Even in a pandemic, alone time is important. Here are 5 polite ways to ask for it.
These past five months have been weird. The pandemic has us feeling lonely and in our heads, as if we’re missing out something, making it difficult for us to stop reminiscing about our pre-COVID lives and all the stuff we took for granted. Now that entire seasons have passed and many of us have spent long stretches of time with our partners, roommates or parents, it’s common to feel a need for alone time, some space where you can think for yourself without having to share room with another person.
While it’s nice to bond over this experience with others, it’s also nice to have the time and space to watch bad shows alone or make your favorite kind of food without accounting for others.
Here are 5 polite ways to tell people that you need some alone time:
Pick something you want to do alone
Before you tell your roommate or partner that you’re sick of their face, come up with a plan. Do some research on what it is that you want to do alone, and what the benefits will be. Maybe you want to go for a solo hike or you want to stay up late and binge a show that you know other people won’t like. Figure out what “alone time” means to you, whether you need to leave the house to do it or if a peaceful bath does the trick.
When talking to others about your space and alone time, it’s important to stick to the plan you formulated and avoid creating an argument. The phrase “I need space” is sensitive and open to interpretation. While you might be referring to your solo hike, your partner could interpret this as a break up. Be clear about your intentions and stick to your script.
Be clear about your feelings
No matter your feelings, be clear about them. Explain why you need space and why you don’t want your partner or friends to be offended. Make it clear that physical space isn’t the same as emotional space. Some people need alone time to recharge in order to enjoy time with others. This is difficult to understand for some and it might hurt their feelings.
Don’t feel bad
It’s important to realize that every person is different, and that these types of unprecedented situations, such as a pandemic, prompt unexpected reactions. Don’t feel bad if you feel overwhelmed or exhausted by constant companionship.
Make your time with others more special
After you recharge, it’s much more likely that you’ll enjoy time with others. Be sure to reassure your friends or partner, and understand that they might feel anxious. Plan the next time you spend time together by doing something special and nice, using your personal space to enhance your relationship.