Most of us are with people throughout the day at work, at home, maybe a carpool, school sports or activities if you have kids, then there’s your Facebook community, email, Twitter. There is such richness in community, when you can share ideas, support each other and enjoy just being together.
One of my three words this year has been CONNECT – and I have sought out ways to connect with people, both physically and virtually. But as much as I enjoy and learn from conversations in person and online and being a part of the party, there are times when it becomes overwhelming and I need to retreat.
Interacting is treasured, but I find equal value in solitary pursuits, even if it is just for short blocks of time, snatched here and there.
With our overbooked lives, it may be difficult to find solitude, but it can be a critical tool in helping you cope with the busyness. Whether you get up a little early, find a quiet moment after dinner or before bed, or simply unhook from social media for a block of time, you will benefit from time spent alone to:
- Plan your day – let’s face it, most of the time, our days get away from us, but taking a few minutes at the beginning of the day to plan a few things you need to accomplish helps you be more intentional. Update your task list, calendar or notepad, and keep your two or three main responsibilities front and center to help you stay more focused all day.
- Be creative – whether you write, paint, sew or scrapbook, feeding your inner artist will release energy and clarity that will invigorate you and change your mood. You’ll have to be intentional to find a longer block of time for this, but it will help you enjoy the other parts of your life even more!
- Quiet and center your mind – the chatter of the world can be disorienting and distracting. A short time spent in silence, either in meditation, prayer or just doing nothing can quiet the noise and allow for better concentration and calm. Even just a few deep breaths with eyes closed can do wonders!
- Process your day – take a few minutes at the end of your day to celebrate your accomplishments and be thankful. Writing in a journal is a great way to record your thoughts and unpack your day. When you are journaling for your eyes only, you can contemplate events or feelings without fear of judgment or criticism. Amazing ideas and solutions may emerge.
Extended periods of time alone won’t happen often for many of us, but even just 5 or 10 minutes of intentional solitude during your day can lead to more focus and motivation. I challenge you to seek some time to yourself.
And when you do, how will you thrive during your solitary time?