HomePhilippine Journal of Psychologyvol. 44 no. 1 (2011)

An Exercise to Teach the Psychological Benefits of Solitude: The Date with the Self

Eric Julian Manalastas

Discipline: Psychology



Solitude – time spent by oneself – is a common human experience, though its possible benefits may not be appreciated by many. In a pretest-posttest quasi-experimental evaluation of an exercise designed to teach the psychological benefits of solitude, 54 undergraduate students went on a date with the self, i.e., planning and deliberately spending an afternoon or evening by oneself engaged in personally chosen leisure activity. Results showed that the date with the self produced significant gains in appreciation of time spent alone, relative to a comparison group of 49 students. Of the features of solitude, anonymity and low levels of negative affect during the exercise accounted for increased appreciation for time spent alone, while feelings of inner peace, low levels of loneliness, and previous attitudes toward solitude were related to overall enjoyment of the activity.