Solitude: How to make it work for you

Most of us are afraid to be alone – we confuse it with being lonely. But there’s a fine line of difference between the two. Being alone means being happy in your own skin, on your own, enjoying your relationship with yourself. Being lonely is when you crave external company, oftentimes because you don’t know yourself.

Solitude: You need to be happy just on your ownSolitude is powerful. It’s time you carve out for yourself to take care of the most important person in the world – you. It’s a time for self reflection and introspection. To examine your life and your emotions, get a grip on what is working for you and what isn’t.

When you’re in tune with yourself, you’re in a much better position to face life head-on. Decision making comes easier because you know exactly what you need at any given time to move ahead. You know what’s working and what isn’t and can take steps to change or correct your course.

Some of my best times are the few hours after I get back home from work and before the husband returns. It’s my time to do as I please – often I read, sometimes I go out for a stroll and on most days I journal. On Saturdays I’m out with friends because the husband works, but sometimes I stay home – alone – and take myself on a mini-retreat. I come out of that feeling rested, recharged and ready to roll. If I go too long without my alone time, I feel anxious and out of sorts.

If you’re afraid of spending almost an entire day with yourself, why don’t you try spending half an hour to an hour in solitude?

Here’s something you can try during that time.

You will need:
A journal or paper and a pen

  • Sit in a comfortable position and spend a few moments focusing on your breath. Take a few deep breaths in and out to center yourself.
  • Close your eyes and ask yourself: What do I need to know most about myself right now? What am I feeling? Is there any part of me that is feeling neglected, unwanted, unloved? How can I nurture myself?
  • Hold the questions in your mind for a few moments then open your eyes and write. Write without thinking, stopping or editing. The words will flow out of you on to the page.
  • Once you’re done, close your eyes and take a few deep breaths once again.
  • Then get yourself a glass of water or a cup of tea or coffee, and sit down and read through what you have written.
  • You may find kernels of wisdom in there or you may be surprised at the things that have come up in your writing. Find a way to incorporate the wisdom you’ve just gained into your daily life.

Or consider creating a simple morning ritual.

Do you find it easy to spend time with yourself? If yes, what do you do to connect with yourself? If not, why?

You may also like:

How to introspect

Preserved memories: on keeping a hand written journal

Posted in Soulful living and tagged , , , , , , .


  1. I love to be alone. I am with my 3 kids most of the time, I have several jobs and a business and I find, I am longing for time to be alone and spend time in prayer. I like your thoughts on a journal during these times.

  2. I’m an introvert so being alone is how I recharge. I love that time, and often get anxious around others… the best time of solitude for myself was after my divorce. I questioned everything but walked away knowing myself better than ever.

  3. I really enjoy being alone. I always have. I enjoy sitting by myself, taking in my surroundings, and simply existing within my own head and my own space. I used to journal quite a bit, every single day without fail throughout my middle and high school years, but because I was SUCH an isolated person who never shared much of anything with anyone, I found that my journals were being snooped into by the adults in my life at the time, and from that point forward, I destroyed every journal I had right after I was finished with them. I wish I had kept them, but I can still look back and remember how they made me feel. They were my lifeline for years, and I liked it that way. Even now, my fiance knows in just mere moments when I would like to be alone, and is accepting of my need for calmness and solitude. It’s nice.

    • I’m glad you have a supportive fiance who understands when you need to be left alone – that’s very important when your space and quiet is essential to help you remain a properly functional human being! I consider myself lucky that my husband understands this need of mine perfectly and respects it. And that he knows that he shouldn’t be reading my journals – that’s very important for me!

  4. Have you ever seen this video on how to be alone on youtube:

    I find it to be very inspiring.

    Journaling is so important to me. It helps me really work out my life at times.

    Stopping by from SITS!

  5. I love being alone sometimes. I have my 6 month old, full-time college classes, my work, my cranky husband who works 18 hours a day, and court with my oldest son’s father trying to get custody. It seems everyday someone is relying on me for something. So even if it is just for five minutes, I relish the quiet, the time to just sit and think about…nothing, or whatever I want. I don’t keep a journal anymore. I decided to blog instead because…if I have to take on everyone else’s burdens…it’d be nice to have someone listen (or read) my innermost thoughts and feelings, too. Thanks for sharing. Dropping in from SITS.

    Follow back, please. 🙂

  6. Great advice. My husband recently gave me the gift of solitude by taking the kids on a first time, full day excursion. I admit it, it felt odd for me to be alone in my house without them, but after a couple of hours, I really enjoyed having some quiet time. I read and even took myself out to dinner….that is after I finally got out of my p.j.’s.
    Thanks for sharing. I found you through the SITS Saturday Share.

  7. Pingback: on being alone « en deshabille

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