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Why Everyone Needs A Fortress Of Solitude

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Tuesday, November 21, 2023

With the birth of the internet, our world expanded, and we became connected like never before. We have access to information, friends, family, money, and more at our fingertips. Those all have benefits.

Unfortunately, the connectivity is never-ending. We have all sorts of people and things coming at us nonstop. It contributes to the noise in our heads. It causes us to lose time, focus, and ourselves.

Everyone needs small reprieves from it all. Every day.

Introvert. Extrovert. It doesn’t matter. Alone time is crucial for everyone, and no one should feel the slightest bit guilty for requesting it.

Superman had his Fortress of Solitude, where he went to mull over dilemmas and develop ideas. Mary Lennox had a Secret Garden. Do you think classical authors could have written their masterpieces with kids screaming, music blasting, and phones buzzing all around them? You get the idea. Everyone needs somewhere they can go to unwind.


Off The Grid

This isn’t a whole day, night, or even a weekend away. Your solitude doesn’t have to upend any plans. It doesn’t require its own itinerary. All you need is about 30 minutes a day for a healthy mind and body.

Humans are amazing creatures. However, we all come with our baggage of stuff. We–our emotions, habits, and peculiarities–are messy. That mess spills out onto others.

I bet you can trace most of your life and work challenges back to at least one human and their stuff. Dealing with others takes patience, but you can’t pour from an empty cup.

So, how do you resupply your patience? You break away from people and problems for a bit.

This means no phone or computer usage in your Fortress. Don’t check one text, email, or missed call. Everyone can give you the 30 minutes you deserve without the world falling apart. If Superman can ghost people for a while, so can you.


Building Your Fortress

You don’t need healing crystals or holographic images like Superman to benefit from alone time. Hopefully, the place of your choosing will be a few steps away and not any place you have to fly faster than a speeding bullet to get to.

Keep it easily accessible for daily use. Use the following list to find your go-to haven if you don’t currently have one in mind:

  • ​Your car​
  • ​An empty conference room
  • ​A place of meditation, reflection, or prayer
  • ​The library
  • ​A local museum
  • ​A nearby stairwell
  • ​A park bench
  • ​A closet or the bathroom in desperate times

Sit. Stand. Lie down. Listen to calming music, read one of your self-development books, or bask in complete silence.

Quiet and calm your mind in whatever way works best for you. You’ll improve your thinking, decision-making, and coping capabilities.

Need help determining what kind of atmosphere works best for you? You aren’t alone. Many people don’t mindfully seek solitude and wouldn’t be able to identify easily what their zen den should be like.

Have fun dabbling in all sorts of curated quality self-time. You may have different needs on different days, so stay open-minded and forever curious about how to improve your time away.


9 Things To Do When There’s Nothing To Do

Some people have had so little time alone in their lives that the thought of it is scary. What does one do when one has nothing to do? Check out the following ideas to boost your relaxation or creativity:


1. Meditate

Close your eyes and picture yourself in various relaxing places. Take your mind off work completely. Embrace the lack of noise. Should your mind wander to more stressful thoughts, recognize them and return them to your calming place. Understand that people train for years to meditate, so don’t expect your brain to get the hang of it immediately. Just keep trying and know that a few minutes of meditation is excellent for mental clarity.


2. Set The Mood

Depending on where your Fortress is, you might consider lighting a candle or diffusing essential oils. Fill your Fortress with natural elements of water, earth, and fire to ground you and improve your mind-body-spirit connection.


3. Replenish

Furnish your hangout spot with healthy water and snacks or bring them with you. Nutrition and mental health are strongly linked. Replenish your body with some healthy carbs and protein, like an apple and peanut butter, to emerge refreshed and ready to tackle the rest of your day.


4. Get Some Shut-Eye

Some of the strongest minds swear by naps. This is the one time you should use your phone to set an alarm.


5. Read

Fill your mind and soul with inspirational, motivational, or thought-provoking works.


6. Grow In Wisdom

Is there a wise person in your life you could learn a lot from? While we normally encourage you to be alone, sage advice and trips down memory lane with an older companion are a vacation for the soul and help you gain perspective.


7. Listen To Music

Nature songs are relaxing and help bring the outdoors in. Classical music fires up problem-solving brain synapses. Rock or heavy metal can help you release some frustration. Music is processed differently by everyone, so play around with what works best for you. Jam out to your favorite tunes, be they Vivaldi or Metallica. Sing at the top of your lungs, or dance like no one’s watching.


8. Work Out

Cardio and strength training are good for your body and mind. Clear your head while you get healthy–two birds, one stone.


9. Create

Paint, draw, or color in a coloring book. Play an instrument or game. Getting creative wakes up both sides of your brain.


Alone, Not Lonely

There’s a difference between being alone and being lonely. It’s all in how you choose to see it. Your Fortress of Solitude is necessary to help you stay mentally and emotionally well. Be okay with being alone because it’s how you meet yourself and discover what you want to achieve in life.

People will pull you in all sorts of ways. Time alone is the only way to block the noise and never-ending barrage of requests.

Learn to put everything on hold and develop time for yourself daily or several times a week. Enjoy your own companionship, and you’ll be rewarded with the peace and focus it brings.

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