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Solitude provides the ultimate boost to wellbeing.
In a world where hustle and bustle are glorified, creating time for peace and quiet, seems almost counter-cultural.
Most of us feel compelled to measure our success by what we have achieved in the day, but sometimes the most productive thing we can do is to stop and spend time alone.
What is solitude?
Solitude is a moment in time inhabited only by you.
Solitude is very different to loneliness. It’s choosing to spend time alone, and that time on our own serves us and makes us feel good.
Loneliness can happen when we feel that no one cares for us, or when we don't choose to be alone, but we spend extended periods of time on our own. Loneliness can make us feel empty or unwanted, and it is detrimental to wellbeing.
So why do people flourish with solitude?
People flourish with time. When you create everyday moments of time without distractions, you have the space to reflect on things that are important to you. In the silence you can process your thought and feelings and clarify your priorities.
Time alone provides the space to rest, relax and recharge our mind.
How can you create solitude?
There are lots of different ways to create times of solitude in your day. Spending time alone doesn’t have to be in complete silence, but silence does help your body relax and unwind.
Here are three easy starts to solitude:
🌼 Sit is silence.
If time is short, set aside a few moments to sit on your own, away from noise and distractions of the house, and just sit in silence. A few moments of silence help us feel less scattered and overwhelmed, freeing us from distractions and giving us an opportunity to think a thought through to its conclusion.
A 2006 study, looked at how music could be used to modulate stress, and found that silence had the biggest positive impact on breathing, heart rate and relaxation.
In just two minutes of silence the relaxation effect was evident.
🌼 Journal your thoughts.
The act of writing down our thoughts and feelings creates space between who we are and what we think and feel, and this space allows us the ability to consider the impact of those thoughts and feelings. Just because we think something, doesn’t make it true.
Sitting before a blank page can feel confronting but there are lots of journaling exercises that can break the ice.
Looking for an easy start? Try the Good List. For the Good List, identify three things from yesterday that felt good. Don’t over think it. Just let you mind drift to the good moments from yesterday and write them down. Think about why they felt good and how you could bring more of that good into today. It won’t take many days, and you’ll have a long list of things that make you feel good.
🌼 Walk in the fresh air.
Fresh air revitalises your body and surprisingly walking is also proven to boost creativity. A Stanford study found that 'across the board, creativity levels were consistently and significantly higher for those walking compared to those sitting.'
Now you know why people have their best thoughts while walking!
How do you find time for solitude?
You must make time for solitude. Like any new habit, it won’t happen on its own, you need to make it happen. Start small and build from there.
In James Clear’s book, Atomic Habits, he recommends that when you start a new habit it should take less than 2 minutes to achieve. You want to make your new habit as easy as possible to start.
For example, the first step to journaling could be - to pick up your journal and sit in a quiet spot as soon as you get up each morning. Once you form the gateway habit, you can start building out your forever habit. The key to building a successful habit is to start showing up in a small way.
Self-care and solitude
Self-care is a proactive and personalised approach to promoting your health and wellbeing. Solitude is one of the seven pillars of self care.
In life, we can't change things we're not aware of, and solitude provides the opportunity to build that crucial awareness. It's a chance to check in with you, to ask yourself how you're doing, how you want to be doing and whether there's a gap.
When you silence the noise of the world, you can hear your own voice, and that voice deserves to be heard.
Is solitude part of your daily? Inspire us by sharing below how you practice solitude, and what a difference it's made to your wellbeing.
Until next time, keep your self-care rituals rolling. Your body will love you for it!
In her pre-mum life Amanda-Jane was an environmental lawyer. When her children were little she and her family moved to the country in a market gardening area, where they experienced first-hand the toxic impact of conventional horticulture on groundwater, land and personal health. This experience launched her on a journey to restore her family's health and find practical, truly natural solutions for everyday needs. Amanda-Jane became the founder and creator of Everkind - a body care brand strongly committed to providing body kind, people kind, planet kind essentials that work.
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