For me, solitude is a nice, relaxing time with peace of mind. If you are surrounded by others 24/7, you most likely feel an unwanted stress that can only be relieved with some alone time. The amount of time you should spend alone is related to how much of an introvert versus extrovert you are. Introverts tend to be more shy, and alone time is welcomed often. Extroverts love to socialize often and not much alone time is sought after. Whether you are introverted or extroverted, there are always times when you need to be alone.
Solitude can be a welcoming time to pray, brainstorm, analyze yourself as a person, rest your head for a nap, or some spending time doing your favorite hobby. Human beings have many needs such as food, shelter, clothing, socialization, and love, but all people also need solitude. Without solitude, a person never has a time to relax from the stress of life and contemplate their own life.
I am somewhat introverted myself. I prefer a mixture of solitude and socialization. I cherish both, but solitude allows me to think and focus without being bothered or forced into stressful situations. In my own life, I take great pleasure in the stress relief and solitude I receive after a long period of time babysitting my three-year-old nephew. I love my nephew dearly, but a hyperactive toddler drains your energy and can be stressful after ten hours. Once he is in bed, I have my solitude to relax from temper-tantrums, constantly keeping him entertained, and keeping an eye out to make sure he doesn’t get into something that may injure him. When it comes to life, you need a release that can only occur with some solo time.
If you are working a 12 hour shift in say, a department store, you need the solitude after a long day of interaction with possibly hundreds of people. You become burnt out, and keep eye-balling the clock, anticipating going home. Even at home, it may be hard to find solitude, especially with children as I alluded to earlier.
If you are married, you should spend time with your spouse as often as possible, but you should also each have your own time. No matter who you are around, too much interaction creates stress. Not enough time alone can result in disagreements that lead to arguments, and then your alone time is plagued with stress over arguments.
Solitude is your chance to recover from stress. Solitude is something to be enjoyed when needed. Many people have little time for solitude, and studies have shown that stress levels are increased. Somehow in your schedule, make some alone time, if only for 15 minutes a day. Those 15 minutes allow you to clear your mind. Meditation or prayer is helpful to relax, especially when you are on a time crunch. Solitude may sound like a negative word. Think of solitude as “your time” no matter your lifestyle. You will greatly appreciate that time, especially if life is a hectic schedule.