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Unlocking Your Potential in Solitude

Adults 50+

Attitudes

Middle-aged Adults

Young Adults

By Elaine Guerrazzi | April 6, 2020

Being alone is much different than being lonely; perspective is the key.  Quality time alone can be beneficial to well-being. Cherry (2020, para. 2) acknowledges that social connectivity and solitude are both virtues of a healthy life.  She discusses the benefits of findings things to do by yourself by stating, “Doing things by yourself allows you to enjoy activities you love at your own pace and in your own way. Through solitary pursuits, you learn more about yourself and reflect on your experiences.”  

Thrive Global is an online magazine launched by Arianna Huffington (2007).  The goal is to “create something real and tangible that would help individuals, companies and communities improve their well-being and performance and unlock their greatest potential.” The magazine’s Stories section includes topics on Well-Being, Wisdom, Wonder, Purpose, Sleep, Special Sections, and Community.

Some of the topics included in the Special Sections are mental health, meditative stories, work-life balance, wellbeing, social change, and never stop learning. Freelance writers, myself included, publish articles to Thrive’s Community section.

As I mentioned last week, “I am actually someone who likes to stay at home however it has been a bit challenging when the decisions to stay at home is not solely my own.”  I initially found the solitude of social-distance/stay at home situation to be a bit challenging but have now embraced the opportunities provided by this time. Last week there were a couple Thrive articles I thought would be worth sharing.  These are timely based on the current social-distancing guidelines/stay in place policy and the isolation some may be feeling.  

Swantkoski’s (2020)  article, 4 Lessons I’ve Learned From Social Distancing: Adjusting my mindset has allowed me to stay optimistic during this time, discusses the following four key points.

**Now is a great time to think about priorities.
**We always say we don’t have time, but the truth is, we don’t make the time.
**You cannot control what happens, but you can control how you react to it.
**You won’t ever get this time back, so make the most of it – whatever that means to you.

Most of us are finding ourselves having more free time than we’ve ever had and may ever have again. Time is the only thing we can never get back, and we should make the most of it. For some, this will be a season full of extra rest. Others may want to be productive either personally or professionally. Some will develop new hobbies and interests during this time. No matter how you choose to spend this time, do in your heart what’s best for you and don’t forget to make the most of it.

Friedrich (1822)  The framework of the window links proximity and distance and evokes a longing for the unknown.  The outward gaze, contemplating nature, also turns inwards towards the individual’s own spiritual center.

Leon’s (2020) article Why I’m Focusing on Seeing the Upside: The pandemic is making me take a step back and appreciate small moments of positivity, discusses the following five key points.

**Humor
**Change
**Technology
**Authenticity
**Connection

I’ve found that in my fifty years of life, optimism has never prevented me from hard times and heartache. But like with faith, it helps me rise up and find a way to live a life worth living after I’ve fallen. This crisis is huge and hard and sad, but I’m positive we will get through it together, laughing, changing, innovating, being real, and spreading cheer all the while.

Friedrich (1818) Standing in contemplation and self-reflection the wanderer considers moments about the unforeseen future. By placing his back toward the viewer he is not shutting them out – rather he enables them to see the world through his own eyes, to share and convey his personal experience.

Cherry (2020) concludes by stating, “Alone time is for focusing on you—for cultivating your passions, finding new inspirations, getting to know yourself better, or even engaging in some much-needed rest and relaxation.”

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