Quality time alone
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SINCE my column on love and well-being for Valentine’s Day last week, I received a few emails that expressed some sadness about being single. Some said they are not able to meet new people due to COVID-19 restrictions, while others mentioned that they are too “anti-social to meet people, but it does not mean that I am not lonely.’
Therefore, today I would like to focus on this because he further added, “what’s wrong with me?”
First, the word ‘anti- social’ has a negative connotation to it, but even the more positive options such as introverted do not really have much of a difference.
Many people call me anti-social for lots of reasons; I do not like to go out much and when I do, I do not talk much unless I am extremely comfortable with the group of people or environment in which I am. If it is with people I do not know, a lot of the time, I’m in a corner.
I am going to talk about the benefits of this, so that all of you who feel this way can stop being so hard on yourselves for simply being who you are.

It’s not that the introverted don’t like other people; it’s that the days are sometimes so overwhelming that time alone is needed to just recharge.
Many of us are around people most of the day, needing to be as productive and as energetic as possible. Not to mention all the other sources that can bombard us with information and much of it negative – news, social media platforms or any gatherings/ meetings that you are pressured into attending.
Many people need to take alone time to regroup, collect thoughts and build a fresh set of patience. This is important to really process what has happened throughout the day and how we really feel about it.

Many people equate being alone with being lonely, but those are two very different things.
It may sound like a cliché, but only when you spend quality time alone can you really know who you are and what you want out of life. You are open to clear, uninterrupted and un-influenced trains of thought. I promise you, that all your important realisations, logical thinking and decision-making happen when you are alone — or maybe in counselling; it does not happen when you are out liming and possibly drinking.
One of my favourite sayings is, “you’re not missing anything when you’re getting your act together.”

This way of life tends to allow one to build friendships that really matter. These healthy and important relationships are only built and flourish only during one-on-one time and in the right environments. This means that if you choose a more ‘anti-social’ life, it can actually consist only of meaningful relationships and conversations. I cannot speak for anyone else, but I really dislike small talk, which drastically increases the more you go out. There is a theory claiming that in a two-hour-long conversation, there are only 10-15 minutes of quality information being shared.

I live a much healthier life during my anti-social periods. We all know that when we go out, we are more likely to eat unhealthily, consume more alcohol than intended, as well as have less sleep than intended. All of this contributes to having low energy and motivation the next day — whether there is an official hangover or not. For example, I rarely go to the gym or do any additional work the day after a night, or even late afternoon out. You also save tonnes of money.

It aids in a drama-free life. You will always have some kind of issue in your life, but often when we go out, you may either make it public or get sucked into other people’s issues. May sound cool and funny, but have you ever tried peace instead?

Something I’ve noticed is that people trust me more because I don’t go out. They feel more comfortable opening up to me because they don’t see me with lots of people all over the place as if I don’t have a house. This aids in another point, when I do choose to go out, people are always excited to see me as they rarely do in general. You know those people who are out so much that you almost get tired of seeing them? Yea I don’t have that problem.

If you are hard on yourself because you are not as social as most others, that’s okay too. Not only is Guyana an extremely social culture, but our generation is the most social of all with social media and other technology that allow us to easily have friends all around the world.
I am also not necessarily pushing anyone to spend more time on your own; if being around people all day makes you happy, then good for you. I’m just trying to get people to simply accept who they are. Focus on the benefits it brings rather than any potential downfalls.

Thank you for reading. Please continue to send any topics you would like to talk about to caitlinvieira@gmail.com. If you would like personal counselling sessions, please contact me at +592 623 0433

Say Yes to Life and No to Drugs! Always!

Suicide Prevention Helpline – 223-0001, 223-0009, 623-4444 or 600-7896
Do not be afraid to reach out!

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