Find power in solitude
12 February 2018 HEALTH & WELLNESS
By: Natasha Archary
Human beings crave interaction. It’s part of our genetic code, to feel loved, touched and needed. So much so that many may not know how to enjoy the solace of their own company.
Bombarded by studies that tell us we need human contact and stimulation in order to survive in this beehive of technology, work and chaos, we believe that this is the key to living.
Psychiatrist and researcher, Dr. Mary V. Seeman published a review in the 2016 journal Psychosis and writes, “Solitude can also reap benefits such as recovery of a sense of self, renewed harmony with nature, escape from sensory overload, stimulation of creativity or awakening to spirituality.”
Even the most social person may crave some alone time. A weekend in after a long business trip, family vacation, a week of stressful pressure at work or a recent shift in dynamics in the personal space. This is perfectly normal.
While social wellness is an integral part of overall health and mental stimulation, there are benefits to solitude including cognitive preservation and increased longevity. Not surprising, according to research by Christopher Long, women in the study showed a preference to stay home in order to enjoy some alone time, men, on the other hand, sought solitude outdoors.
Here are some ways to enjoy the power in solitude:
Alone with your thoughts is the perfect opportunity to discover your own voice. It is during these moments of stillness that you find different means of expression with no interruption. This could be painting, music, food, writing. Whatever you have been putting off, you have time to focus on that so do what gives your soul joy.
- Sense of self
Gain new insight into the person you really are. Enjoy the silliness of the silence and give into the quirks that make you, YOU. Whether you are newly single or have been for a while, loving yourself is the first step. Love all your flaws, weaknesses, strengths, inner demons, everything that makes you unique. It will be far easier to love someone once you have mastered self love.
Escaping it all is liberating. Allow yourself to break the cycle of a regular routine and do something that will force you to relax and unwind. A trail hike, sunset stroll, meditation, glass of your favourite red, do whatever it takes to give your mind, body and soul the rest it needs.
With new-found energy and focus, comes increased productivity and effectiveness. A clear mind can do wonders. Immerse yourself in all the projects and to-do lists you have been putting off. Make use of the free time to put plans in motion and reach goals you’ve set.
It’s important to put yourself first and many don’t because we feel guilty for taking time to ourselves. Self-care is not something that needs validation and if you need to get away for a weekend, do so. Switch off your phone, shut out the world and bunker down until you are ready to deal with it all again. There is power in solitude, finding it is a freedom all its own.