Is your mind so burdened with responsibilities lately that it’s difficult to unwind, even late at night?
Does it seem that you have become increasingly indecisive, deferring to others when making even simple decisions?
Is the rhythm of life sapping at your joy and driving you further from the things you really want?
When we are caught up in the hustle culture of today’s world and neglect our basic need to rest and recharge, our minds and bodies pay the price. Introverts and social butterflies alike can profit greatly by purposefully seeking solitude on the regular.
Why is this?
- Pulling away from a noisy world is an opportunity to process and reflect on your present needs without disruption. After all, while a life filled with a loving spouse, children, family, and friends can bring a great deal of joy… it can also bring a great deal of distraction.
- Time spent alone allows you the chance to fully relax as yourself. The reality is, how we behave as people is often tied to who is in the room. Your spouse, children, friends, and coworkers often will see certain elements of your personality more than others. A little isolation affords you a chance to let down any form of pretense or social obligation to find contentment in your most natural state.
- A little quiet “Me Time” can go a long way in better understanding oneself. The things you choose to do when alone are not influenced by others’ preferences. What better way to develop a greater awareness of your own likes, dislikes, strengths, and weaknesses?
- Solitude quite literally revitalizes both the body as well the mind. Quiet times of prayer and mindfulness have been linked to elevated moods, mental clarity, lower blood pressure, and better sleep cycles.
However important you know it is, a designated time for yourself is hard to come by without a strategy in place. Below are some great tips to reap all the benefits of solitude:
1. Examine the possibilities. What opportunities do you have available to gain a little peace? Make a list of ideas. Some may be more elaborate, such as renting a hotel room for the weekend or camping for a few days. Others may be simpler: taking a few minutes in the morning to pray on your porch, going on a walk to the park after dinner, or reading in your car while on a work break. Try to find a way to make natural space for solitude in your daily and weekly rhythms.
2. Make use of your calendar. Waiting until your To-Do list is complete to pull away and refresh is poor strategy. Instead, set aside times for solitude at the beginning of the week- and treat it like any other scheduled appointment.
3. Share your plan with the people that it might affect. Your spouse can be a better support if you are upfront, explaining your need for regular time alone and sharing your weekly schedule to do just that.
4. Clear the clutter. If your agenda is just too tight for quiet refreshment, it may be time to trim the excess. Prioritize commitments that are necessary or those that bring you joy and take a step back from the obligations that are becoming burdens.
Creating a rhythm of solitude to reflect, connect with God, and practice mindfulness will offer physical, mental, and emotional benefits that cannot be found elsewhere.
How will you begin to incorporate practices of solitude in your life today?