Mental Health | 'Me time' should be an oasis not a prison

Making 'me time' an oasis

There are times in our lives when we crave isolation; times when we want to remove ourselves from society; times when we want to close the door and keep the world at bay.

"Me time'' is important for reassessing and regrouping, recharging emotional resources and refreshing spiritual strength.

The result can and should be part of the lifelong journey towards the target of being the best that we can be ... our best version of our best self.

The problem is that isolation can become a prison of our own creation.

Isolation can interfere with perspective, altering the way we view our lives and the people around us.

The problem is that isolation can become a prison of our own creation.

There's the very real danger that the door we have closed can become too heavy for us to re-open ... certainly not without assistance.

What we had hoped would be an oasis can instead become a trap.

The answer lies in balance ... determining when isolation can tip over from self-protection to self-harm ... when something that can be good for us becomes destructive.

And there are times when we need outside help to recognise and achieve that balance; when we need someone to introduce us to the strategies we can use to cope with the inevitable disappointments and distresses that come our way.

That's where involvement becomes so important. By becoming involved and by staying involved we realise we are not alone; that - to a greater or lesser degree - we are all battling the same demons, the same fears and insecurities.

Most importantly involvement can show us that although limited periods of isolation can be advantageous, they are not the answer.


No matter what, there's always something good in every day.

For the sake of our mental wellbeing it's important to identify the bit or bits that uplift us and hold them close.

It will not always be possible. There will be days when we are dragged down no matter how much effort we put into positivity.

But a bad day need not condemn us to a bad life.

If what we try today falls short of the mark we have set we can try again tomorrow.

Gary Bentley is a counsellor with Rural Aid