Sometimes, as we drink tea and catch up at the Girl Gift Gather Studio, we come to realize that we’re both sitting on the exact same problem. This week, that problem was solitude. Or a lack thereof. It’s been a fast-paced start to Spring. One that included travel, family gatherings, holiday weekends and visits from out-of-towners. The weather warmed up and suddenly it was all go, go, go. Transitional seasons can be like that — the whole city wakes up in one big rush of celebrations, events and activities. After a few jam-packed weekends, we’re craving some alone time. (This week, Chelsey is on a ‘social cleanse’ made up of quiet walks, early nights and dinners for one. For Christina, having a nine and a half month old and a tiny apartment means alone time looks like truly savoring the long hot shower she gets once her husband gets home… thats the best she can do right now folks and it’s actually really effective!).
There are so many things to honor in a day: relationships, work, family, friendships. Somehow, time to one’s self rarely makes the list. But this week, we’re advocating for it. Whether you’re meditating, walking to the office or working on your yoga practice, time spent with you and you alone can be the most nourishing time of your day. There are days when taking time for yourself feels obvious: when things get stressful and life is overwhelming. But what about when things are great? When you’re surrounded by family and friends? When you’re on vacation? We find ourselves falling victim to the idea that because we’re with people we love, we needn’t bother taking any time for ourselves. This is not the case. Time to ourselves is important whether we’re with people who cause us anxiety or great joy. When you’re with the ones you love, taking time away from everyone to check-in with yourself can be extremely helpful. Solitude is a time to gather, process, ruminate and daydream. A few hours for your mind to wander free from expectation or disruption can birth creative ideas, gratitude and renewed energy.
Weekends are often divvied up into family gatherings and social engagements. If you can, this weekend or next, make a date with yourself. It doesn’t have to be a long one, a walk around the park or a morning coffee before everyone else wakes up, just spend a little time with yourself, we think you’ll like what you find.
A favorite essay on the benefits of solitude from The American Scholar.
Our thoughts on the joys of bath time.