Solitude has a bad reputation. It’s so associated with loneliness that solitude has more negative connotations than positive. An increasing number of elderly folk spend their days without visitors and society paints the single life as a miserable existence that should be avoided at all costs. So, naturally, society at large decided to create a national day for this state of misery. Happy 26th March, National Solitude Day.
Sure, in large, involuntary doses solitude can cause us to experience loneliness. Every once in a while, the most dedicated introverts need a cup of coffee and a chat. Even if it means dressing up the dog for a tea-party and having a good, long vent. But engaging in social activities for too long will cause anyone to feel exhausted. A little isolation can do wonders for our mental health. Here’s a few reasons why this National Solitude Day you should spend a few hours in blissfully alone.
It Clears Your Head
For the social butterflies among us, being in the company of others may not feel like effort. But when we socialize, we are exerting more effort than we realize. Talking takes energy all by itself but subconsciously, we are also moderating our behaviors to adhere to unspoken social rules. This takes more energy for some than others (am I right anxiety sufferers?), but eventually, this exertion will wear us all down.
Having some time alone and perhaps a little silence gives you a chance to relax and recharge. The trials of our day-to-day are taxing enough without neglecting our breaks.
It Reorganizes Your Thoughts
Ever had an argument with someone and thought of the perfect comeback hours later? Thank alone time for that little chestnut. When we are alone, we re-evaluate our most recent social interactions in our heads, sometimes in eye-watering detail (another shout out to my anxious brothers and sisters.) We consider what we said and did and how the outcome of the conversation (or confrontation) could have been different if we had said something else.
By taking a fresh look at our social interactions after they’ve happened, we develop socially as we figure out the best ways to socialise. Sure, we learn best by doing but without the time alone to reflect, it’s more difficult to flourish.
It Allows Us to Fulfill Ourselves
Hobbies are soul-nurturing. They don’t just make us feel good, they bring out the best in us, developing the skills we most enjoy using. The most creative hobbies like painting, writing and playing an instrument requires a good deal of alone time to improve and luxuriate in your passions. Cornering off just an hour in our hectic days to dedicate to a solitary hobby, creative or otherwise, grants us a sense of achievement and growth.
As with everything in life, socializing and solitude are a balance to keep and the scales are different for everyone. If you aren’t accustomed to having a bit of time to yourself, use this National Solitude Day as an opportunity to give yourself the self-care and self-love that you need to be healthy and fulfilled. For the rest of you already curled up under your duvet with a torch and a book, we salute you and hope that we can one day dedicate time to ourselves the way you do.