Need to cultivate some productivity today? How about pursuing some solitude? Here are some fresh simple ideas for finding solitude in our crazy and connected world.
Go For A Walk
I listed this as number one because going for walks is the ultimate experience of enjoying solitude for me. Walk alone and try to avoid the main and busy roads. Any time of the day works, find your vibe, clear your mind. Pray, talk out loud, most of all enjoy your surroundings. New research suggests that walking also sparks creativity. Make this a daily habit.
Go For A Country Drive
Drive alone, keep the radio off, find the back roads and explore! Once again try to avoid the busy roads. Relax and focus on the silence. Think intentionally and enjoy the experience. Don’t be tempted to turn on the radio and learn to think inwardly.
Unplug & Hide Electronics
Periodically unplug the electronics. Matter of fact get rid of your TV, unplug the internet for a week, sell the video games and hide the smartphones and tablets; or let a trusted friend or family member take it for a week. Unplug and unwind. Electronics and media want to take the place of solitude, but you have determined not to let that happen.
Get Up Early
If you want to get up early you will have to go to bed early. The great achievers and influencers of the past and present have always had early morning routines. They did it before the restless world awakes and began their daily routine of business. 5:00 am will suffice, do 25 jumping jacks outside, splash cold water on your face, find a semi-comfortable place (not your bed) read the scriptures, pray and meditate. You must do it.
If the morning cannot work schedule it during the day. This is generally called, “Intention to implement.” If you plan it out, chances are you are more able to succeed in fulfilling it. Try or some other time when you are free. Let others know! Tell others you need 30 minutes or so of quiet and make sure they will not bother you, only of course if its an emergency. Begin the process of solitude.
Avoid Excess Caffeine Or Sugars
Research is divided on this topic, and you may be too I am an avid coffee drinker and I find it helps me tremendously in the morning hours: Yet come early afternoon I am on the brink of collapse. There are times in the early evening where I will consume a cup of coffee and regret it I am anxious, overly distracted and there is no way I can sit still and cultivate solitude. Regardless, limit your caffeine intake and drink water. Pretty simple. Editors note: I now drink decaf coffee
Tune Out Distraction
This will be difficult for some, but practice and be intentional. Success doesn’t always come overnight and neither does tuning out distractions. Noise and evil thoughts will come in and try to build their nest and lay their eggs. Like anything else, don’t let them. Brush them away and if it keeps coming back keep pushing them away. Learn to focus on the silence. Tune out and tune in to what matters.
Are you fidgety? Constantly restless? Practice sitting or lying still. Do this for a few minutes, stare at an object, and focus while breathing in through your nose and out your mouth. Enjoy the experience, affirm the positive and rely on God. If you find you cannot be still, perhaps consider finding the root with some holistic therapy.
Visit The Library Or Bookstore
Generally, it is a quiet place of learning and solitude. Think vividly of the cartoon caricatures of the old librarian with her finger up to her mouth saying,”SHHH!” Avoid the computers, explore the building, get to know its layout, look at a book, and anticipate learning and sit-down and read. Periodically pause and fully digest what you are reading. Think and revel in the solitude.
Visit The Beach
It will be probably best in the early morning or late evening. Growing up in Rhode Island, the beach was always about 25 minutes away, and there have been times where I would go to the beach just to enjoy the solitude and the beauty contained therein. The sound of the seagulls in the air, the warmth of the sand between my toes, the fresh scent of sea-salt and the sound of the waves crashing into the ground. Truly these are delightful experiences!
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