Guilt and the need for solitude

In our day to day lives we are so busy with juggling paid-work, our kids, our partner, unpaid work and other commitments and demands upon our time that we run out of time for ourselves.  We often find we have unwittingly put ourselves last, again.  I'm not alone in this, right?! If we have a rare moment for ourselves we feel guilty.

Hello mummy guilt, yes I'm talking to you!

We feel that if we're not at work we should be with the kids, if we're not with the kids we should be with our partner, if we are not spending time with our partner, we should be doing jobs or chores, if we are not doing any of those things we should be exercising, improving our mind, meditating, sleeping or back at work!  Gee, no wonder we feel exhausted!

As working mums we feel guilty nearly all the time and taking time out for ourselves is the thing that is most often missed. It's the item we don't get to in our day.  Time for self is the thing we skip when there are other demands requiring our attention.

In order to cope with competing demands, some people need their time for self to be social time with other adults.  They need to schedule time with their friends for a night out every now and then, to spend time just being themselves; not someones's mum, partner, boss or employee.  A bit of R&R.

Others prefer and need solitude.   Time by themselves to recharge, refresh and recuperate.  

The need for solitude can be as strong as the need for socialising, depending upon your current experiences.

Solitude doesn't need to mean hours meditating or going on a retreat for days.  For some of us, especially when our children are very small, solitude can be a simple as having shower with the door shut and by ourselves!  Yes, we've all been there...

I have needed and used both approaches, and still do need both, regularly.  I enjoy and recharge through social activities with friends, as well as spending time by myself.  Solitude is something I give myself, as I know I need it.  I am a happier person when I have granted myself a bit of quiet alone time.  Those precious moments help me recharge and reset.  I like a little solitude everyday - even if it's just during my shower!

Depending on the nature of the demands upon your time, solitude for you could look like;

  1. Taking a walk for 10 minutes (especially when you have a small baby - a quick walk outside by yourself can feel incredibly liberating!)
  2. Taking a book to the park and sitting and reading for 15 minutes without anybody talking at you or to you.
  3. Choosing to use your commuting time for something that you love doing, for example reading a book or magazine, listening to music, browsing social media or listening to a podcast.

Finding a little moment of solitude is possible when you acknowledge that it is needed for your own well-being.

Solitude does not need to be something you achieve every single day, although that might be rather nice!  For some people, once a week is good, and for others, a couple of hours of solitude even once a month can make all the difference to their well-being.

The rejuvenating benefits of taking a little time for solitude can mean we are a happier person, and therefore a better mother, happier spouse, and overall feel better about ourselves.

And who wouldn't want that?

If we can gain these benefits with a little solitude, it is a worthwhile investment.

So, perhaps take a moment today or tomorrow and consider where in your busy schedule you can carve out a little solitude in order to take a break and recharge.  Invest that time in yourself and your own well-being.

Do you remember fondly when you had time to read?  Do you wish you had just a little time to recharge between all the commitments you feel obliged to maintain?  If so, download my free E-book, "6 Days to a Life Filled with more Joy, Hope and Love" for inspirational activities to gain clarity with the time juggle and help you have more days experiencing joy, hope and love. Just enter your email address on the right hand side of the screen for instant download.