Life is hectic. There are a million things to do and time keeps slipping away. For some people, it’s very natural and part of their daily regiment to carve out time that is purely for themselves. If you’re anything like me, then most of us are running around working to make ends meet. It seems impossible to break away for a moment of solitude.
For our sanity, though, we need to create space and time for ourselves. For each of us that space and time are very different but essential for our well being. One of my favorite and initial conversations that I have when coaching a client in fitness focuses on the following:
- What do you like to do to escape everything going on around you?
- When do you feel most at home?
- When you’re in a busy area, what do you do to temporary block out what’s going on around you?
The answers to these simple questions will help you create moments for yourself to recharge, focus, and gain a mental balance with managing the rest of life’s craziness. When we slow down, we are able to solve problems, sort and organize what’s important to us, and put things into perspective.
How does solitude help in fitness? Our minds are a powerful muscle. With solitude, we are exercising its strength. By giving our minds time to explore, we build greater creativity and clarity. The mind needs quiet to achieve success.
Solitude is the soul’s holiday, an opportunity to stop doing for others and to surprise and delight ourselves instead. ~Katrina Kenison
Here are 6 examples that may be found in everyday life. If you’re not used to taking time alone, then start off small. Look for opportunities in 5-minute intervals. Build on the time as you become more comfortable:
- Begin with 5 minutes immediately in the morning before getting ready. Don’t jump into morning mode until you’re exercised 5 minutes of quiet, focused, alone time.
- If in the office, then take a small portion of your break and completely remove yourself from talking with others, working or staying busy. Break way to be alone for a small amount of time to allow your thoughts to wander.
- Prior or after your workout. You can easily escape in a workout, but after finish up stretching, take time to close eyes and just focus on being.
- At home, find a comfortable spot outside or in a favorite spot and create a no-bother zone for the allotted time for you to escape and focus your thoughts.
- Commute? Turn off the radio or music and let silence fill the car. Maybe not as ideal as sitting in a favorite spot, but at least, allow the mind to work on your own thoughts rather than listening to the noise of a radio.
- Walk, run, or your favorite exercise. Just getting outside helps clear the mind.
These moments can be enhanced with a few background additions such as candles, soft music (preferably without words), nature, journal, etc.
What ways are you able to find moments to exercise solitude? The Call of Solitude in Psychology Today from 1998 helps to explain in depth why solitude is so important and helps improve our health. Another great article is The Psychological Benefits of Being Alone.