Sometimes it can feel like we’re constantly surrounded by people – friends, family, co-workers, classmates – and while these interactions are vital to living a meaningful life, they don’t always provide us with the true sense of space needed for self-discovery. That space is solitude – an often underrated practice of spending time alone in reflection or simply relaxing. But what does “Going It Alone” really mean?
Do you need to get away from it and spend some time alone? If so, going it alone can be incredibly rewarding. It can help to build self-confidence, increase creativity, foster independence and provide a sense of freedom. But just like anything else, logging off from the world can be challenging. In this article, we’ll look at how solo experiences, both in the outdoors and within your mind, can be advantageous – while learning when it’s best to have someone join you along for the journey.
So please take a deep breath and grab your hiking shoes; let’s explore what solitude offers.
Going It Alone vs. Solitude
Going It Alone versus Solitude is an interesting topic to explore, as the two concepts often need clarification for one another. While solitude can be healthy and beneficial, it may not always be.
Solitude describes a situation in which an individual spends time away from other people, either out of choice or due to circumstance. While this may sound like a lonely situation, solitude can positively affect mental health by providing individuals with the space they need to reflect, relax, and reset. Practising healthy solitude is essential – setting boundaries on how much time one spends alone and doing activities that bring joy instead of despair.
Going Alone involves taking action without relying on anyone else or receiving help from others. This could mean starting a business or taking a challenging career path without any guidance or support network. While it can be empowering to take complete control of your life, going it alone can also lead to feelings of loneliness and overwhelm due to the lack of connection and support from others.
6 Things to do Alone
Going it alone or going alone can be a daunting prospect, but it can also be an incredibly freeing and rewarding experience.
Here are six things you can do alone that will enrich your life, help you learn more about yourself, and prove that you don’t need another person to have a good time.
Go to the Movies
Going to the movies alone can be a fun and rewarding experience. While it may seem strange or intimidating at first, it’s a great way to get in touch with yourself and your thoughts without distractions.
“A troop of stars will dance around you when you are alone and quiet.”Rumi
You can pick a movie you’ve been meaning to watch but need friends or family who share your interest; this allows you to get lost in a film while also allowing you to practice being comfortable with yourself in social settings.
Visit an Art Gallery or Museum
Exploring an art gallery or museum on your own can be an inspiring experience. It allows you to focus on one piece of artwork for as long as needed rather than feeling rushed by others who might have different opinions or expectations about how much time should be spent looking at each piece.
“At times, I am so caught up in my aloneness that everything becomes still like a painting – even time stops.”Philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre
Get lost in what’s being presented as well as any surrounding history. Take your time to appreciate the work and try not to worry about what anyone else thinks.
Take a Road Trip
Taking a road trip alone is a great adventure! Whether it’s just for one night or several days, hitting the open road can give you much-needed clarity of mind and allow you to explore new places without worrying about accommodating anyone else’s needs or interests.
“When we get out of the glass bottle of our ego and when we escape like squirrels in the cage of our personality and get into the forest again, we shall shiver with cold and fright, but things will happen to us so that we don’t know ourselves”Hermann Hesse
Driving long distances offers plenty of opportunity for contemplation and self-reflection; remember to take lots of photos along the way!
Go on a Retreat
Taking time away from everyday life can do wonders for your mental health, especially if done alone! A solo retreat gives you space from regular routines that can often drain energy from us without us noticing (working late hours all week, commuting back home …).
“Because in the end, you won’t remember the time you spent working in an office or mowing your lawn—climb that goddamn mountain.”Jack Kerouac
Find an area that speaks to your soul — mountains, desert plains or near water — wherever it is that will offer some solace away from hustle-and-bustle life activities where you can go inward and connect more deeply with yourself on a spiritual level.
Read Your Favorite Book
Reading is often seen as something done only when accompanied by another person — such as discussing favourite parts with friends after finishing the book — however, reading books alone is incredibly rewarding too!
“We write to taste life twice…in memory…and then in reality”.Anaïs Nin wisely
Enjoying literature all by yourself allows unfettered access to the story’s worldview without distraction from another person’s opinion; this leaves more room for interpretation, making reading an even richer experience than before.
Learn something new
Learning doesn’t always have to mean books – why not learn an instrument? A language? Others skills like drawing/painting/photography? Taking online courses for free is another great option – sites like Coursera offer courses from dozens of universities worldwide so dive into classes such as Economics 101 taught by Harvard professors without ever leaving your home!
Pros of Going It Alone
Being an introvert does not necessarily mean that someone does not like being around people, but rather that they take the most value in life out of spending time engaging in activities by themselves.
Increased Flexibility and Control
When you make your own decisions, you can determine which direction you would like to take with your work. This can be incredibly liberating, as it allows you to pursue projects or ideas that align with your personal goals and interests. You can make changes quickly without consulting with others or waiting for approval.
Ability to Learn and Grow Personally
When you are responsible for all aspects of a project, you can expand upon existing skills and learn new ones. Whether honing in on your communication ability or learning a specific software, taking on something alone provides the perfect environment for personal growth.
Nothing quite like the feeling after completing a task or project. Not only do you have complete control over the outcome, but there is no one else responsible other than yourself if anything goes wrong. The pride in achieving success through hard work and dedication is incomparable.
Freedom to Set Personal and Professional Priorities
Prioritising what matters most allows for greater efficiency in decision-making processes since everything does not need approval from someone else before it can be implemented. Having this luxury ensures that work can be completed quickly and effectively since fewer steps are involved in getting things done. When working alone, you can adjust your workload based on what works best for you, allowing for a more excellent equilibrium between professional and personal life commitments.
Cons of Being Alone
Too much isolation can have negative consequences on both one’s physical and mental health, such as feelings of loneliness, depression, and anxiety. Introverts should strike a balance between periods of solitary engagement and times spent with friends or family members.
Lack of Collaboration and Creative Input from Others
Going it alone can decrease our access to external resources in terms of creative input and innovative solutions. With information from other people, developing new ideas or the best approaches for tackling specific tasks can be more accessible. Working collaboratively often leads to more meaningful relationships, further enhancing creativity and productivity.
Limited Opportunities for Growth
When going it alone, there are fewer opportunities to learn and grow as an individual. Without the input of others to challenge our views and perspectives or present new ideas or solutions, there is a decreased potential for growth in areas such as self-awareness, problem-solving skills, communication skills, interpersonal skills, leadership qualities, etc.
Being Alone Can Lead to Loneliness
Isolation from society increases feelings of loneliness and disconnection from others. Social interaction is essential for our mental well-being – it helps us form meaningful connections with those around us, which positively impacts our physical health too! Furthermore, this loneliness can be further intensified when we don’t have anyone around who understands what we’re going through or likes similar activities; therefore, we don’t feel like we belong anywhere or fit in anywhere.
Being Alone Can Be Bad for Our Health
Studies suggest that too much time alone may have adverse health effects, such as increased stress levels and weakened immunity. The lack of social support might also lead to higher levels of anxiety and depression – especially when combined with worrying about being unable to achieve one’s desired goals or aspirations due to being alone.