Courtney Rupertus
Solitude as the new self-care

Life is busy. A typical person usually takes on many different roles in their day-to-day life that require their undivided attention like employee/employer, wife/husband, mother/father, daughter/son.

We are all in some way caregivers, role models, partners, colleagues, siblings, and so much more that it can be extremely difficult to carve out a little time for yourself. 

One might ask, “With so much on your plate, who has time to simply sit and be quiet all alone?” or secondly, “Why would anyone want to spend time alone?”

In a world where being alone is seen as something to avoid, one can feel overwhelmed and a little at a loss as to what it means to enjoy your own company. Solitude is not meant to be confused with someone who numbs out the world and shuts themselves off. Instead, it could be described as quality time alone where one focuses on a self-fulfilling activity. 

One could go for a walk in the woods, read an enjoyable book, or simply sit with a cup of tea gazing out of the window. During these times, you can let your thoughts wander wherever they need to help you make sense of the day and download anything that you may be carrying around in the back of your mind unnecessarily. 

While tangible physical health benefits of alone time may be arguable, no one can dispute the calming and connective quality of enjoying peaceful solitude and how it can influence your mental wellbeing for the better.

Quality time alone has been shown to boost productivity, increase creativity, improve perceptions (from negative to positive), and effectively solve problems. It allows you to shuffle through the clutter of your thoughts, organize emotions, and clears your mind, leaving you with the resilience to deal with whatever comes.

Other ways you can benefit from carving out time to yourself are:

If you feel guilty at all for taking this time for yourself, use the exploration of the guilt as a guide to what might be blocking you, and remember that everyone is entitled to the time and space that allows them to feel good. 

You may find it helpful to make yourself a list of what recharges your battery and what tends to drain your battery, as well as places that you feel that can be a sort of sanctuary, especially if you find yourself away from home or if your home is swarmed by company. 

 

Would you fault a friend for asking for time alone if they need it? Probably not, so assume your friends and family will love and support you as you learn to create healthy boundaries for yourself. 

If you do experience resistance from those in your life, reassure them without judgement that spending time alone doesn’t mean that you don’t want to spend time with them, you simply need time to recharge so that you can enjoy the time you spend with others.