It’s a great day to be alive!
I had the great pleasure of hearing Dr. Ann Kulze speak last month. Dr. Ann is a brilliant woman and wellness guru who is full of energy and light! Please check her out!
She spoke to a group of executive leaders on nutrition, recovery and mindfulness among other things. Her message was to help these women become “healthier and happier leaders”. Love it!
There was a lot within her talk that was enlightening and educational but the piece that I can’t get off my brain is when she talked to us about solitude.
Solitude…what is that even? A foreign concept for most of us these days but something our mind and body actually craves and needs. Alone time is critically important to our self-care and well-being. I don’t know about any of you but I don’t get a whole lot of alone time these days, especially since becoming a mom. As Dr. Ann explained it, solitude is more than just alone time, it’s unhooking from the busyness of life and all the stimulation that comes with it. It is moments of true disconnection for our BRAIN – that’s right ZERO connection to anything, any device, and other people – pure recovery time for our mind.
Think about – we are stimulated all the time with the people we are around, our kids coming at us, our phones ringing and buzzing and the general activity of the world happening all around us at every moment. Stimulus is constant and our thinking brain is constantly working, processing and reacting.
Our brain controls our entire body – physically and mentally. It’s the “Chief Operating Officer (COO)” of our body, as Dr. Ann calls it. Our brain needs breaks, moments of solitude and time for recovery so that it can help us perform and live optimally. If it’s in constant work mode and never has a moment to rest then you can only imagine how that impacts the rest of our health. Our brain is the gateway to our health which means it needs moments of disconnection from thinking, moments of solitude and a break from the bombardment of stimulus that we are all getting 24/7.
After hearing all this I was determined to find ways to shutdown and give my brain a break. Finding the time hasn’t been an issue but I was surprised how hard it has been for me to immerse myself in solitude. I haven’t quite figured it out yet but working on incorporating some brief moments of quiet each day with the goal of extending it over time. Here are a few ways you can incorporate moments of solitude into your day:
- Go for a walk or run and don’t listen to ANYTHING! (This is tough for me but starting to enjoy it!)
- On car rides, keep the radio and music off. Just drive in silence
- Just sit – no tv, no books nothing. Just be. Stare at the wall or something 🙂
- Unguided meditation – sit and meditate quietly
What I’ve leaned is that the intentional disengagement is what will allow me to be present and more engaged throughout the day. These little adjustments have inspired me to find other ways to give my brain a break – like before bed. Shutting down all the screens and sitting in bed with a book or just being quiet and breathing till I fall asleep.
I always say that the universe makes it obvious when there is something it wants me to learn, hear or share. Well this Friday Fuel message was affirmed when last week I opened up my Calm app for my Daily Calm meditation and the session was titled “solitude”. Ha! The message in that session was timely and perfect:
“Intermittently disengaging is what allows us to passionately reengage.”
This quote has since been my fuel to intentionally unplug, disconnect and prioritize solitude.
Friends, find time for you. In silence. In solitude. Just you.
Embrace the day!