Solace in Solitude

Finding solace in solitude is one of the greatest lessons one can learn in life.  Enjoying your alone time creates space in your mind, heart, and soul thus freeing your creativity, mending your heart, and nourishing your soul.

Some of the biggest emotional and/or creative breakthroughs have been achieved by people spending time in solitude. Solitude should not be confused with loneliness as they are completely different things, "psychologists define ‘solitude’ as the state of being physically alone with no one else to communicate with — not to be confused with loneliness, or the feeling of being disconnected from others and longing for connection." (How much alone time is healthy, Greatist.com, Fitzpatrick K.)

Solitude is not the same as being lonely, you can be lonely while connecting with people, solitude is the intentional cut off of all communication. So put your phone on airplane mode and let your brain have a break from the endless online chatter. Finding solace in solitude is important it teaches you how to be a resource for yourself.

The definition for solace as found on dictionary.com is "comfort in sorrow, misfortune, or trouble; alleviation of distress or discomfort.  something that gives comfort, consolation, or relief." Finding consolation and comfort in yourself and your own thoughts is a strength that many have a hard time finding in this day and age.  

Purposeful solitary time can be a game changer in the way you move through life and the way life moves around you. Learning to be alone with your own thoughts can be a truly magical experience but it’s not always easy to learn in this fast-paced modern world.

One the best ways to get in touch with yourself is to take yourself on an outdoor adventure; whether that means going to your favorite seaside spot, packing a bag and going to explore somewhere completely new; it has been found that spending time outside is crucial to your health and happiness, so get out there and soak up some vitamin D and let nature boost your self-esteem and mood.

Although adventure can we a great way to find solace it can also be found in your own living room curled up on the couch drinking tea. Even 30 minutes of private yoga or meditation can be enough of a pause button find the benefits of solitude.   

Self-realization; defined as the “fulfillment by oneself of the possibilities of one’s character or personality”(by Merriam-Webster Dictionary), occurs when you find out who you truly are when you’re alone. Figuring out who you are when no one is watching is a crucial step in life that only time alone can give you . There is something so freeing about doing exactly what you want to be doing and nothing else. You don’t have to worry about anyone else's opinions or comfort.  

Finding new parts of yourself and decompressing can take time, don’t be surprised if one hour or one day of solitude isn’t life changing. However, with repetition changes will start to occur, alone time boosts productivity, creativity, resets the brain, and enhances relationship quality. These are things we all want and strive for. 

Taking time for your own mental health is always okay and is always important, anyone who says differently doesn’t have your best interests at heart.  So take that solo adventure down the coast, hike to the crest of whatever mountain you choose, or simply lay in the grass and do nothing. But whatever you do please remember that solitude and silence are the places where solace resides, so don’t be afraid to seek them out. On a side not  remember to make sure your surroundings are safe while you are seeking alone-time. 

It’s often hard to be comfortable in one’s own skin, with one’s own thoughts, alone.  It takes practice and patience to find the peace that resides in all of us. But with regular time practicing solitude and seeking solace in yourself, you will start to find that your own skin is just where you belong. There is nothing that brings peace into practice more that finding solace in yourself and learning who you are on the deepest levels of your soul.

So instead of surrounding yourself with people at all times or finding yourself on your phone 24/7 how about taking some time to find solace in solitude wherever you may be.  

Recommendations for practice:                 

Use meditation Apps such as Headspace or Forest (or listen to relaxing music) in your safe outdoor space. Meditate or focus on the music, turn off the App/music and then just be with yourself in that space as long as you are comfortable or until you have to leave. If meditation isn’t your thing then find other ways to relax your mind like reading, drawing, or journal writing.

Photographer:  Bobby Vu @kingvuddha

Model: Ashley Campbell @theshleycampbell

Makeup: Jocelyn Johnson @jocyjayyy

Creative Direction: Weslee Kate Heileman @weslee_kate

Clothing: Groceries Apparel