Solitude can be confused as isolation. It is not.
Solitude is alone time, simply put.
If solitude is used to recharge, refresh, regroup, renew, reinvent, recover, relax, rejoice, replenish, restock, refuel, recreate . . . (the “R”s) – you get the point, it can be invaluable!!
Isolation on the other hand is remaining apart from:
- Other’s affairs
- The environment around you
As someone who has studied and worked in the helping profession since 2001, I’ve come to value all of the various R’s that come with periods of solitude.
Sometimes this means taking time to do a quick gratitude journal before bed or affirmation list first thing in the morning. Sometimes it means finding a corner in a city park and admiring the flowers amidst a busy day. Sometimes it could be as simple as taking 30 extra seconds in my car to center myself by counting my breath.
It may sound trite or even useless taking glimpses of solitude during the day, but the accumulation effect over time is beneficial. It’s no different than if you have a weight loss goal and you count steps, adding a few here and a few there during the day. Or, nutritionally, it’s no different than adding quality calories to your daily meals.
Finding moments of solitude during the day, throughout the day accumulates over time. Sometimes I find the days can get so full, that I may need one day per month to ‘unplug’ on a weekday. Sometimes, every few months, I will take a silent, solitary retreat for a few days. This may sound like isolation. Some of my closest friends tend to become offended or fear they will ‘lose me.’
I explain to them, this is the farthest from reality and truth as possible. Taking the time for solitude allows me to come back more energized then ever. I don’t get all the R’s every time. However, I will usually get some, at least a couple!
I am grateful to have gracious students and clients who are onboard with the 3-4 days of solitude breaks that I take every few months (typically at the end of a semester, conference presentation, or stretch of projects).
It functions as a reset of sorts as well! There’s another ‘R!’ Obviously, not everyone is in the position to do overnight single, solitary retreats because of work, family, health, resources and the like. There are many other ways to find time and enjoy the accumulation effect.
For more tangible tips, and perhaps the ideal way to kick-off your own one night a week when you can unplug, consider enrolling in my community education workshop – you can check out this workshop or three others I am teaching this Fall at Gateway Community College.
Keep moving forward towards a healthy remainder of 2019!
ShayTheCoach personally uses and recommends the Perfect Keto product line!
This blog is intended for those who are interested in Nutrition, Fitness, Karate, Tai Chi, or simply becoming best version of SELF on a business/professional level. Thank you! We are not doctors/medical professionals and don’t diagnose or treat diseases. The contents of the blog are for educational purposes.
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