Put your hand up if you remember the last time you stopped. Actually stopped. Stopped everything you were doing and took some time to just be. Is it a stretch to remember?
You are not alone.
With so many societal pressures these days, it can be a challenge to take time to stop, relax, recharge and reflect about our own lives. How are we going? How are we feeling? Are we living a life that makes us happy?
A practice that really helps with this, and which is a great way to refresh body and mind, is to take regular time for solitude.
Solitude is the state of being alone without being lonely. It can sometimes be unfairly associated with negative connotations such as loneliness, isolation or seclusion. Yet, solitude can be a powerfully positive thing. It can be a wonderful time of stillness, quiet and refreshment.
It’s an opportunity to be self-focused, just for a while. Not for selfish reasons but for self-care. Solitude is also a time to focus on what you ‘want’ to do – not what you ‘have’ to do. To concern ourselves with our own self, and block out everyone and everything else – just for a while.
Sounds good, huh?
If taking time out for solitude feels incredibly luxurious, that’s a great sign that you need some of it soon! 🙂
Here’s how to get started…
1. Start small
The smallest dedication of time is all it takes to start. The positive effects of solitude can be borne from the smallest amount of time. Start with 10 minutes and build from there. Most of us can find 10 minutes when we really try. Is it at lunchtime? A quiet pause on the way home? An evening walk perhaps?
2. Enjoy the moment
Drop the guilt. Ignore that nagging voice in the back of your mind, reminding you of your to do list. It can all wait. Just immerse yourself in the precious space you’ve created for yourself. You’ll feel happier and be more productive after you refresh your body and mind.
We can all benefit from making regular time for self care. When could you make some time for solitude this week?