Solitude is being alone in your own head space; enjoying your own company, and giving yourself quality time to reflect. Usually you are physically separate from others. Solitude is a positive state, and you can feel its positive effects being beneficial for you. The benefits of solitude include being able to:
Most people can be in solitude for hours, others for a few days. It is rare for people to be in true solitude for much longer, as you are no longer in solitude if you start dwelling on negative thoughts, feeling alone, feeling socially or emotionally isolated.
It’s an acquired skill being able to be in a state of healthy solitude, and balancing the time of gaining benefit for yourself rather than actively avoiding people in an unhealthy way.
Loneliness NZ uses the term solitude to convey when a person is coping well with being alone (whether they are grappling with another issue or not).
We help people value solitude, and how to achieve solitude in a sustainable way. For more information, see ‘I’m feeling lonely‘.
One way to further understand what solitude means is to explore related terminology (by selecting one of the coloured rectangles below).
These terms may or may not overlap with the meaning of solitude, but give further insight into the nature of being alone, loneliness and various forms of isolation.