It’s that moment. I’ve finished weekly check ins with clients, publishing social media/blog content, wrapping up editorial photo shoots, running errands, and copyediting. The doors are closed, and I’m alone. Blessed to wake up every morning to what I love, I treasure this early-morning solitude, this small nest of time inhabited just for me. Soon I’ll be up and out the door, but for these next sacred minutes, I will sit on the patio, tea in hand and savor the moment.

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Solitude is the soul’s holiday, an opportunity to stop doing for others and to turn the focus within. It is time set aside to refuel and rejuvenate the mind, body and soul. But many of us deny ourselves this solitude, and in turn, crave a vacation or getaway. By the time I begin to crave for this hunger, chances are my emotional well has already run dry. And so I’ve learned to create little islands of solitude in my daily life.

This journey is still new but the difference is unmeasurable. Many of us feel compelled to measure our success in terms of acquisition and accomplishment. Society shapes our focus to be in constant motion, and when we find ourselves with an empty hour, we spend that time running errands or attending to our relationships.

If no one’s around, our time of ‘solitude’ is tempted with a reach of the TV remote or phone. We avoid ourselves of silence because we’re afraid of what is on the schedules for the moments and hours ahead. But solitude is not a vacation away. We can  retreat from the world for time without being renounced by it. We can give to ourselves the way we give to others, and realize ourselves the value we hold. And when we do, we become more in tune with ourselves.

The hardest part in this truth is finding the time. Many of us are so busy with work, school and home life that often there is no time left over for yourself. What we need is simple ways to create ‘open time’ with no obligations; an essential time to slow down, enjoy life and rejuvenate.

SCHEDULE TIME WITH YOURSELF

  1. Date Nights with Yourself. Save certain weeknights just for you. Use this time for reading, exercise, meditation or the ultimate luxury of doing nothing!
  2. Monthly Treat. Take time to treat yourself once a month. It could be any time on or off your schedule – lunch break, a weekend or after work. Relax with a spa treatment, give yourself a mini facial, go see a movie, or whatever you’re always thinking about but rarely get to.
  3. Leave Work on Time. Sounds unfamiliar for many, leaving work on time can make add hours to your evenings. This may be a luxury for some, but make it a point to leave work exactly on time at least once a week, if not more. Enjoy that extra hour you’ve earned!
  4. Sweat It Out. No excuse should overshadow your health and fitness. Set your mind to it, and do it. Take the stairs, walk the dog or run it out. What or how you do it isn’t important as that you do it. Set aside 30 minutes every day to break a sweat.
  5. Organize “Mom’s Morning Out” Circle. This one is for my moms out there. If you have a friend or group of friends, share a babysitting service a few times a month so that each of you can arrange some time alone. Even if for a few hours, enjoy it and do something you love to do – or better yet do nothing.

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