Embracing Solitude and Stillness in a Hectic World

“Good hustle!” is a cheer most of us have been hearing—and internalizing—since we were children. And while it seems an appropriate way to encourage a child who played poorly but tried hard on the soccer field or basketball court, the idea we’ve all carried into adulthood that “hustle” is inherently good is a paradigm that bears examining.

This paradigm doesn’t just dominate our day-to-day working lives. Even on our vacations, we focus on the things we want to do, hustling from one adventure to the next, packing in as many unforgettable experiences as we can before we have to return to real life… and hustle some more. 

When was the last time you abandoned what there is to do, and just let yourself be?

Mount Hayden Backcountry Lodge is, of course, a great landing spot for all kinds of backcountry adventurers, but the longer we’re here, the more we see and experience the value of simply being here

When chef/owner Eric Johnson first left his home and career in Boulder, CO to build a ski lodge in the Colorado backcountry, he knew it would be a stellar base camp for skiers and backpackers. 

What he didn’t know was how much more was available to himself and his guests by truly embracing the solitude and stillness of the alpine wilderness.

Here are our top 7 reasons for opting out of the hustle and in to the magic of being still.

1. Connecting with Nature Provides a Breather for Your Overloaded Brain

With work, family, social commitments, and the ceaseless buzz of technology, it’s easy to forget the importance of slowing down and finding a moment of solitude. Much like your web browser, your mind has 20 open tabs with notifications popping up every few seconds. 

Taking a break from the constant onslaught of information gives your brain a chance to defragment, process, and make sense of the chaos.

A glimpse of the lodge in its original cabin state. Now envision a new sustainable wing to the left of the cabin above.

2. Stillness and Rest Relieve Stress

Remember those childhood days when a timeout was a punishment? Well, it turns out timeouts are a gift to your adult self. 

When you embrace solitude and stillness, your body eases off the gas pedal, reducing stress hormones and calming your nervous system. It’s like a warm hug for your frazzled nerves.

3. Solitude Boosts Creativity

Ever had a brilliant idea strike when you were in the shower or on a solitary walk? That’s the magic of solitude at play. Without distractions, your brain gets the freedom to wander, connect dots, and serve up some creativity on a silver platter. Your eureka moments are often hiding in the tranquility of solitude.

4. The Wilderness Provides a Stage for Self-Discovery

Solitude isn’t just about being alone; it’s about getting to know yourself better. In the absence of external noise, you can hear the whispers of your inner thoughts and feelings. 

This self-awareness can lead to expansive personal growth, helping you understand your goals, values, and what truly makes you tick.

5. Rest Energizes You

In our productivity-obsessed world, doing nothing seems like a cardinal sin. But really, doing nothing sometimes is the ultimate something. It’s in those moments of stillness that you recharge, refocus, and re-emerge as a more centered, energized version of yourself.

6. Time Spent Solo Improves Relationships

Ironically, embracing solitude can improve your connections with others. When you take time for yourself, you show up in your relationships as a more present, engaged, and patient version of yourself. 

You’re not just physically there; you’re fully there, listening, understanding, and connecting on a deeper level.

7. Seclusion Builds Resilience

Life is a rollercoaster, and solitude equips you with the emotional armor to ride it. When you’re comfortable with your own company, you become more resilient in facing life’s ups and downs. You learn to navigate challenges with grace and emerge from adversity stronger than ever.

Discover the Positive Effects of Solitude at the Mount Hayden Backcountry Lodge.

The San Juan backcountry is the perfect place to ditch the hustle, disconnect from your gadgets (although we do have Starlink internet and believe there’s value in working in solitude, too!), and connect with yourself. 

You’ll find that in the stillness of solitude, you recharge your mental batteries, nurture your creativity, and discover a stronger, more centered you.Plan your solo retreat into the alpine wilderness, and welcome the magic of stillness as you press the reset button on your soul.