How To Embrace Solitude | Natalie Bacon
If you’re new to loving being alone, you’re in good company.
Being alone, and practicing solitude, is a learned skill—one that you can get reallllly good at. Learn to embrace being alone.
Having alone time is something that at first might seem boring or like it’s not useful, but the truth is the opposite.
Having alone time and practicing solitude can help your overall contentment and wellbeing, with yourself and with the world.
Having solitude is usually intentional, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re sitting there meditating the entire time (although that’s one way to do it).
Here are some of the ways I suggest practicing solitude:
- Disconnect from social media
- Get up early for some alone time (before your family gets up)
- Go for a drive alone
- Take yourself out to dinner
- Have a nice cup of tea or coffee alone
- Find a quiet place in your house and sit in silence for 10 minutes
When you spend time with yourself, you are reflecting what it’s like to be in a relationship with yourself. Spending time alone can be so powerful, and if you’re too busy to see it, you miss out on having a much deeper, more authentic relationship with yourself.
How To Embrace Solitude
Embracing solitude is something most people can get better at.
Here’s how you can start embracing solitude…
Tip 1: Learn to love yourself
The first tip is to learn to love yourself.
When you’re alone, you’re just with you.
There’s no one else to distract you.
This is like a window into your soul.
How do you feel when you’re alone? Do you feel lonely?
Do you like you?
What emotions do you feel when you’re alone?
I like to think of practicing solitude as time to cultivate self love for yourself. Culturally, we’re taught to get love from others, so we end up seeking it in places and from people who can’t possibly love us the way we desire.
When you practice solitude, you learn that you’re the creator of the love you desire. And that you can also give it to yourself. So the more you practice, the better you’ll get at this.
Tip 2: Become aware of negative thoughts
The second tip is to become aware of your negative thoughts.
When you’re around other people (or other information input, like TV, podcasts, social media), you have their thoughts going into your mind. So it can be hard to know what you are thinking.
When you practice solitude, you become aware of that Mental Chatter you have going on in your mind.
This is really useful as you continue on your personal growth journey because it will enable you to see with greater awareness the actual thoughts you’re thinking.
What you’ll likely find is a lot of negative thoughts.
When this happens, remind yourself it’s actually totally normal. And you don’t need to judge yourself for it. Instead, just be curious about it. Let the thoughts sort of be there and simply notice them. You’ll be amazed at how powerful this process is!
Tip 3: Get to know yourself
The last tip is to get to know yourself.
Before you think you can skip this step, I’m not talking about the normal, typical things you know and identify about yourself (like how you’re always someone who…. [fill in the blank]).
I want you to really get to know yourself on a micro-level. Like when you first start dating someone when you’re 17 and you notice everything ever about them. That sort of level.
What does no one else know about you?
Write down 25 things.
I hope this is hard for you. That means there’s work to do! That means you can enjoy the process of “dating yourself” when you’re in solitude.
Look yourself in the mirror. Notice you. All of you.
Benefits Of Solitude
There are so many benefits of solitude, but I think the top five are:
You deepen your relationship with yourself.
You become more aware of your strengths and weaknesses.
You slow down and create space for you (calming down that mental chatter in your mind).
You face internal challenges that you’re otherwise trying to escape.
You learn to love yourself. And that’s what matters most.
A Final Note!
Connections with other people such a friends or family is so important to us, as humans.
And yet, do we focus on cultivating that connection with ourselves?
Most of us don’t. We don’t know we should.
Well, now you know.
You matter. And your relationship with you matters.
Practicing solitude will not only calm down your mental chatter, but it will turn your relationship with yourself into a life long romance (as Oscar Wilde, said).