The Importance of Solitude

I recently went on a Service Immersion Weekend through DePaul where we spent a weekend filled with service, community building, and reflection. On our last morning, we had about two hours of solitude, where we had to spend time on our own reflecting. This was a great time for me to just breathe. I had been so stressed lately about everything happening in my life, and I haven't been listening to what my mind and body were feeling and needing. 

During this hour, I discovered things about myself that I had been ignoring in the stress of school and life. I realized that I haven’t been living in the present, and have been way too preoccupied and worried about the future (and the past). I also discovered that I hadn’t been talking to my family as much as I would like, and needed to be making a better effort to reach out and start the conversation first. Along with this discovery, I had a moment of sadness as I was hit with the grief of losing my grandpa earlier in the year. Having this time to myself, without the distractions of my phone or friends, was incredibly helpful for my mental health, as I was able to listen to what my mind needs.

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Solitude is something that everyone should do, whether it’s for an hour or for ten minutes. Find a quiet place whether that’s in your house or somewhere in the city. The lakefront of Chicago, the Lincoln Park Zoo, or my front porch are places I like to go to experience my time of solitude. This time to yourself to just think and be will help you discover what your body and your mind needs, or to think of a solution to a problem you’ve been having, or to have a eureka moment for a project you’ve been working on. Whatever you have going on in your life, having some solitude time to reflect on what is happening in your life is incredibly helpful for all aspects of your health.

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