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The sound of silence: solitude is the new self-care

Written by Relationships

Self-care; a phrase we’ve all been hearing a lot more of in the past few years. From fad diet teas to bubble baths, we are constantly being told to open our wallets in the name of loving ourselves.

However, in the time of a pandemic, when money has been scarce and company in short supply- our happiness became solely reliant on the relationship we had with ourselves; and I for one, think this is a habit we should take with us into a post-Covid world.

“In the blink of an eye, relationships can change and essential oils run dry- and that is why we must rely on something far more sustainable for our wellbeing.”

It’s no secret that laughing with friends is good for the soul, nor is it unheard of for people to swear by luxurious products known to aid sleep or increase happiness. But friends, just like materialistic self care – aren’t always permanent. In the blink of an eye, relationships can change and essential oils run dry- and that is why we must rely on something far more sustainable for our wellbeing.

Solitude has always been pitied, it’s the reason why many of us wouldn’t dream of sitting in a restaurant alone, but it shouldn’t be that way. In order to ensure that your happiness can prevail in any circumstances (including a global pandemic), you must enjoy your own company- for that is the only thing that’s certain in life.

As Florence Given, one of my favourite activists, says: ‘You have to be the love of your own life’. It’s true, you have to be truly happy in your own skin and in your own silence before relying on anything less certain.

“But you wouldn’t fall in love with another person without taking the time to know them, so you shouldn’t attempt to do so with yourself.”

How do you achieve internal happiness? There’s no simple answer. But you wouldn’t fall in love with another person without taking the time to know them, so you shouldn’t attempt to do so with yourself. Take yourself on a date, sit and meditate for a while, explore the hidden parts of where you live without carrying a phone; find out who you are when you’re not performing at work, with your family, friends, people at your yoga class. When the door is locked and the curtains are drawn, who are you? When you take the time to actually listen to what your mind and body wants, you might find out that you’re a very different person to who you thought you were, and that’s okay.

Instagram: @florencegiven

Spending time alone allows us to recognise our true desires, and with that we form not only a better relationship with ourselves, but with others too. You cannot love another person when you do not love yourself. You may have heard of the cup metaphor- you can’t pour into someone else’s cup if yours is empty; that takes us into the dangerous realm of co-dependency. Instead, make sure your own cup is full. Make time each day to do something that truly makes you happy. Get to know yourself, recognise your own boundaries and work on both your professional and personal goals. Then you can start thinking about pouring from your own cup; for you know that no matter how much you give, your cup will never run dry.

Self-love has never been more important, and unfortunately, co-dependency has never been more dangerous. Start making a real effort to get to know yourself, take yourself out on a date, take time to cook and eat foods that make you feel good, work out where you want to be in 5 years. Start now. The ball is in your court.

Last modified: 11th October 2020

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