Appreciating Solitude | How-To
If you know me well, then you know I love being independent. To me, there’s a definite difference between being alone (solitude) and feeling alone (loneliness). I enjoy having quality time to myself to relax and enjoy my own company. The thing I’ve noticed, is that a lot of people I know are not like this. They need a companion the majority of the time and find themselves getting lonely or bored. Mainly bored. Like they don’t know what to do by themselves.
So from one person to another, here’s what I tend to do when I have time all to myself.
And I don’t mean going to a gym with a friend or going to a yoga class where you’ll be surrounded by a big group of people. When I say physical activity I’m not talking about an intense workout. Just move. Go on a nice walk or a bike ride. Maybe do some cleaning around the house or some gentle yoga on your own outside.
Yes, it’s nice to be a couch potato every now and then, but I love moving around. I always feel like I have two options. I can either think a lot or be completely mindless. When I go on walks, I have time with my own mind. And I feel like a lot of people don’t realize how amazing that is. I enjoy taking time to understand my own thoughts and opinions without anyone else butting in. On the contrary, when I’m cleaning and organizing my room or apartment then I like to blast my music. No thinking, just cleaning, dancing and lots of bad singing… or more like belting.
Either way, you get to burn some calories and let yourself think or just jam out.
When we were children, most of us loved drawing or putting pasta on strings. We were creative and we didn’t give two shits about what it looked like in the end, because (1) our parents loved it (or pretended to love it) and (2) we cared about the process of being creative and learning. Then we got old and now all we care about is it to look good. I mean it makes sense. We want whatever we make to be cute, but when it comes to time alone let yourself be creative and don’t give a damn about what it looks like. Let the creative juices flow.
There are so many ways to be creative. Draw, paint or find some DIYs on Pinterest. Or learn about photography and go out and take some beautiful shots, even if it's with your smartphone. Maybe put together a cute little video of old photos or video clips of your friends or family. There are so many ways to be creative and whether you believe you’re artsy or not, just have fun.
write it down
Write down your thoughts, your ideas; your experiences. I’ve kept journals since I was in 5th grade and I have always found it beneficial. I know a lot of people who tell me that they want to start journaling but come up with weird excuses. The thing about journaling is that there are no rules; no excuses. You can write about whatever, whenever you want. I’m not even consistent with my journal. I will have a day in between entries to maybe three months, but that doesn’t mean I ever stop permanently.
Plus there’s more than just journaling. You could start a blog (like this one). Or you could jot down notes on a notepad and then throw it out. Either way, it’s good to get your thoughts out.
The most obvious and what most people do is “relax” or think they’re relaxing. Yes. Social media and Netflix is awesome, but it’s not actually relaxing. Not exactly, because your brain is still extremely active and you’re straining your brain to take in a constant flow of media. So genuinely relax. Maybe take a bath or try meditation-which is easier than it sounds or read an easy-going book.
So there it is. A short list of what I like to do when I have some free time to myself. Hopefully you can take a little something from this and implement it into your own free time.
Hope you enjoy your own sweet solitude.