December 7, 2021

SOLITUDE~ The Importance of Being Alone~

Everyone is so focused on being connected socially. It is great, and we need to have social connections. We also need solitude. Do you like the babbling brook (source- Canva) video above? Just the sound of the water takes my stress level down a notch. Don’t confuse solitude (being alone) with being lonely; not the same. Solitude is beautiful, relaxing, inspiring and is a way to learn so much about yourself. While social isolation and loneliness can be unhealthy, solitude has so many benefits. Here are some of the benefits of spending time in solitude:

  1. It’s relaxing
  2. You get to focus on what YOU want to do; activities such as reading, building something, learning a new hobby, skill or language, gardening, dreaming and planning, watching the clouds drift by.
  3. Solitude is generally a quiet time
  4. Your focus and attention will improve
  5. It’s excellent thinking time, whether it be thinking about your life, your memories, your future, your relationships…spending time in solitude is very worthwhile.
  6. It can improve your relationships.

DIG DEEP~ Solitude and Independence

Spending time in solitude also fosters a feeling of independence. Try going to dinner alone, or a movie or concert. When you experience that sense of freedom from going out alone and enjoying your own company you’ll realize that you don’t always need a date, or a friend to go out with.

I don’t know about you, but I need a certain amount of solitude in order to focus, gather my thoughts, plan my day, make plans for the future, dream of what I want to do, where I want to travel, relect on relationships, especially if you’re struggling with a certain relationship.

If you’re constantly in contact with someone, it’s difficult to dig deep and reflect or examine the issues you may be having, or even to appreciate what’s good in the relationship. We need breathing time. Many articles I’ve read on the subject of solitude report that improved mental health and increased empathy are just two of the many benefits of solitude.

Children Need Solitude

Child discovering turkeys & chickens
Child discovering turkeys & chickens, Carol Paino

Not surprisingly, children also need solitude, of course in a safe environment. Allow them to discover things on their own while you watch them. I believe we all learn faster and more in-depth when we learn something on our own. You know the feeling when you figure something out, or have that “aha!” moment? It feels good!

Child playing in the dirt
Child playing in the dirt, Carol Paino

Don’t deprive children of this by just showing them how to do something, or doing it for them. Sit back and let them discover their environment and feel proud of their accomplishment and the hard work it took to achieve it.

Balance

Your brain, just like your body, needs balance. If you’re constantly “on”, you’re going to eventually wear yourself out. Give yourself time. Create time for yourself. Whether you’re married, partnered up, or single, schedule time for you. Spend some time in solitude, nurture yourself, and really get to know yourself. If you want some tips on how to do that, or why you have trouble nurturing yourself, read my blog titled Do You Value Yourself? 

Enjoy Being Alone

An article titled 10 Things That Happen When You Start to Enjoy Being Alone,  by Tony Robinson on lifehack.org explains perfectly, why solitude is so important. You reap benefits such as recharging, reflecting, and my personal favourite benefit- getting in touch with your own emotions. Number 7 relates to this blog’s purpose, “You’ll feel more independent”. Please take time to read this short article. Number 10 is also a very significant benefit.

FOCUS ON THE FUTURE~ Self Love

 

Watch a beautiful sunset
Beautiful sunset, Carol Paino
Sunset over the corn, Carol Paino

Ladies, it’s all about self love. Experts suggest trying to practise solitary skills for at least 10 minutes per day. I’m not an expert, but I suggest you try for 30 minutes a day. During this time you can walk alone, read purely for-fun book, journal, take pictures, exercise…hell, even just doing the dishes counts if you’re alone. Try to create a quiet environment. Big Tip* Just being in nature creates an atmosphere of solitude* Listen to the birds, the crickets, far off traffic. Watch a beautiful sunset with a great glass of wine. During the winter, take in the solitude of that quiet blanket of snow, meditate, do yoga~yoga is good for everyone young and old. Just do something you like! You may find yourself getting lost in discovery. It’s a fabulous feeling!

Enjoy alone time
Enjoy alone time, Carol Paino

Whatever you choose to do in your time of solitude, do it because it’s good for you, and you enjoy it. If you’re not comfortable being alone, rest assured you will become much more comfortable over time.

 

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