Since you've landed on this page, you're either looking for a life devoted to mere prayer and spirituality, or you've had enough of looking on Facebook for selfies or witnessing the self-destruction of governments. Either way, the intricacies of hermitage are the same. Are you ready for a life of near seclusion, durability and ingenuity? Do you want to discover that?
Part 1 of 3: Discover what suits you
Step 1. Ask yourself why you want to become a hermit
What are you trying to get out of or get done? If you have no real purpose, your hermitage will be nothing more than a passing phase. Is it a temporary expression of rebellion? Is this to avoid certain individuals or people in general? Is it some kind of stretched "time out" for yourself? Do you feel like you are being called to become a hermit in a spiritual way? What are your personal motives?
Is it the enticing thought of not having to associate with others or the simple lifestyle that attracts you? Does it seem like a passing phase or is it something you've had in the back of your mind for years? Is it a symptom of a bigger problem? Or is it the only solution?
Step 2. Decide how much you want to be a hermit
Being a hermit doesn't mean you can't get out of the house. Many such people simply interact with the outside world or even live with another person. More than half live in urban areas. Now that you know that there is a certain spectrum within hermitage, where do you think you fall?
In today's world it is difficult to be completely self-sufficient. Do you want to build your own house. grow your own food and build your own well with water pipes? Or would you rather stay in your apartment and have Chinese food come over? Both are their own version of secluded living
Step 3. Decide on your home
To stay in the spirit of the hermitage it is probably best to choose a place that is hidden, small and modest. It's even better if it's environmentally friendly. The more rural and secluded, the better. But if you have a place in the middle of Manhattan, that's fine too (make sure your house has soundproof windows).
As for the interior, hermits will usually live simply. Some have cable, computers and internet, while others spend hours praying, gardening and being completely cut off from the outside world. If you decide to become a hermit in order to free yourself from the evils and temptations of society, then it is a good idea to prune through your possessions and all the superfluous things coming from the world around you, to delete
Step 4. Think about how you disappear from view
Do you want to stop at once? Just waking up one day, you look at your bedroom door and you just can't get out of bed? Or are you gradually limiting yourself, claiming an increasing amount of time for "yourself" as the days go by? Even better… how do you convey this to others?
How do you become a hermit without upsetting your whole family? Well, in short, it doesn't work. They won't be so fond of you refusing to live the life "normal" people do. If you're concerned about this, you can start to ease their concerns by explaining the situation and why. Hopefully they understand. And, if you're comfortable with that, tell them you'll stay in touch. Just because you're a hermit doesn't mean you'll never see them again
Step 5. Consider your mental health
If you never want to see other people again (which isn't how most recluses do), you may be suffering from some form of avoidant personality disorder (OPS), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or other undiagnosed mental health issues. For example, the two disorders mentioned can cause you to feel a strong need to avoid people (which can also occur with social anxiety disorder, but to a lesser extent). Is all this possible?
See a therapist if you're considering cutting off all contact with people. It will give friends and family some breathing room and you owe it to yourself to make sure you are not trying to cure a mental illness yourself
Part 2 of 3: Getting ready
Step 1. Make sure you have enough money
Unless you work from home and are somehow able to have a job that doesn't provide you with extreme cognitive dissonance related to your lifestyle, you probably won't have a significant, steady income. And you most likely still need money to survive! It's significantly less money than you need, but you always need some money. Where does that come from?
You still exist. You may still have to pay taxes and your student loan will not just go away. You also still need power, electricity (probably?), water (absolutely), and whatever minimum and essential requirements you need. You can try to plant a vegetable garden with nothing more than your bare hands and be thankful for the rain, but that will be quite a challenge
Step 2. Stock up on the things you need
Because for, say, you always stay where you are, it is wise to stock up on whatever you need. Then, in the best case scenario, you can go out once a month to get eggs and bread, or an annual waste of time at the local supermarket for stocking powdered milk, spices, etc. Supermarkets can now often deliver to your home, but that is work you prefer to avoid.
Think about what you would take with you if you went on a trip to a third world country and stayed away for a month. razor blades? Shampoo? Deodorant? Toothpaste? Books? Batteries? Muesli bars? The idea here is to work so thoroughly that you have stockpiled everything you need, stored in your humble abode
Step #3. Unplug yourself
Okay, this is the moment you've been waiting for. Deactivate your Facebook account, post another 140-character goodbye message on Twitter, spend 5 last seconds snapchat, hand in your mobile, drive over your laptop with your lawnmower, and enjoy the peace and quiet. Finished. You are now nothing more than a memory on the internet. Congratulations.
Okay, you can keep your phone. You will have to have pizza delivered anyway. And you can also have cable and internet if you like, but you won't really reap the spiritual benefits of being a hermit if you stay online. So, there's no hermit community that will pass you by (a strange idea in itself), but you won't get the most out of a secluded life that way
Step 4. Make your environment sustainable
Since you're largely dependent on yourself and no one else, it's important to make sure you have everything you need to hand. Plant a garden! Build a country house! Invest in a bicycle! Buy a zipper of oil lamps! If it's durable, then it's good.
Again, you need to know this yourself. But the more sustainable your environment is, the more you will enjoy being a hermit. Years will pass without you realizing it. What do you need to create the life you want to live?
