ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Solitude is Key to Self-awareness

Updated on March 15, 2013

Trips to museums is a great therapy for tired souls.

Artwork: Sabel by Ben Cabrera, Bencab Museum, Baguio, Philippines
Artwork: Sabel by Ben Cabrera, Bencab Museum, Baguio, Philippines

Remember the time when you were young and felt that the world has gone awry and you just want to be left alone? Where was your safe haven? Mine was under the bed, reading Enid Blyton or Nancy Drew books that I borrowed from the school library. Probably yours was on top of a tree, a spot behind the curtains or in an inconspicuous corner in the living room.

I recall that during my teenage years, I look forward to the days when my parents would leave the house to me. I celebrate those times alone, cooking for myself, gobbling up all those books, writing entries in my journal or simply daydreaming. I am left to think to my heart’s content anything I want to be, a lady detective uncovering the world’s best kept secrets or an English lady drinking tea with lords and ladies or sometimes a fashion photographer with my dolls as models. It was at those times that my imagination would soar, the innocence of just believing that I can do anything.

Then high school came with peers and responsibilities, and then college with more peers and bigger responsibilities, then came work with more social contacts and humongous tasks and pressure, and then marriage, children, endless PTA meetings, a so-called career then add to the list the heartbreaks, cancelled vacations, endless crying, whining, budgeting, emergencies, impromptu meetings and if it wasn't enough, unsolicited advice and the keeping-up-with-the-joneses. How can one person handle all those tagging? It does not surprise me why Psychotherapy is now a booming business.

Does it really have to come to spending hard-earned money to get back what we all thought we lost, our sanity? What if you don’t have enough dollars to sit on a leather couch just to retell your story which you have retold a thousand times to almost all the people you’ve met? What if you barely make the minimum to keep things going at home let alone afford to go to a shrink? Before you even reach the “I'm almost insane” part, which by the way can increase your already piled-up stress; there is something that can be done to reclaim yourself.

You are Important

Today, take a hard look at how your daily life is going. How do you begin your waking hours and how do you end it, what are the activities in between those hours? Get your checklist of things to do and see if there is anything there that says “for time alone”? Are you not as important as your other tasks or the other people in your life? Sometimes we neglect to give attention to ourselves making everything else and everybody else as priority, our family, friends and career, rushing to their every call, catering to their every need and demands, whims and fancy, losing focus on who we are. It is like an open door that invites stress to come in, but the good news is, you can lock that door for a moment to clean house, so to speak and open it again when you are ready to entertain. We should treat ourselves the same way we treat anything or anybody of value in our life.

Set a sacred time for yourself

The first thing you need to do is set a specific time of day for yourself. I like mine at dawn before the whole house wakes up to savor all the quiet. You might find it convenient to set yours after the kids are asleep in the evening or at midday when you have the whole house to yourself. It is your special time so it is fitting that you mark your preference. We all have the same 24-hours gift of time, 6 to 8 hours is delegated to sleep, another 8 or 9 for working and the rest for cooking, eating, going to the grocery or the carwash, for visits to or from friends, and all those errands. All you really need to do is set the clock for this exclusive hour of day for yourself. In the beginning it will be hard to keep the schedule but you need to keep going until it becomes a habit.

Your Sanctuary

Choose a favorite spot in the house. Place a couch or a table and chair or an area rug in it, if you prefer to sit on the floor, and surround it with things that you think represents you. Mine is a bouquet of fresh flowers in a favorite vase that my mom gave me when I was a teenager. The vase makes me think of my youth and my dreams, and the fresh flowers reminds me of the beauty in nature. I decorated it with whatever I want to do with during this special time. It could be a scented candle for meditation, the book that I want to read, my journals if I wish to write or my cup of coffee if I just want to reflect and enjoy the time alone. From my little corner, I get a good perspective of the whole house, in that way I can revel in the serenity that surrounds me. Putting up your own sanctuary in the house, or the yard if you want to, gives you a feeling of comfort especially when you feel that the world is pulling you in all directions. You know that you can always retreat there, a time and place of your own.

Get into the groove

At first it might be hard to stick to a schedule, a litany of new things to do always comes up, it could be that the kids woke up earlier than usual or there is an important meeting that you cannot miss. There would be times when you will feel guilty of spending so much time for yourself when it could be spent by doing something more productive. Do not give up! Soon you will get used to it and even sooner you will look forward to it.

It may look like a waste of time at first but as the days pass by and you get used to it, you will be pleasantly surprised by moments of self-discovery. This discovery will lead you to who you really are, what you want and where you want to take yourself. In the process of exploration you will regain your strength, revive your passions, and release your creativity. That is the gift of silence. Think of positive thoughts about yourself, envision your dreams and let your imagination soar.This time is made especially for you, you have the same right as anybody else to claim it, anything concerning the rest of the world will naturally come to you later and you will be prepared for it.

Solitude does not mean sedentary

Your alone time need not be stationed in one place all the time. Since mine takes place at dawn, when the weather is cooler, I go out for a walk sometimes I take my dog with me. It can be a trip to the museum, to a park, a ballet recital or a theatrical play. You can go to places where you feel you can reflect, create, imagine, motivate, celebrate or connect with yourself. It is you that will make those choices which means that you are listening to your inner voice, the person that you had long set aside listening to other’s calling. At this time you are not a sister, a friend, a mother, a wife or a co-worker to another except to yourself.

Solitude is the most valuable gift you can give yourself. It does not mean that you are an anti-social or an introvert to love being alone or that you have become one. The waters in the ocean are calmer when it is at its deepest; it is not near the shore but far away in the middle of the vastness of the marine world. Pull back when everything is pushing you forward. By doing so, you regain your foothold and do not get swayed in directions you don’t want to go, you get a better perspective of how things are going therefore assess what direction you want to pursue. By getting in touch with yourself, you become a better social being, calmer in disposition, serene in demeanor and slow to anger. Enjoy!

Many creative ideas were made in solitude.


Submit a Comment

  • Coffeeatdawn profile imageAUTHOR


    5 years ago from Philippines

    Thank you Eddy :) I hope the readers will find it useful as well.

  • Eiddwen profile image


    5 years ago from Wales

    Interesting and useful.


  • Coffeeatdawn profile imageAUTHOR


    5 years ago from Philippines

    Me too! It's so easy to lose track and be carried away these days. Thanks Billy :)

  • billybuc profile image

    Bill Holland 

    5 years ago from Olympia, WA

    I agree with your points. I cherish my alone time and make sure I have some each and every day. Very important to do.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)