Skip to main content

EXTRACT: 5 Minute Therapy by Sarah Crosby

By March 19, 2021March 20th, 2021No Comments

Our extract this week is from Sarah Crosby, aka The Mind Geek’s 5-Minute Therapy, an incredibly insightful and relevant book seeing many of us through lockdown number 548…



Another really important thing to do on the journey to knowing yourself better is simply to spend a little time by yourself. Before I lose you, I’m not suggesting you either Eat, Pray, Love your way around the world or Witherspoon your way across the Pacific Coast Trail. (Although let’s be honest, who hasn’t thought of it?)

Spending some time with yourself may sound like the last thing you want to do. And the idea of solo time may even feel frightening. You might associate solitude with isolation, but solitude and loneliness aren’t the same thing.

We tend to worry about what will confront us in the stillness of alone time. With the rise of individualism and increasing emphasis on creating our own empires, stillness is regularly conflated with stagnation. If we’re still, then we’re not working toward the production of something ‘greater’, something ‘better’, something more lucrative. This, of course, is a myth, but the implicit messages we receive from society cast long shadows.

Making some regular time for yourself is a deeply nourishing practice and a great way to cultivate a strong sense of who you are, away from life’s usual distractions. In a world where we overwork, spread ourselves thin, distract ourselves with social media, podcasts and other external stimuli, and fill every pocket of silence with noise, solitude is something we have to practise.

Yet we all have the capacity to sit with ourselves, so it isn’t about an inability, a laziness or not having the time. Instead, most of us fear that by sitting with our feelings, something uncomfortable will bubble up to the surface that we won’t be able to control. We all walk around with undigested emotions, undigested anxiety and sadness. This might not come from ‘big things’; it could just be the slights we receive daily, such as moments of misunderstanding or disconnection with people close to us. Allowing dedicated space for the emotional accumulations of your day therefore mitigates the longer-term storm that tends to accompany avoidance.

Solo time doesn’t have to be spent sitting in meditation, although meditation is a wonderful practice. You can use the time to do anything you truly want to do.

Ideas of Ways to Spend Your Solo Time:

* Flex your creative muscles by doing some drawing or writing

* Engage in self-reflection with the mental notes for this chapter

* Go for a walk (preferably without your headphones)

* Feel into nature; take off your shoes and socks, and plant your feet on the grass or soil

* Create a morning ritual – rise, stretch, make a tea, journal, set your intention for the day and select an affirmation

* Wean yourself off technology by creating pockets of time in the day when you’re device-free. Begin by giving yourself five minutes in the morning; then extend this when possible


While it’s important to practise the art of solitude, it’s also important to prevent feelings of loneliness. There’s a big difference between the two.

More than ever before, a lot of people in today’s busy world are experiencing feelings of loneliness. Even if we live in the heart of a city, surrounded by people, it’s possible to feel lonelier and more isolated than we do when in solitude. Studies continue to emerge detailing the effects of loneliness on both our physical and mental health, with younger adults reporting loneliness more than any other age group. The social spaces where we once connected are dissolving, and sparking up a conversation face-to-face with a relative stranger is often met with suspicion and reservation, especially in city commute scenarios.

This becomes a bigger problem when society starts wrapping self-isolation in a cloak called ‘self- care’.

Stay in. Cancel. Cut off. Of course, there are times when these measures are absolutely necessary for our wellbeing, whereas in other moments it is connection that is essential.

After all, we can discover a lot about who we are when we’re in the company of others. If you circle back to the original script and the supportive script above, you can see just how much of our patterns, our reactions and our curiosity emerge by simply being in the presence of others.

It can sometimes be difficult to nudge yourself out the door. It’s becoming less ‘natural’ for us to step outside and let the fresh air blow the cobwebs away. But self-discovery doesn’t have to solely be a solitary endeavour. In fact, it can’t be. Occasionally, we need to nudge ourselves back toward connection – with others as well as ourselves.


How am I feeling?

Do I feel lonely?

What would be best for me right now?

When was the last time I went for coffee with someone?

How busy have I been in work lately?

Tune into your intuition. Although you might want to spend the day beneath the duvet, what is your gut telling you?

5 Minute Therapy, by Sarah Crosby, is published by Cornerstone.

Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash