As someone who has always enjoyed and needed time by myself, I find that when I don't get it, not only do I get grumpy, but I start to feel drained, lose my focus and find my productivity actually declines.
Solitude is important. It allows you to recharge, to gain a fresh perspective, to get in touch with your own feelings, and hear your own voice instead of the voices of those around you. It allows you to think deeply, or turn off your thoughts if that’s what you need most. It lets you be proactive rather than reactive, and it reduces the stress from busy schedules.
It is important to spend time alone to relax, create, meditate, focus or just be. But solitude has become a rare commodity in our ever connected world. I have written before about the need to disconnect and find oneself. But is it possible to find solitude when we have so many things going on around us?
Here are some ways to make it easier to find the alone time you need without adding more stress to your life.
1. Schedule an appointment with yourself
Make this appointment as important as a business meeting or doctor appointment. Put it on your calendar, set an alarm on your phone to remind you. Even if it's only 15 minutes at a time. Make it a habit and honor this commitment to yourself just as you would honor a commitment to other people.
2. Unplug and disconnect
Turn off your cell phone, put away your iPad, stop searching the internet, turn off the TV. Limit how often you check email, Facebook, Twitter or other social media. Get rid of all of those distractions that are constantly interrupting your thoughts and making you feel that you have to always be on.
3. Go for a walk
I walk for exercise. But, I also sometimes take walks just to be by myself and connect with nature and to take the time to just think and breathe, without having to talk or interact with others.
4. Get help or delegate chores, errands or other tasks. Depending on what it is, hire someone if you can afford to, or simply ask for help with chores and errands and let go of the notion that they won’t be done right because you aren’t doing them.
5. Get up earlier
Give yourself an extra hour or even a half-hour to focus on yourself. Use that time for solitude, quiet reflection, meditation, or whatever else helps you recharge.
by Judi Gerber, from Care2