During the Covid lockdowns we have experienced over the last year or so, we have had to adapt to being in the same place for a long time and perhaps being alone for all or part of it. Even if we weren’t living alone, we may have cherished that alone time, as an escape from the monotonous everyday that we were living during lockdown. Now the end of lockdown is in sight, going back to the day-to-day busyness of ‘normal’ life is not healthy, nor realistic, so we need to keep these boundaries for ourselves and enjoy our alone time.
I value time alone more than ever now. It’s the case of missing something now it’s gone.
During the first lockdown, I took comfort in the fact I was not alone and was grateful for this fact. I could have been stuck in Germany on my own, not knowing when I would eventually make it home. But when I was living abroad, I was independent, working, travelling, living my life, but like everyone else, life had to stop. I missed this independence I had, the alone time.
But I’m sure all of us can agree, staying in the same place with the same people, no matter how close your relationship is, gets hard after a while. So the alone time we could find, whether that was reading a book, watching a Netflix series, writing in a journal or listening to a podcast, was treasured.
We are now experiencing a new challenge: life after lockdown. Social lives, work lives, sex lives are all beginning again and after missing out on so much over the last year, it feels like we have to make the most of the opportunities that are now presenting themselves.
But as much as I want to be this person, out socialising, living life again, seeing friends, it is exhausting. I have pushed myself recently to get out there, and don’t get me wrong, I have loved it, but it has been so tiring. As much as I am grateful to have the choice to go out now, I need to remember that it is a choice. Alone time is also a choice. If I need a day to stay in, read a book, watch some TV or frankly have a nap, that’s completely fine. More than fine actually, it is totally necessary and important.
I actually believe that alone time these days is more important than ever. Balance in life is always key, but for so long we haven’t had to think of the outside world as part of our everyday so we haven’t had to factor it in when balancing our schedule. But now, we do need to factor in both our social time and our solo time. It’s tough. I’m finding it tough.
But I am making sure I do take time to myself – reading my new book, watching The Bold Type on Netflix and writing articles just like this one. Plus, napping, a lot of napping!
This alone time has been invaluable alongside the social time. I hope I can keep up this balance as life gets ever busier. It’s nice to have this balance and to have had the opportunity to realise that I need it.
Image courtesy of Matias North.