Finding alone time is important. But that can be really difficult in the age of social distancing where you work, relax, and hangout all in the same spot with your family or roommates. While some people are struggling with isolation, it can be hard to find time alone if you live with family or a significant other. So here are a couple thoughts on finding time to yourself.
It is important to set up boundaries around alone time, since we are all a little bit more in each other’s space than usual. So be sure to have conversations about what each of your needs are around alone time. You need to have these conversations regardless of how well you know each other. This is a situation that you have never been in before.
And do not encroach on each other’s time. Obviously, once you know each other’s boundaries you do not want to cross any lines. If you have kids, make sure to give each other breaks. It would be too easy to never really have a moment with the kids always needing something. One of you take the kids for a while, and make sure you actually each get time to yourself. Here is an article on finding alone time as a parent.
Do something with your alone time that recharges you. I think that the term “self-care” has often just become a shorthand for being lazy. It might sound counterintuitive, but being completely passive is most likely going to make that worn out feeling worse. We all need lazy days. But if you are feeling tired, zoning out in front of the tv is probably not going to re-energize you.
Work on that fun project that you have been putting off. Exercise, get your blood flowing a bit. Dive into one of your hobbies that you do not normally get to spend much time on. Time itself is good, but you also want to make sure that you get what you need out of that time.
Plan for Alone Time
Last, and this might sound obvious, but plan your time alone. Life can be hectic and crazy. In my experience, I do not find time for anything. Time has to be made. So that means I cannot wait until it is convenient to take care of myself. I have to make the time. It does not always mean relaxing and having fun doing whatever you want. Real self-care is a matter of priorities.
Think about it in terms of anything that requires upkeep. Cars require routine maintenance. Bike parts need to be replaced from time to time. Sometimes real self-care involves putting in a little work. It is more than just relaxing. Sometimes, self-care is a conscious effort to do something that you know is good for you. So it might actually take some work, but plan when you will have alone time.
If you are looking for help during these strange times give The Marriage & Family Clinic a call.
About the Author
Ryan Hicks is a licensed therapist and marriage counselor at The Marriage and Family Clinic in Denver, Colorado. He specializes in working with couples in high conflict and working with couples in the LGBTQ community. When he’s not working with couples, you’ll find him rock climbing or taking in the great outdoors of Colorado