Nurture Mind, Body and Spirit with Periods of Solitude

Written by on November 12, 2017 in Self-Care

Periods of Solitude

Solitude is the ability to enjoy inward quietness – the state of being alone without being lonely. It is a positive and constructive state of engagement with oneself.

Being solitary is being alone well: being alone luxuriously immersed in doings of your own choice, aware of the fullness of your won presence rather than of the absence of others. Because meaningful solitude is an achievement.
~Alice Koller

While we may differ temperamentally as far as the amount of alone time we need or can tolerate, there are benefits for everyone when it is undertaken intentionally and with the right attitude.

Unfortunately, there are those for whom there is no prospect more disturbing than that of having to spend time alone.

In fact, for some people the need to fill up space with noise and chatter is pervasive, whether it’s time spent with other people, listening to music or just having the television on to avoid silence and stave off feelings of isolation or loneliness and being forced to confront their own thoughts.

While our extroverted society encourages indulging these feelings, it’s important to understand that there is a significant difference between simply enjoying an active lifestyle and the company of others and perpetually surrounding oneself with noise and activity to avoid having to focus on the state of one’s own life.

The Benefits of Intentional Solitude

There’s no question that when you’re already challenged to balance work, family and a multitude of obligations, setting aside periods of time just for yourself is not only a challenge, but it can feel downright selfish.

The problem is you simply cannot be your healthy, happy best if you don’t regularly take time out to rest, relax and renew.

Intentional times of solitude can be enriching and refreshing and allows time for self-discovery and to do the internal work needed to recenter and experience new perspectives that help you understand more fully the things that really matter to you.

It may sound counter-intuitive, but alone time can also enhance the quality of your relationships with others, by nurturing your own well-being and in the process gaining a better understanding of who you are and what you desire in life.

The quieter you become, the more you can hear.
~Ram Dass

Keep in mind there is no one-size-fits-all method for organizing your periods of self-nurturing solitude. It’s whatever works for you.

Maybe your favorite alone time is curling up with a good book in an overstuffed chair in your den, treating yourself to a relaxing bubble bath, setting aside time for meditation, taking a long walk, or digging your toes in the sand at the seashore.

As you begin to gain comfort in your intentional periods of alone time, you could branch out and browse an art gallery or museum. If you are really brave, take yourself someplace nice for lunch.

Periods of solitude provide you with the opportunity to regain perspective.

It renews you for the challenges of life transitions at times when you may need extra strength to find joy and allows you to feel you are in the position of driving your own life, rather than having it run by schedules and external demands.

Will you be the passenger or the driver in your life journey?
About Marquita A. Herald

Marquita Herald

Marquita is an author, resilience coach and the chief evangelist at Emotionally Resilient Living. She’s also an unapologetic workaholic who loves red wine, rock n’ roll, road trips (and car dancing!), peanut butter cookies and (especially) a dog named Lucy.

She’s saddened and frustrated by excuses and cruelty and believes authentic compassion is the most powerful force in the world.

To learn more about Marquita and the mission of Emotionally Resilient Living Start Here.

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  1. Bola says:

    I love solitude and would go to sleep at a reasonable time in order to wake up early to have some quiet time to myself. It’s satisfying. It’s a shame that people enjoy load music and noise in general to avoid hearing the thoughts.
    Bola recently posted…Sleep: Why We Need More SlumberMy Profile

  2. Well, you know I love this post. moments of stillness , solitude, are moments of a door opening to incredible personal insights …
    Lesly Federici recently posted…The Elevating Magic of ChallengeMy Profile

  3. I love solitude, not all of the time but perioods of solitude. I think they are very rejuvenating.
    Elise Cohen Ho recently posted…Thanksgiving Traditions Are ImportantMy Profile

  4. Sharon T McLaughlin MD FACS says:

    I look forward to a little quiet time each morning. After my husband leaves for work and my daughter leaves for school I have some time to prepare my day before I start with work and the rest of the day. It helps decrease the stress. Great post, alone time is something most of us can benefit from.

  5. As for me, solitude is what I thrive on. It gives me time to let go all the chaos of everyone in the city, running around, the noise etc. I enjoy it several ways, by meditation which I do constantly, also by being in the woods. You do not appreciate how calm the woods are, until you sit there, and just let everything go in your life, and listen to it. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Mark says:

    I absolutely love it M!

    And I discovered, a brand new, sort of empowering phrase. “Inner solitude!”

    Thanks! Because as you so eloquently described it, every now and then, it never hurts, to set aside and make room for some.

    And I also love how differentiated, between being alone and being lonely.

    For sure, “Intentional Solitude,” definitely offers many positive benefits.

    Hopefully, more and more people, will learn how to positively embrace it!

    Great job as usual M! And very enlightening too!

  7. Thanks Doreen, you’ll have to trust me when I say that I already know ALL about being an Introvert! My question was about the process of self-reflection for Extroverts. Thanks anyway. 🙂

  8. Hi Marty. As an Extrovert, I have learned to better understand Introverts late in life. It came, thanks to an introverted Toastmaster friend who did a fabulous speech about being an Introvert. He referred to a book called Quiet that revels how introverts think and perceive the world. If you can’t find it, let me know and I will ask him for the name of the author.
    Doreen Pendgracs recently posted…SleepPhones make life easierMy Profile

  9. Edward Thorpe says:

    Alone time is a treat that refreshes my tolerance and confirms my feelings of connection to the whole universe.

