The Importance of Solitude

There are certain people who love spending time alone.  However, a recent study published by “Science” showed that many of us would rather give ourselves electric shocks than be by ourselves with nothing to do for 6-15 minutes.  Why?  There are definitely benefits to alone time.  Given the fact that we spend most of our time with co-workers, family and friends and are often connected to social media, spending time by ourselves in solitude can be a treat for our minds and souls.  It is time to learn how to enjoy spending time by ourselves.

The Benefits of Alone Time

We often assume that people who enjoy being alone are weird and antisocial.  But recent studies have shown that people are more creative and feel more rejuvenated after deliberately withdrawing from social situations.  It is restorative.  Today especially, people feel overloaded being connected to the grid.  Any time we have alone is being spent engaging with others on social media.  We are not allowing ourselves time alone to figure out who we really are.  Spending time with ourselves helps us to gain perspective, build self-esteem and have self-compassion.  This makes us better people to be around.  When we feel whole and content with ourselves, we have more empathy to give to others.

Alone vs. Lonely

Being alone is not the same as being lonely.  Loneliness is a perceived feeling of social isolation and has been linked to such negative things as heart disease and depression.  One can feel lonely even in the company of others if they are dissatisfied with their personal relationships.  It is a fear of loneliness that often prevents people from seeking solitude.  However, by redefining solitude as being something positive and well-deserved, you will never mix up the two again.  Rather than avoiding being by ourselves, we will seek it out to help balance ourselves and will become content with our own company, letting go of self-judgement.

How to Find Alone Time During Our Busy Days

Most of us are so busy juggling our work and personal lives that we can barely fit in a shower before jumping into bed and starting it all over again in the morning.  We have to find a better way to fit in some solitude to suit our schedules.  If we start with short bursts of time, like 10-15 minutes, it won’t lead to feelings of guilt that we are depriving our loved ones or being selfish by allowing ourselves some time alone.  How you spend that time is personal.  Some people like to read, some enjoy journaling and others like to spend it in nature.  The idea is to enjoy the time for ourselves, not to turn around and post about it on social media.

Enjoying Our Own Company

After the realization of how much we enjoy being with ourselves sets in, and how less stressed and relaxed it makes us feel, we may become bolder.  Perhaps you will be brave enough to take a solo drive to the beach for an hour or two or go see a movie alone.  A weekend retreat alone could be just around the corner.  When spending time alone becomes a treat and not a punishment, it is amazing how much time you can find to devote to your new best friend, yourself.

 

 

 

 

  • Florence

    Yes, I have found that making some ” quality ” alone time is essential to one’s mental, spiritual and physical state. Detaching oneself from your environment and all the cares in your life, doing some deep breathing exercises allows you the space, time and tranquility you need to reinvigorate, refresh, recompose, rearrange and restructure not just activities or projects you have lined up, but also yourself. Getting in touch with your true issues objectively requires some alone time, relaxation to effectively make progress.In my alone time I structure it as
    A). letting go ( usually a quite hot bath in some of my favorite bubble bath and some relaxing
    music by candle light ).
    B).Relaxing, This is when I absolutely WILL NOT be concerned about any issues. A good
    read sometimes will take my mind away or a movie just to entertain me.
    C). Re-Focus, Sometime a good work out, or playing a game of checkers, chess or an
    exercise that helps you to re-focus your thinking.
    D). Appreciating your alone time, scheduling a date for your next alone time and looking
    forward. No quilt here..
    Strategic planning your alone time and finding the right fit for you is what will make this time your own.

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  • Marlene

    The opportunity for solitude time is such a gift. I fill the first half hour with silent meditation. I fill the next with journaling. The next half hour would be written goal setting with affirmations and visualization. The last stolen 30 minutes would be my independent yoga and breath work practice followed by either shavasana or another 11 minutes of chanting. Women are seldom allowed or allow themselves time exclusively to devote to themselves. What a gift when we decide to take time away from the never ending to do list and gift time to ourselves to advance or enjoy our own self directed journey.

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