Alone time is good for your health

By Brooke Hill | Staff Writer

Have you ever had one of those weeks where you had three tests, four quizzes, a million and one social commitments, leaving you with barely enough time to eat or even breathe?

At the end of the week, all you really want is to have some time to yourself so you can catch up on your sleep and on all the TV you’ve missed during the week, but your friends want to go out. You may convince yourself that you’d be a bad friend if you were to tell them that you would rather spend the night by yourself. Wrong.

Many of us spread ourselves so thin in college for fear of missing out on something. We want to be involved, but we also want to get good grades and be good friends. However, it’s not OK to never give yourself a break. That’s when mental breakdowns start to occur, and your health should always come before anything else.

It’s OK to spend your Friday night in bed watching Netflix and eating pizza. It’s OK to say no when your friends ask you to go to a dinner and movie Saturday night if you’ve been busy all day and need to catch a breather. Scientists have done studies that show taking breaks can actually help boost productivity. Since we don’t have time to take full-out vacations in the midst of our busy college lives, it’s important to take advantage of the few opportunities for breaks that we have. Take the time to catch up on some homework so that the next week isn’t as crazy as this one.

Self-improvement is such an important part of life. Cancelling plans so you can read is OK. Spending your Saturday night in the gym is OK. Staying home to cook instead of going out to eat with everyone else is OK. Some people label this as anti-social, but it’s not. It’s simply self-improvement, and it’s important.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that you should stay in every night of every weekend for the entire year. That’s no fun either. As important as sleep and self-improvement are, friendships and relationships are important too. However, friends and relationships shouldn’t be the reason you’re stressing yourself out all the time. Your friends might miss you and might be a little annoyed that you’d rather be alone than hang out with them, but just remind them that you will make time for them after you’ve had your time to yourself.

If your friends are really your friends, they’ll understand when you need those nights to yourself. Chances are they’ll have a night like that themselves before too long. You don’t have to go out on a Friday night and, even better, you don’t have to apologize for it. Even God took a day of rest, and if it’s fine by Him, then it’s certainly fine by me.