Many have found themselves forced to stay at home, alongside other family members or roommates. And while the creature comforts of home seem all well and good, when you have to share the space with others you see 24/7, it can actually begin to feel a bit stifling and make you feel cooped up. And while you cherish the extra time you get to spend with people you love and appreciate, you soon come to realize that alone time is very much needed. Introverts, especially, will agree!
Whether you live with a roomie in a small two-bedroom apartment or with a partner and kids in a spacious home, finding alone time can be tough. So, how do you do it? Here are nine ways to carve out more alone time when you don’t live alone.
1. Create a Morning Ritual
Create a morning ritual to give yourself some alone time. Roll out of bed still in your cotton pajamas and take a few moments to meditate or transition straight into some workout leggings and go for a quick run to clear your thoughts. Or you could write your daily or weekly intentions in a journal as you enjoy some freshly brewed coffee. You could also turn a morning ritual into an evening ritual, if you prefer. Close the door to the bathroom and indulge in a skin care routine or face mask. Next, get into bed, light a candle and read until you are ready for sleep. Whatever ritual you choose, find something that’s truly your own, allowing you to escape.
2. Wake Up Earlier
The early bird gets the worm. Or alone time, in this case. Wake up before the rest of your housemates, if you can manage, and you can carve in some much-needed alone time. Even if it’s just 30 minutes before, it’s ample time to enjoy the peace and quiet as you pour a cup of coffee, read a chapter from your book or whatever activity you choose! Plus, you may even get to experience the sunrise, which can bring inspiration and motivation to your day.
3. Set Physical Boundaries
When you need to carve out more alone time and recharge, use physical boundaries. For instance, while your partner or housemate is on a phone call in the living room, retreat to the bedroom for some quiet peace and relaxation. In some situations, it’s also worth being honest and having a conversation. Tell them you need some space and boundaries and, together, choose areas that are best for each of you to work. Also, let your partner or housemate know when you have your morning or evening alone-time rituals. Unless you’re an extreme extrovert, everyone needs their space from time to time. They will understand!
4. Find Quiet Movement
Get out of the house and get some fresh air. But don’t just go for a walk. While the walk is a convenient way to sneak in some light exercise, use this time to set your intentions for the day. Reconnect with yourself and your goals, getting inspired through motivational podcasts or even your own mantras. It’s the perfect way to carve out more alone time, but to also center your swirling thoughts.
5. Keep a List of Alone Time Activities
Once you find that spare moment of alone time, make sure it doesn’t go to waste. Keep a list of alone time activities that you enjoy doing solo. Whether it’s to catch up on the latest Netflix binge or to write in your journal at the park, have a list of activities that you can turn to when you suddenly find yourself happily all alone. If you can find a way to schedule out the activities for an hour or afternoon, even better!
6. Get Lost in a Crowd
Alone time doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be totally alone. If you prefer to hear chatter, you can still be “alone” and practice solitude in a bustling cafe, market, park or any other type of crowd. While you’re not exactly alone, the background noise will leave you in peace. Essentially, it carves out more alone time and freedom to do as you please without someone lingering about or looking over your shoulder.
7. Be Honest About Your Alone Time Needs
Be forthright about your alone time needs. Explain to your partner or housemate that while you always appreciate their company, it’s nothing personal and you just need some space. Communication is a crucial part of a healthy relationship. And you never know–they might be feeling the same way! Simply tell the person that you have scheduled some plans, emphasizing that it’s a solo activity.
8. Dedicate Quality Time to Socializing
When you don’t live alone and desperately need to be alone, you worry over hurting feelings or sending the wrong message. It’s important to talk to one another and set some physical boundaries, but sometimes the guilt is still there. This is why it’s important to dedicate quality time to the person you live with–whether it’s a partner, roommate or parent. When you make time for them, it proves that you’re not annoyed or angry or frustrated and that you love spending time with them. But more so, that you simply need some find time for yourself. It’s nothing personal.
9. Go to Bed Early
Just as you might wake up early to sneak in some alone time, it’s important to go to bed early, too. While they’re still binge-watching the latest TV show, take advantage of this time to create some solace in a quiet bedroom. For example, you could make a soothing cup of hot tea and curl up in bed with a good book or take a long relaxing bath as you sip on some wine and listen to music. Whatever gets you some time alone!