’t truly know yourself without spending time with yourself.

On this note, I also believe our relationships become better when we know who we are. The junk is stripped away and we are able to be who we really are with the people we care about most. Getting to know yourself allows for better relationships with everyone in your life.

To spend time alone is anything but a sign of weakness. In fact, some of the strongest people I know routinely spend time alone. I think the introspection allows them to really know their goals and what they want to go after.

I’m going to start taking advantage of the time alone I have, and make sure I don’t waste it.