Schedule Solitude and Go On a Digital Diet
The idea of solitude may sound negative as many associate this word with loneliness, but once upon a time the word “lone” had heroic connotations - the Lone Ranger.
"In this fast-paced digital world, the benefits of switching off and enjoying time alone are often overlooked, but learning to relish blissful solitude can bring rewards for mind and body."
If being alone is something you swerve to avoid at all costs, you could be missing a trick. Taking a break from incessant demands of needy friends, difficult bosses, challenging children and social media has a range of benefits to be enjoyed.
Time spent on your own can actually boost your brainpower and help you to focus. Constantly being ‘on’ doesn’t give your brain any time to rest and replenish itself, so time by yourself, with no distractions, can help you to clear the clutter from your mind and think more clearly.
Unfortunately, solitude has been squeezed out of most people’s modern lifestyles with the vast majority always ‘on’. The rise of mobile technology and online social networks means your multi-tasking brain is constantly overloaded with information and you’re always on the go seeking out information or staying ‘in touch’ at the click of a button.
If you’re not socialising with friends you’re virtually doing it online. It has become quite unusual these days to just sit down for an hour and simply do nothing.
"Have a think about it, when was the last time you did just that, sat down quietly and alone without your mobile phone in hand?"
Nowadays, it has become much harder to resist distractions. Modern day life means our lives are busy and hectic, and rarely do we see people living in the here and now. Think about your life, are you always thinking ahead about what you need to do or haven’t done yet, or looking back at how you could have done something better or differently? When was the last time you just enjoyed the present?
To get any real healing benefits for mind and body, your time alone needs to be your choice, something you’ve decided to do not something that was forced upon you, otherwise you’ll only resent the downtime rather than put it to good use.
"We want you to relish the mindful revolution and not waste any opportunities, so to help you recharge, replenish and regain control, we’ve outlined three key steps to make the most of being alone..."
Step 1. Schedule solitude – allow yourself 20 minutes a day that you can spend on your own.
Step 2. Avoid electronic chatter – switch off your mobile technology and stop filling your silences with Facebook and Instagram.
Step 3. Enjoy yourself – start reading, listening to music, walking or gardening. If you need something to help while away the minutes without your phone, try reading this handy pocket book bursting with fascinating trivia, amazing facts and suggestions to free you from your screen.
As you can see focussing the brain to take some timeout is a skill in itself and it needs some serious practice to hone it, but once you learn to relax and be mindful you’ll really start to feel the benefits.