Once in a while we get the chance to sit alone with pin-drop silence. Most of our days are filled with the hustle and bustle of work, families, and other responsibilities that leave us in a near constant state of commotion. It is in these peaceful moments that we discover the power of solitude.
In life a lot of us, including myself, struggle with balance and this ultimately leads to a burnout. I feel as though balancing rest and work in today’s world is even more difficult. I am the first to admit that I burnout quickly and I require more downtime than most people. I believe this is due to me being a very “sensitive” person and I process life very deeply. I sometimes wish that I didn’t absorb so much energy and emotions as it is quite draining.
When we are with others, so much of our energy and focus are on other people. We keep up with the demands of relationships, work, school, and we are depleted of energy before we make time for ourselves. We need to learn to put ourselves first, because if we are not physically and mentally sound, we cannot possibly give our all in life. Think of the last time that you sat alone outside by the water, drank a cup of tea or coffee in your recliner with no one else home, took a walk in nature just you and the universe. How did that make you feel? I am guessing that for a lot of us, that feeling would be whole, peaceful, renewed, uplifted, and relaxed. I do understand for some that being alone may trigger fear, sadness, and loneliness. Some individuals are alone most if not all of the time and they crave human interaction. It’s all about balance. There were times that I was alone so much that I was depressed and craved companionship, I’ve also been in times where I was around so many people that I just wanted to hide away from the world and be by myself.
Solitude brings about both peace and strength. There is something so beautiful about being at one with yourself, feeling yourself breathe, and having no outside stimulation from the world. One can process thoughts and emotions and find peace in just existing. On the other hand, solitude requires strength as it is not exactly how humans are “hardwired.” There are individuals of course who are introverted and I do find myself becoming more introverted as I age. Solitude is also when we are forced to face our demons. Whether you prefer being alone, surrounded by people, or a mix, please make more time to do what you love and what renews and refreshes your soul. Your mind and body are so precious and we need to put ourselves first so that we can be the best version of ourselves that we can possibly be. Just a few minutes a day set aside just for you can make all the difference in the world.
Life is an everyday learning experience and we are constantly evolving and adapting in order to create the best life that we possibly can. I am continuously learning about myself and the world around me, however I have come up with five lessons that I have learned that have helped me tremendously with personal growth.
Take care of yourself mentally and physically. This probably seems obvious, but something that most of us don’t pay enough attention to. We do such a great job of taking care of others, we also need to remember to take care of ourselves both physically and mentally. It’s very difficult to go through life’s demands when we don’t feel sound as a human being. Taking full care of ourselves allows us to live life easier and fuller. Physically, we can eat a balanced diet, make sure that we are drinking enough water, exercise, or keep active in general. We can keep up with selfcare that helps us feel our best. Mentally we can take breaks when we feel overwhelmed, even if it’s a short coffee break, any sort of break lets us recharge. Everyone has a limit and it’s good to recognize when you are getting burned out so that it can be stopped in its tracks. Go for a walk, not only does this help physically, but also helps greatly at clearing our minds. Just being in nature is so refreshing and helps remind us that we are part of an amazing universe. Pamper yourself – take a hot bath, get a massage, take a course, pick up a hobby, etc. When we are mentally and physically whole we can take on anything!
Stop worrying about things that you cannot control. Okay, this is a difficult one, especially for me, but I have learned ways to implement this. It’s so easy for anxiety and worry to take over, then one thought or worry snowballs into another and another. Worrying is a valid human emotion, however we can do ourselves a favor by focusing and putting our energy into things that we do have control over. Worrying about the unknown or uncontrollable aspects of our lives, robs us of the energy that we need to focus on what we can change. I believe in fate and I believe that what’s meant to be will be, this helps me sit back, relax, and breathe. When a worry or situation strikes I ask myself: Do I have control over this? If I do, well I can figure out an action plan and if I don’t, then I try to take the situation day by day and try to give up that control. I also analyze the situation to see what I can do and what my options are.
Share your energy wisely. As much as we sometimes like to think of ourselves as superheroes, we are human beings that have limits and a limited amount of energy reserves. Life alone can be very draining of these reserves, so one tip that I have learned over the years is to be careful who I share my energy with. If you are around negative people, or people that bring you down, this will deplete your energy overtime. On the contrast, surrounding yourself with supportive and uplifting people can do wonders for your wellbeing. It’s human nature to want to care for others, but we should be cautious where we expend our energy.
Don’t take things personally. Not so easy to do right? Someone says or does something that hurts or offends us and we take it to heart. We start to think what’s wrong with me? Does anyone like me? Is this individual acting this way because of me? We may feel like we are at fault and are the root cause of problems. The truth is, most of what people say isn’t about us at all, it’s about the other individual. Lots of times our worry and fear make us extra sensitive and we can view what’s happening incorrectly, making us question ourselves, and lowering our self-esteem. During these times, we must step back, analyze the situation, and try to understand that most likely the reactions and thoughts of others are in fact only fears, projections, and emotions of the other individual that they need to work through.
Follow your instincts. We were born with instinct. We hear phrases like “follow your heart,” and “do what feels right.” Some people have a stronger intuition than others. There are claims that intuition can be built upon and made stronger. Often times, these innate feelings are subconscious and other times it’s like the message is clear as day. These gut feelings are there for a reason: to warn us, inform us, help us, guide us, etc. Most often, that little, or should I say big voice inside of us is accurate.