How to Get Time to Yourself When Visiting Relatives
Even if you're not someone who normally needs a lot of "me time," visiting
Volunteer for Solo Tasks
Some are fortunate enough to have relatives who don't take the direct, "I need a few minutes alone," as an insult or sign something is wrong. But if you need an extended period of time to recharge, or don't want to call attention to yourself with frequent breaks throughout the day, pair your alone time with helpful activities. Here are some common ones you might be able to use:
Walk the dog
, or help care for other pets (no one is going to try to talk to you when you're scooping out the litter box).
Run to the store
to pick up last-minute items. If you're at someone else's home, set yourself up to be the go-to here by telling them you're happy to be their "emergency store runner."
Decorate and set up
the table, living room, or other space.
dishes, take out the trash, put away leftovers, or whatever else other people don't want to do.
Pick up a friend or family member
, and offer to drop them off later. This does mean being in the car with someone, but you'll have the drive there and back on your own.
Do a favor or chore
that's on the host's to-do list. For example, fixing a tech issue they've mentioned or yard work like raking leaves or trimming trees and bushes.
- Supervise the kids . Only do this if you actually like children and can handle entertaining them. If they have each other and tons of toys and games, there's a decent chance they'll be busy playing and leave you alone (for the most part).
If you're staying at someone else's house and they don't have any of the above tasks for you to help with, ask them what you can do. (You may have to do a little bit of convincing that no, really, you want to help. )
Find Quiet Time
One consistent way to know you'll have time to yourself is to build it into your schedule. Look for times when everyone else is busy and plan to take that time for yourself.
Get up early
. Be an early bird and enjoy a quiet morning before everyone arrives for breakfast.
Stay up late
. If you can manage it, staying up when everyone else has gone to bed can give you the peace and quiet you're looking for. Just make sure not to be noisy or disturb those who are sleeping.
Take time for yourself when everyone else is watching something
, like a sports game or favorite movie. You can join for a little bit and then excuse yourself to grab a drink or snack away from the group.
Have a few quick explanations handy so that you can slip away without causing concern. Some examples that might work for your situation:
Call a friend or other family member
to wish them a happy holiday.
Stick to your exercise routine
. Even if your exercise routine is simply a walk around the block or to a local park. Get ready to go before sharing this explanation as someone may try to join you if you're not on your way out the door.
Check out a local landmark
. Again, you should wait until you're on your way out before letting others know what you're up to or they may try to tag along.
- Take a rest . A short nap or rest (you can even say you're not feeling well) can do wonders.
If you're overwhelmed, have a couple quick go-to ways to get some alone time. Fake an important text from a friend or work and step outside to call them or step away to do some stretches or camp out in the bathroom.