10/15/2013 03:21 pm ET Updated Dec 15, 2013

Spend Some Time in Solitude

"There are voices which we hear in solitude, but they grow faint and inaudible as we enter into the world." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

How often do you allow yourself to experience real solitude? I mean time that you consciously choose to spend alone? Time that you've carved out purely for yourself?

Hmmm, I thought so.

For those of us rarely alone, those of us who give of ourselves to others in our work and our family lives, creating time for solitude can seem like an impossible task. If we are to do so we must do it with determination. Even those who live alone can fill their time with busyness and ignore the very real benefits of consciously being in solitude.

The importance of solitude

We give ourselves the chance to think about our lives in greater depth -- a time for contemplation and self-reflection

We notice and become aware of the world around us

We become more creative in our thinking

It's an opportunity to really think about our needs

Dare I say it... we learn to appreciate ourselves more

We de-stress when we choose some time in solitude -- it is literally good for our health

We reconnect with our core -- who we really are

Solitude needn't be about sitting in the lotus position and saying Om. Here are some things that I do when I choose to have reflective and nourishing time on my own:

  1. Keep a journal -- 15 minutes a day
  2. Walk in my local park at a time when I'm not going to bump into people
  3. I wake earlier and now no longer fight it! I get up before my son needs to rise in order to sit and drink my tea in silence -- meditating would be stretching the truth; I'm happy to sit and simply be still.
  4. Go to bed early in order to read alone
  5. Listen to classical music -- for me, it's Bach's Cello Suites -- instant calm

Sometimes we need to snatch these moments, even it it means locking the bathroom door for a soak in the bath, painting our toenails without interruption, walking the dog around the block for 10 minutes or stopping for coffee in a cafe with a book (make sure it's not one where you'll bump into friends!). Does this sound self-indulgent, or vital for your sanity? Really ask yourself that question!

Did you read the quote at the start of this piece? Take another look. This so resonates with me. What thoughts are in your head right now as you read this? I'm curious to know.

What will it take for you to commit to creating some time of solitude for yourself this week?

Will you struggle in doing so? How can you learn to put yourself on the priority list?

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Rebecca Perkins is an author, coach, and speaker. Connect with Rebecca on her website, Facebook and Twitter

This post is part of a series produced by The Huffington Post in conjunction with our women's conference, "The Third Metric: Redefining Success Beyond Money & Power," which took place in New York on June 6, 2013. To read all of the posts in the series and learn more about the conference, click here. Join the conversation on Twitter #ThirdMetric.