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3 Surprising Ways to Find Solitude

written by Kris Verlé August 3, 2020
3 Surprising Ways to Find Solitude

Kris Verlé provides 3 surprising ways to find solitude in your life — starting today.

All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone. – Blaise Pascal

Solitude – seriously? Months of forced home time, and you’re telling us we need to spend more time on our own?

Kind of. Physical distancing has meant most of our social activities recently took place around the kitchen table – juggling Zoom calls, Amazon orders, Deliveroo drivers, cranky lovers, housemates, pets, or a tub of K-Y Jelly. But despite an extraordinary amount of alone time for some, most of us hardly spent any time in solitude.

We often interpret solitude as ‘being alone,’ but I much prefer Cal Newport’s definition. In his book Digital Minimalism, he describes it as:

A subjective state where your mind is completely free from the input of other minds.

 How delicious does that kind of freedom not sound? Not having your thoughts hi-jacked by someone else’s agenda – even for just a few minutes a day? I’ll have some fries with that, thank you very much.

Bear in mind that solitude doesn’t require locking yourself up and being free of all stimuli. Because it’s internal, you can create it in your mind. It doesn’t depend on your environment, which means you can experience solitude while people-watching in a busy McDonalds on a Friday night (soon, my friends). Conversely, reading War and Peace during your bathroom break isn’t solitude because you’re still taking in the fruits of someone else’s thinking (e.g. written words).

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