    On the same time, solitude empowers my sense of singularity and helps me carry on without apology or guilt…

    Uh, inspiring post, thank you,
    Edward Thorpe recently posted…5 Tips To Stay Active and Healthy After Age of 55My Profile

  10. I won’t tell! 🙂

  11. I’m glad you found value in the post Richard. 🙂

  12. Good point Rachel, those of us who lean toward the creative arts are inclined to be more appreciative of alone time. As an artist and writer it’s always been critical to me. Thanks for sharing!

  13. Ah, another fellow Introvert! Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us Taiwo. 🙂

  14. I’m with you Jeannette and absolutely love reading. Thanks so much for contributing to the conversation. 🙂

  15. I’ve read quite a bit about Introversion simply because I had to learn to respect and care for my quirky bits and pieces, but reading your comment makes me wonder how Extroverts go about developing self-awareness and including some reflection time to learn from life. Sounds like a topic for a future post! Anyway, I can only imagine the load you must be carrying right now, but I’m glad that you are making time to care for your own well-being.

  16. I’m not at all surprised at your comfort level with alone time Phoenicia because I know you are a fellow Introvert. For years I made my living in a highly Extroverted industry and while I loved it, survival meant I had to be fiercely protective of my downtime. Like most things in life, it was finding the right balance. Thanks for sharing with us! 🙂

  17. Sounds like you are a fellow Introvert Joy! Thanks for taking the time to share with us, always appreciated. 🙂

  18. Welcome Toyin and thank you for taking the time to say hello. I’m glad you enjoyed the article.

  19. I know what a “people” person you are Chery so I can imagine how much energy you get from just being with others, so I’m glad to hear that you’ve been able to create some balance in your life. Wow, a hot tub?! And you live in such a beautiful area, you lucky girl! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  20. Another time I’ve enjoyed the posts and the comments both. I love alone time and I love quiet. Ssh, don’t tell my husband, but now that he is traveling for work again, I have been able to re-indulge in the joy that is quiet. Sigh. At first, that’s hard to adjust to and then with a shock I realize that there is no TV going downstairs and that it’s just simply quiet around me. I love that.
    Rosemary Griffith recently posted…Surrendering Your Heart to the MomentsMy Profile

  21. Hi Marquita,
    Nice article to remind those of us that need time on our to make sure we get it! I’m one such person, I need at least an hour or 2 everyday on my own to collect my thoughts.

    I use time spent on my own to self analyze and reflect on my thoughts and actions. I visualize theories and ideas, dream up inventions and plan for the future.

    Thank you for a great read 🙂
    Richard Monssen recently posted…Automation Of Your Social Media MarketingMy Profile

  22. Yes, I do invest quality alone time to nurture my well being. I have always sought space for myself. Sadly, it seems that solitude is undervalued in our society and spending time with oneself is considered a waste of time and perhaps a sign of shyness. I have found that creative people find room for themselves to think differently as this clears the mind and allows clear focus.
    Rachel Lavern recently posted…How Do You Spend Your Days?My Profile

  23. Taiwo Emayosanlomo says:

    Hi Marquita,
    Great post.
    I am an introvert, so naturally I love creating time for solitude. When I get myself involved in too many external activities for a long period of time, I feel a the need to be alone. Being alone is how I gain inner strength to keep moving. It also afford me the opportunity to gain wisdom and learn. Lessons from the subtle things of life.
    Thanks for sharing this.

  24. Hi Marty: As an untra-extrovert, I don’t enjoy alone time as much as most. I am actually fuelled by the energy of others.

    But I must admit that living with someone who is aged and ill has made me appreciate quiet time more than I ever did previously.
    Doreen Pendgracs recently posted…bean-to-bar chocolate in MontrealMy Profile

  25. Jeannette Paladino says:

    I’ve always needed alone time. I’m very active socially, as well as when I was working full-time. It’s important to step away from the hubbub and wind down. When I’m home (I live alone) I don’t put on the TV for company. I find it a big distraction, especially when I’m at the computer. I know some people need to have the “company” of the TV, but I find the constant noise annoying. I take my alone time in the evening when I settle down to read a book. I love that time to myself.

  26. Phoenicia says:

    I must have time alone and daily. I have always enjoyed my own company since a child, preferring reading comics and books to playing with other children. Many a time I would be perched in a corner happily reading while my sister played loudly with our cousins.

    I stay up late (too late) most evenings as this is the only time I have to myself. I also go to lunch alone at work as by 12.30/1pm I have being dealing with a number of officers and need space to reflect and gather my thoughts.

    Even when I went out as a teen/early twenties, I often thought of my bed. Do not get me wrong I enjoyed being out but was also relieved when the night ended.
    Phoenicia recently posted…Add a little routine to your life!My Profile

  27. Joy Healey says:

    Hi Marty,

    I’ve always been a bit of a loner. When I was a child, because I wasn’t very sociable my Mum would “send me to my room” for being unsociable. LOL. Little did she know that was manna to my soul. I would get out a book and enjoy myself.

    I’ve learned to be more sociable as the years have gone by, but being alone is no punishment for me. I enjoy it!

    Joy Healey – Blogging After Dark
    Joy Healey recently posted…Overcoming Fear Of RejectionMy Profile

  28. Toyin Yayu says:

    Thank for sharing this beautiful piece. I need this right now

  29. Chery Schmidt says:

    Hey Marty! When my boys left home I was forced to spend a lot of time alone! Being an empty nester was very hard and at first it really drove me crazy!

    I would always have the radio or TV on just for noise. But I eventually started getting used to being alone and actually started enjoying the quiet and peacefulness that this brought about!

    My favorite alone time is relaxing in my hot tub!

    Great Share!
    Thank You!
    Chery :))