a special feature from Kay & Leslie, founders
As we look back upon the past few years, we all have experienced lockdowns, shutdowns, and a retreat into the world of me, myself, and I. No matter how you turn it, we have felt isolated at times not knowing when the light at the end of the tunnel may present itself. Today as we still face challenges, let’s pat ourselves on the back for a job well done as we have heightened awareness of our own resilience.*
That being said, learning to cherish moments of solitude are very healthy for the soul. Here’s 5 ways you can replenish yourself at times when you are truly alone.
1. Embrace a new hobby.
Think about finding something that is challenging, could broaden your horizons, give you enjoyment and allow you to grow. Tip: Don’t create so many hobbies that it becomes a form of work – remember alone time is most fulfilling when you just have fun!
2. Sit with a tree!
Regardless of where you live, i.e. a busy city, a small apartment, nature exists all around you. All you have to do is find something that allows you to reside with that intent. If you feel lonely, consciously tune into the beauty around you and immerse yourself in something as simple as the base of a tree. You will soon realize that rather than isolation, you are truly experiencing deep individual solitude.
3. Treat solitude like it’s your significant +one!
Yes, that’s right, spending time alone is the only way to become emotionally independent. The activity you choose to do with intention like swimming, a daily walk or exercise gives you the freedom to listen to your thoughts. While your mind might wander to your to-do-list, or your schedule, you will soon see that emotional independence brings resilience, strength and clarity about yourself and life.
4. Experience ‘awe’.
When we contemplate something that is almost indescribable, it can broaden our perspective and quiet the negative chatter and conversation we carry about in our heads!
That will allow us to enjoy the time with ourselves and our thoughts. Try and think about what has made you feel wonder. Maybe you’ve felt it when you saw a magnificent skyscraper, or a painting, or a child licking an ice cream cone, or perhaps the butterfly that you crossed paths with. Spending time with thoughts of ‘awe’ helps you to savor the moments while being alone.
5. Now, take it easy.
This past isolation of the last couple of years will continue to be part of our experiences. The urge to throw ourselves full throttle forward will no doubt be a common urge. Having learned by routine to fear physical actions like simply shaking hands will be a behavior that stays with us for a long time and may not go away. Giving ourselves and others space to be alone is nourishing and will help us heal. This, in fact is a healthy approach to self-rejuvenation.
*Portions of this article were sourced from Real Simple, August 2021, page 70.