4 Reasons you need alone time

Sep 30, 2011 at 10:00 a.m. ET

Spending time solo is important, especially when you're in a relationship that can eat up all of your "me" time. We're not suggesting you ditch your significant other on a daily basis, but carving out some alone time that's just for you (and not your husband, kids, friends or co-workers) can help keep you happy and actually improve your relationship. Here are four main reasons why alone time for you is healthy.

To recharge

One of the main reasons alone time is so important is because it gives you time to recharge your batteries. Being pulled in multiple directions by work, family and other obligations can really drain your energy reserves and leave you feeling tired and in need of a vacation. Because most of us don't have the time or money to hop on a plane to Hawaii (sigh) and even a spa day can seem out of the question, alone time becomes your best bet to step back and recharge. Here are a few ways to do that:

  • Go for a walk to a nearby park.
  • Take a yoga class or hit the gym for a solo workout.
  • Head to a local coffee shop for a solo sipping session.
  • Go see a movie your partner doesn't want to see. Grab some popcorn and enjoy the alone-time entertainment.

To plan and prioritize

It can be extremely difficult to get (and stay) organized and on track when you're always in the company of someone else, be it a partner, friend or co-worker, but eking out some time just for you provides an opportunity to get things done. Take some time at the beginning of every week to make your to-do list, plan out your week and figure out what needs to get done. The more organized you feel at the beginning of the week, the better you'll feel overall, and the better you feel, the better off your relationship will be. Good moods equal happier couples.

To do what you love

While you and your man may have a lot of things in common and activities you love to do together, there are likely other things that are more your thing than his. Just because you're in a relationship shouldn't mean the things you love have to be shelved. Instead, take some time each week to do what you love, whether it's gardening, trail running, crafting or checking out local art galleries. Doing the things you enjoy helps ensure you maintain your individuality despite being one half of a couple. It can be easy to drop some of the things that make you unique once you start dating someone, but that's never a good idea. Give yourself the opportunity to continue being you and doing what you love.

To focus on your goals

When you're part of a couple, it's important to have mutual goals – in fact that's one of the best ways to keep your relationship strong. But you probably also have some ambitions of your own that don't necessarily involve your partner. Maybe you really want that promotion this year or you're determined to finally run a half-marathon. Whatever the solo goal, you're going to need solo time to make it happen. We don't doubt that you'll also need your partner's support, but you'll also need time to plan without any distractions. Spending time alone allows you to focus on what you need to get where you want.

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