Solitude is not Loneliness

Solitude is an important and often neglected and misunderstood area of self-care —an area of self-care, like others, that help to protect us from the effects of stress, depression, anxiety, and so on. While many people enjoy and even prefer time in their own company for any number of activities, it is often discouraged and stigmatized. Indeed, solitude or alone time is often confused with being lonely, which, in our hyper-individualized society is equated with being deficient in some way. Quiet solitude is also problematic in a hyper-connected society where so-called ‘boredom‘ is discouraged (there is a growing body of literature by the way into the benefits of being bored! The inability to sit with a little boredom is tied to both anxiety and depression, particularly among certain generations) . The article here rightly discusses the importance of changing our attitudes toward those we see on their own – in parks, restaurants, holidays, etc. Many are quite happy! While they are discussing alone time in the context of introvert preferences versus those of extroverts, I strongly urge every one of us to adjust our attitudes and belief systems around spending quality time connecting primarily or solely, with ourselves.

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