A man can be himself only so long as he is alone, and if he does not love solitude, he will not love freedom, for it is only when he is alone that he is really free.
– Arthur Schopenhauer
Though we have all relied on our social connections with one another to advance as humans, time spent alone is crucial to our well-being - and is often put on the back burner. In a world that is constantly moving, loud, changing and demanding, we can easily become drained and robbed of creative energies and clarity if we aren't careful.
Unfortunately for many of us, loving solitude doesn't come naturally! It can take a lot of practice and patience in order to become comfortable on our own, but once we do, the benefits are undeniable. Solitude allows you to reconnect with yourself and your truest desires without the expectations and distraction of others. It can also stoke the fires of creativity by allowing a safe space to explore ideas and feelings freely. Most of all, it can clear your mind of stress and bring about calmness and clarity. Inner peace is perhaps the most important benefit of embracing solitude.
Here are some of the most productive ways to spend time alone:
1.) Create a personal space in your home that is dedicated to you and only you. Whether it's a corner of a room, an entire room or the whole house, make everything about it appealing to you. Decorate in a way that is welcoming and inspiring, and set aside time to be in that environment regularly.
2.) Make a goal to become expert in something completely different & new. Research states that it takes 10,000 hours of dedicated focus on something to become an expert - what better time to get started than now?
3.) Prioritize 'me time'. It's perfectly healthy to carve out blocks of time in day to day life just for oneself. Doing something that relives stress and calms worries will spill over into other areas of life, too!
4.) Start keeping a journal. Being alone offers time to explore our innermost feelings, desires, fears, hopes, worries and ideas. Keeping all that down in one place allows you to revisit past moments for inspiration.
5.) Learn how to cat nap! As every busy adult knows, naps are a luxury that we should be accepting whenever they come our way. But wouldn't it be nice to fit a short nap into your schedule a few times a week? By napping now and then, you will experience much needed respite from daily stresses on both your mind and body.
6.) Work on your confidence by doing an activity that you would normally only do with others. This could mean you hit the slopes for a solo session, or jam out on your guitar all alone. No matter what it is, the extra practice and focus you give to the task itself will result in increased skill next time you meet up with your friends!
7.) Pursue learning more within your occupation beyond the proximity of others. Only if you genuinely enjoy your career, that is! It can be very fulfilling to further yourself without the confines that your employer or office guidelines dictate.