Whether you enjoy your alone time or dread it, solitude is a natural and necessary part of life. Solitude day encourages us to explore what makes being by yourself so fulfilling, or alternatively, so uncomfortable. Solitude Day offers an opportunity to explore your comfort levels with being alone and to embrace the benefits of it.
Time alone allows us to connect with ourselves in a way that is difficult when we’re surrounded by other people. While spending intentional time by yourself, you may notice thoughts or feelings that tend to get drowned out by interaction and company from others. Even feelings of discomfort or loneliness can be useful pieces of information to gain from being alone. Solitude gives you the chance to truly experience those emotions, and to explore them to a greater depth. One way to facilitate this exploration is by practicing mindfulness. Take the time to get in touch with your internal experience.
Solitude also allows you to prioritize yourself. What are some needs that may have gone unmet recently, and how can you meet them yourself? You may identify an unmet need of rest or self-care that you’ve been too preoccupied to notice. Perhaps this alone time can also serve as a chance to immerse yourself in hobbies or leisure activities that you have been missing as you’ve prioritized work, socializing, and caring for others.
Alone time can be such a gift when you welcome it with open arms. Try to challenge yourself to find some intentional solitude this month, and see what benefits you can reap from the experience. Here are some things to think about when taking time to yourself:
How do I feel when I’m alone? (Examples: anxious, relieved, relaxed, lonely, etc.)
What needs can I meet for myself in this moment?
What makes being alone difficult? Alternatively, what makes it pleasurable?
By: Mel Signore
Mental Health Counseling Intern