By Madeline Brady, Regular ContributorJuly 27, 2015
I recently moved back home for the first time since high school and things have been, well… crowded.
Between my family, my friends, and my significant other, I feel like I don’t have a moment for myself.
And as an introvert, someone who recharges by being alone, this has been particularly difficult. I find myself spending extra time in the bathroom or taking the long way home after running errands just so I can have some time with my thoughts. As I write this, I am sitting in my dining room in the dark so that no one will find me…
So, what do I do? Confine myself to hermitude and hope that makes me happy? Just let my inner-self wither as a result of never finding a peaceful moment? How do I balance social life and personal time?
image via lockerdome.com
During my first attempt to answer this question, I took the immature route. I cancelled plans and locked myself away in my room. I basked in my aloneness and felt threatened by anyone who wanted to take up my time. I prioritized myself in a selfish way instead of using my alone time for self-care and self-love. I wasted it watching bad TV and being completely unproductive (which is great in moderation, but I took it wayyyy too far…). It took me a while to figure out that my alone time should be cherished; I should use it to comfort myself from a world that can be so difficult and reignite my passion in order to make that world better. I am my most valuable resource, and I have to care for and nurture it.
Being alone is an important tool in this, but balance is really the key: I can’t care for the people in my life and achieve the goals I want by being alone all the time, either!
So I regrouped and thought about how to go about achieving this balance. How do I say to my friends and family to simply let me be sometimes? Well… by saying it! (It was in front of my face the whole time, I know!) At first it felt weird and rude, but once I explained why I needed this time, I felt nothing but support. Simply saying, “Hey I need one night a week to myself,” was completely reasonable, and I felt empowered by setting my own boundaries. I know what is best for me and what allows me to be my best person and, you know what? - no one can take that away from me.
How do you make sure you have quality alone time? What do you like to do by yourself? Tell us below!