Recently, I had the opportunity to get away to a writers’ retreat at a resort situated on Falcon Lake, Manitoba. The few days nestled in a cabin in the woods were just what I needed to recharge my batteries for daily life. I attended the retreat with few expectations, wanting to allow myself to truly unwind.

Ten writers gathered together for two full days of inspiration, writing, and sharing. It was nice to be with like-minded people. I laughed to myself as I observed the other social introverts around me. Our small group was made up of kindred spirits. We each seemed comfortable with engaging in the activities and conversation that ensued. It was also a gift to have the freedom to choose not to participate in certain activities. One afternoon, I chose to listen to my weary body and rest in my quiet cabin.

Solitude’s a rare gem in today’s fast-paced society. We’re pushed to constantly engage with others via email, texts, and social mediaSolitude’s a rare gem in today’s fast-paced society. We’re pushed to constantly engage with others via email, texts, and social mediaSolitude’s a rare gem in today’s fast-paced society. We’re pushed to constantly engage with others via email, texts, and social media. I’ve often heard people say they don’t know what they’d do if they actually had some down time. Are you one of those people who’d be uncomfortable if your pace of life came to a halt? How often do you engage in true moments of solitude? Do you turn off all your devices, take a walk in nature, or lie down in complete silence?

I think solitude, for me, comes down to the question of being comfortable with myself. Can I quiet all (or most) of the noise around me? Will I allow myself to think deeply about my life without seeking others’ expertise or opinions? Do I take the time to fully rest the way my body needs?

After returning from the retreat, I’m determined to integrate moments of solitude into my daily life. I’ve practiced daily gratitude for many years and now I realize how important it is for me to add in solitude. Yes, it’s nice to get away for a few days in the woods but I can also experience those quiet moments in the midst of my everyday life. It’s important for me to step back from what feels like a chaotic world, breathe deeply, rest, and be quiet. Then I will be recharged to re-enter the world of responsibilities and demands. How would you and those around you benefit from doing the same?