Silence and Solitude

My new course on the Foundations of Mental Health has been a wonderful opportunity for me to practice the basic skills and habits as I am writing about them.

Two of these practices are silence and solitude. When I worked in the high school, many of my students would tell me they actively avoided silence because they didn’t want to be alone with their thoughts.

Adults avoid silence too. We use media, busyness, and action to fill our time and our thoughts. Even people who crave silence and solitude- parents of small children, caregivers, those sharing a room or a home with others- will fill time spent alone with other things.

Not to say that media, busyness, action, parenting, caregiving, or any of these things are bad or wrong. Only that mental health and wellness depend on having a rhythm that includes both busyness and stillness, loud bustle and silence, togetherness and solitude.

I recently noticed that my life felt hectic and overfull. During the past week, I have engaged in intentional times of silence and solitude to refresh my soul.

This looks different for everyone. I am still growing my private therapy practice so I am not able to take time away for a week long mountain retreat. But I have been waking up earlier to have time separate from everyone else in the house, time without music or media or books or anything else to give myself space to sit alone in silence and see what comes up.

It’s a life-giving experience. Today as you are reading this, I would challenge you to examine your life and its rhythms. How much space do you allow for silence and solitude?

If you feel like you need help starting a practice of silence and solitude, or the thoughts that come up for you are distressing, therapy can help. Call 831-531-2259 or email leftcoastmft@gmail.com for a free consultation. Interested in the Foundations of Mental Health course? Follow my Instagram @leftcoastmft or join my Patreon to keep up to date with the release.

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