Find Your Solo Space
Marie Claire - UK|September 2019
Find Your Solo Space

No matter how many friends, family, kids or partners you have in your life, spending time alone is not just a decadent luxury – it’s essential for well-being and personal growth. Time to put yourself first

Anna Hart

‘All you need to know about paddleboarding is: keep your eyes fixed on the horizon and avoid looking at your feet or you’ll fall in.’

It was armed with this advice from a fellow hotel guest that I experienced one of those rare moments we travel many miles for, and spend thousands trying to create. Alone on an Austrian lake, doing something I’d never done before, I drank in a beautifully balanced cocktail of excitement and contentment, intermingling with pride and pleasure. I felt my shoulders slacken, my brow unfurrow and a weight lift from my soul.

You know all those annoying people who urge us to be ‘in the moment’? I finally knew what they meant. This shock of joy was particularly precious, because two weeks prior, the thought of being ‘present’, let alone feeling pleasure, was unthinkable.

In the run-up to a deadline for completing my book, I’d worked 14-hour days and barely slept, and all my usual self-care rituals that keep me sane – yoga, running, eating well – had gone out the window. They felt alien, like they would never belong to me again; I felt like a brittle husk of my former self, with no glow to my skin, no conversation to contribute, no spring in my step. My suspension was shot, and I was rattled by every little bump in the road of life.

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September 2019