Step 5. Develop skills
All that time you have to think about life and your own existence? You will have to kill it! So pick up your paintbrush (made from a twig and your own hair) and start painting. Learn to fight with the Bo fighting stick. Learn to have a simple conversation in another language. Keep a journal. Examine the plants in your garden. Learn to garden. sewing. The list is almost endless.
At least learn the skills you need to make your life as a hermit easier. This includes learning to sew, cook, garden, kill spiders, do odd jobs, etc. Being a hermit is a lot easier when independent living isn't a problem. You can do the laundry, right?
Step 6. Love yourself
Do you know why? Because you are literally the only one you deal with 24/7. If you don't like yourself, that's pretty annoying company. Annoying company that never goes away. It is possible to drive yourself completely crazy, which is a situation that comes to nothing and you would like to avoid. If you don't like yourself, that can happen.
Being a hermit is not something that lasts for three months. It's a life choice that has a lot of happiness to offer. Usually this takes place in the second half of a person's life, but can be done by anyone at any time. So before you start isolating yourself from everyone but yourself, make sure "you" is on your side
Step 7. Find a hermit helper
It's like a personal assistant, but in a more poetic way. Sometimes you need someone to deliver groceries to your door, to help you with a clogged toilet, to bring you a pesticide, or to help you when you've fallen and broken your leg. It's just sensible. Make sure there is a link to the outside world – you may end up desperately needing it.
You don't have to see them if you don't want to, but you should be able to contact them. In general, the phone is the easiest way. If this goes against your principles then that is understandable; but, having a phone is not the same as using it. Make sure you have a phone in case of an emergency. And yes, this could just be a landline phone. They still have it
Part 3 of 3: Reaping the fruits and making sacrifices
Step 1. Spend your time wisely
Now that you're no longer working, no longer having to fulfill obligations to others and no longer having to worry about how your hair is, the question is, what are you going to do with your time?! If you are like most hermits, you will spend a lot of time meditating, praying and enjoying the simple things in life. It's about time!
- You probably have more time than you think. You can get up when you want, sleep when you want, and transition into a natural cycle of productivity. Decide what time is best for "you" to sleep, eat, and exercise. Now that your schedule is your own again, you have no reason not to get the most out of your productivity.
- Use this to develop all those skills you wish you had more time for in your cookie-cutter past. Juggling! Plant roses! Bake your own bread! So many wikiHow articles you could research!
Step 2. Dress simply
You're a not-so-great example of a recluse if you walk around the house every day in a pair of Manolo Blahniks. Technically you may be a hermit, but the principle of a hermit's lifestyle is to read minimalistic, steer clear of superfluous desires and luxuries. You don't have to make your own clothes if you don't want to, but keep your wardrobe as standard as possible.
If Ke$ha can make garbage chic, then you can make being a hermit chic. But again with the suitcase metaphor: choose one or two pieces of clothing for every possible situation you can find yourself in. That's all you need! When they're worn out, well, by then you've learned to mend clothes. Hey, what a nice transition to the next step
Step 3. Watch for loneliness
When was the last time you spent days without seeing another human being? Yes, the world sucks, people are horrible, and the human race has been around for far too long, but that doesn't mean the loneliness won't creep in. When it does happen to you, how do you deal with it?
- Many hermits have a small network of people they like to keep in touch with. You can, very conveniently, keep one or two people on hand who can lift your gloomy mood when it arises. Just make sure you get this done before you begin your hermitage! It's a lot harder to make friends if you're already living according to the hermit's principle.
- Here's another point: abstinence. You won't be able to do it for a long time. Never before. Do you think that's okay?
Step 4. Connect with other hermits
Crazy, isn't it? But it exists. They even have a real newsletter. Everyone needs someone who understands what they are going through. It's not something you do yourself or on a regular basis, but reading a pamphlet certainly compensates for an otherwise bleak social existence.
Just having a few people on your side doesn't mean you lose credibility as a hermit. If J. D. Salinger had to cross a bridge to get into town to pick up his mail, so can you. People are necessary to live. Just like dieting -- if you want to stop right away, you'll fail. Take a bite every now and then (not in a cannibalistic sense)
Step 5. Know that the world can offer you a reputation
When the children from the area peek in and leave something for you in the knot of a tree, you can rest assured that people are talking about you. It will be revealed at some point that a hermit lives in the area and lo and behold, that is you. This doesn't have to affect you if you don't allow it, but if at some point you want to visit the outside world again, it will be a challenge. Are you ready for that?
If you're eager to get paid work again or even make friends, you can expect justified rejection. Hermits are simply "not understood" in today's world. Why would anyone want to say goodbye to the joys of modern life?! "Once you leave home, you can never return," is a phrase to remember. Is it worth it? Perhaps
- There is no need to stop going out at all. You're trying to be a hermit, not a thoroughly buried corpse! True hermits in ancient times spent a lot of time outdoors and occasionally had visitors as well. It's good to see kisses every now and then, and maybe some people too.
- Be prepared to tell people exactly why you became a hermit. The calmer and more reasonable you are about it, the more people will understand that they should leave you alone.
- Don't flaunt your hermitage, whatever you do.
- People will probably start to get a little concerned. Be firm but reassuring.