In our ultra connected society, finding moments of solitude can seem very far and in between. From doing simple task like turning on the TV, opening your social media apps, going to work, & communicating with your family friends – there is barely time to just sit and get connected with yourself. What’s even crazier, is that through these social media apps, and constantly being tuned into the world outside of us, we can easily feel even more alone in our daily lives because we don’t have that sense of connection with the people we view online or in our every day lives – which in turn makes us feel lonely. But being lonely & being in solitude are two very different things. We’ve outlined a few tips to help you practice and master the great art of solitude, in hopes that you recognize that the time you take alone for yourself is not a negative thing, but all the more positive.
1. Don’t Mistake Solitude For Being Lonely
Often times solitude can be mistaken for loneliness. When you feel lonely, you feel cut off from other people, rejected, and it leads to sadness & depression. Solitude is when you are perfectly happy to be alone, and make an active choice to be alone and in that state. Solitude can lead to greater self-awareness, greater creativity, fresh insights, and new growth. There is a quote by Hannah Arendt that we made woman friendly of course, but it states , “The lonely woman finds herself surrounded by others with whom she cannot establish contact or to whose hostility she is exposed.” The solitary woman is alone and “can be together with herself.” In solitude, in other words, she is “by herself”, together with herself, and therefore two-in-one, however in loneliness she is actually one, deserted by all others.
2. Start Doing Things You Actually Enjoy
Because who doesn’t want to do things they actually want to do?! When you eliminate constantly having to be around friends and family, and relying on them to do things with you that are fun, you don’t really get to do everything you want to do or enjoy because you are always either on someone else’s schedule, or you have to compromise because it’s not all about you. In moments of solitude, it’s all about you ( cue Mya’s old jam “It’s All About Me”) and what you want to do, when you want to do it. If you feel like staying in and watching Netflix all day with no bra – do that. If you want to take a hike, or go see a movie that probably no one else would see but you – you can do that because the only person you have to please and compromise with is you.
3. Enjoy Your Productivity Boost
When you are in solitude, you tend to have more time to get things done, because you aren’t restricted to a consistent schedule you otherwise would be on if you weren’t taking this alone time to yourself. Because you aren’t following the schedule of say work, or personal agenda’s from friends and family – you can use all that time to work on something you’ve been wanting to get done, and now you have time to do it. You have time to think things through, and not rush any project you may be working on. Maybe you want to finish a book, or write out your business plan for a new business venture you are working on. Having down time to yourself when it’s just you allows you to put every minute into something you actually enjoy that will benefit you in the long run.
4. Get To Know Yourself More
In moments of solitude you get to know yourself more because you’re spending time with yourself. You’re formulating your own opinions about things, and learning to do things you might have never done before your alone time. Sometimes it may seem scary doing new things like going out to eat alone, or going to the movies alone, and at one point you may have thought you needed to do these things with other people, but could find that you actually might enjoy doing them alone a lot more. This speaks to the type of woman you are evolving into – whether she be independent, fearless, & knowing exactly what she wants. You learn that having others around is not a necessity but just a desire, and that the more time you spend alone with yourself, the more you will understand the woman you are and becoming.
5. Find Your Own Voice
With the quiet, comes the opportunity to find your own voice. There is no influence of others and their opinions swirling around in your head, persuading the decisions you make. If you decide to branch out and do something new, or change your appearance, or anything really – you are doing it based on your own decision and thought process to do so. Not because someone else influenced you to do it. On the other hand, you may be able to now do new things without the fear of someone elses opinion to keep you from doing it. For example ( just an example) what if you wan’t pink hair? Or want to change up your wardrobe to something drastically different that what other people are use to? When you make decisions for yourself without considering other people – you are tuning into who you are on the inside, and listening to her more, as opposed to the outside noise. Finding your voice , and knowing what she sounds like when she speaks is pivotal as you continue on your journey as a woman.
We’re not saying just jump ship and forget everyone. But taking a few days to yourself every few weeks where its just you, and no outside noise, and your disconnected from the people you consistently interact with is good for you! Try one day out of the weekend to start, and then increase the time period as you progress and get comfortable. When the urge creeps in, try not to pick up the phone and call someone when you think you need to. Grab a book, get outside and walk, go see a movie, do something with just you that you will enjoy – and call them back later boo.