Seeking Solitude

by | Aug 2, 2018

Do you feel like you are being spread too thin? Can’t seem to find time for a break? Feeling frazzled?

Finding time to be alone is good for your well-being. In today’s society many of us are juggling a number of roles – employee, employer, parent, spouse, caregiver, and more. Many of us just don’t see how they could find the time for ourselves, and often even feel guilty when the opportunity does arise. We have to be willing to admit that we need time alone and commit it to our schedules. Solitude gives you the chance to restore your coping resources, to rest and replenish your energy. Studies have shown that solitude helps reduce the secretion of stress hormones which can cause muscle tension, high blood pressure, gastrointestinal stress and diminished immune functioning.

Solitude is also good for the mind. It allows us time to satisfy creative impulses without the constraints of other’s opinions and makes it easier to problem solve. There is also evidence that solitude makes you smarter. People who routinely remove themselves from distractions have improved memory and a more open-minded perspective.

Still, seeking solitude can be a challenge as we are bombarded by media and electronic devices. Many have the mistaken perception that solitude can only be found on some far-away deserted beach or mountaintop. It is really more a psychological state than a physical one and one you can create it anywhere you choose. Simply take the time. The key to reaping the benefits of solitude is to experience it regularly whether it is in meditation or a quiet hobby.

Here are eight time-finders:

  • Cut back on TV time.
  • Get up an hour earlier.
  • Turn off the car radio.
  • Schedule a daily “time-out”.
  • Go for a walk.
  • Take a long warm bath or shower and add a calming oil such as lavender.
  • Regularly visit a calm location like a park or beach.
  • Practice relaxing activities such as gardening or yoga.

“Guard well your spare moments. They are like uncut diamonds. Discard them and their value will never be known. Improve them and they will become the brightest gems in a useful life.”  ~ Ralph Waldo Emmerson

Until next time…