Thriving as a single woman

Embracing solitude

May 5, 2021
Posted by Karen Strang Allen

I have had a love-hate relationship with solitude for most of my life.

When I was a child, we lived in (very) rural New Brunswick, down a long laneway in a small red bungalow surrounded by maple and birch trees. I loved the privacy of where we lived, the freedom to run around in the wind catching leaves with no one watching, the ability to sing in the blueberry patch with no one listening.

I also, at times, felt excruciatingly lonely. I wrote a song about loneliness when I was only 9, feeling like an outcast with family members, living too far away from friends to easily access them. My stuffed animals kept me company, but even they weren’t enough at times to compensate for feeling so alone.

Since my youth, I’ve been alone more than I anticipated. I was widowed at 22 and then moved to Ottawa, where I knew only a few people, so spent most of those first years on my own. I eventually remarried, but we divorced when I was 35, and so I’ve lived alone for most of the past decade, with my kids for company half of the time (and now a small Morkie named Bailey).

Suffice it to say, life didn’t quite go as planned and I’ve experienced more solitude than I had imagined.

But here’s the thing…it also wasn’t all bad. There have been some tremendous gifts in spending so much time alone, and I’ve learned (for the most part) to embrace solitude.

Are there aspects I still don’t like? Sure, especially during a pandemic! Being single during lock-down sometimes feels very isolating. I miss hugs and interaction with friends, snuggles and long, deep conversations with a partner, and fun public gatherings.

But mostly, being alone has been positive, even transformative for me.

The benefits of being alone

Here are some of the many benefits I’ve experienced from spending time alone that you may want to consider if you find yourself in similar circumstances:

1. Hearing yourself ― When we’re with others a lot, we sometimes don’t notice now noisy it gets. We can barely hear our own thoughts anymore, much less differentiate our own judgment from societal pressures to conform. When you get away from the chatter and ceaseless opinions, you can really tune into your own thoughts – what do you really think and believe? And how do you feel? Can you allow yourself the space to experience your own emotions and body’s signals without judging them? Can you be compassionate towards yourself when you’re hurting or lonely or afraid? Can you respond kindly to your emotions, and give yourself the comfort and nurturing you need?

2. Re-discovering yourself ― Solitude gives you the ability to deeply connect with yourself, and rediscover what you enjoy and what matters to you. When you’re alone, you don’t need validation from others…the only person who needs to approve of your decisions is you. So, you can use this quiet time to explore who you really are and what you really want for yourself. You can embrace your creativity, try new things, and take on a DIY project. What seems fun to you? What makes you feel joyful and alive?

3. Re-prioritizing your life ― Slowing down the pace of life creates space to breathe and consider whether things are the way you want them to be or not. If not, you can re-prioritize, and determine what needs to change. Who would you like to reconnect with? What new goal do you want to achieve, or skill do you want to learn? Is there a habit that isn’t serving you that needs to be changed? It’s like hitting the reset button, allowing you to start over with a clean slate, creating the life you want from scratch.

4. Re-connecting with source ― Solitude gives us a tremendous gift….the opportunity to explore and embrace quiet and stillness. To realize that underneath the business of life is a peaceful, serene space where you can simply be. One of the main reasons we resist being alone is we see it as a “nothing” place, and yet it’s in this void that we can reconnect with our true divine essence, our higher spirit. By connecting with source energy regularly, we begin to experience a state of flow and transcendence that is hard to experience surrounded by people and noise and constant doingness. It gives us a chance to truly rest and recharge, instead of draining our energy with constant movement.

5. Appreciating the little things ― One of the true gifts of this pandemic is that we are starting to notice and appreciate things on a whole new level. Like the beauty and magic in trees blossoming and flowers blooming and birds returning to sing their lovely tunes in spring. Like the joy in human connection. Like the comfort of a dog’s affection. Like the sheer ecstasy of live music or travelling to explore new places. These are things we often took for granted before, but spending some quiet time alone changes our level of gratitude for life’s pleasures and anticipation of them returning.

Making the most of your time alone

Here’s the thing about solitude…it doesn’t last forever. This too shall pass. There will come a time again when you’re surrounded by people (and perhaps even feeling suffocated by it).

So for now, try reframing your time alone. Instead of seeing it as “lonely” time, think of it as “me time” or “reflection” time or “recharging” time. When we change the way we look at (and talk about) solitude, our experience of it begins to shift.

Sure, you may still have moments of feeling lonely, that is a normal part of the human experience. But loneliness doesn’t have to be your permanent state of being. And it would be a shame to wish away alone time that can actually be very healing and transformative.

Look at solitude as an opportunity for deeper self-awareness, greater connection to source, and increased self-love and self-care, and you’ll no longer resist this period of being alone…you’ll being to embrace it.

Share your ideas

What positives have you experienced from being alone? Please share!

1 Comment

  1. shewrite63

    Loneliness is temporary.
    Solitude is underrated 🙂
    Thank you,



  1. Overcoming loneliness | Silver Linings - […] Embracing solitude […]
  2. Summer fun as a single! | Silver Linings - […] Embracing solitude […]

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

If you’d like to join a global community of single women who want to heal, feel empowered and support each other, I invite you to join my Empowered Single Women – loving life and attracting love Facebook group

About the author

Karen Strang Allen

Karen is a love and empowerment coach for single women. Widowed at 22 and separated at 35, Karen’s mission is to help single women feel great about who they are and create a life they love so they attract their dream partner. 

Learn More about Karen