And no, I'm not talking about the vacuum as much as it is fascinating(!) What I actually mean is the act of taking a step back. Recuperating and having time to reflect. This'll come across as a Shit Sherlock post, but I'd like to give you my thoughts on it and why it's essential. I hope you can absorb a thing or two from it.
Personally, I am a craver for my own space. I think that having my own environment to myself to get myself together is imperative for me and I'd pretty much go crazy without it. If you know me, I'm the sort of person who appreciates company, particularly from friends and family and enjoy helping when I can. I'm sociable and pretty easy to approach. On the flip side however, I am very lone wolf in what I do. I have tendencies where I space out and distance myself from people. In my house, I would have my room to myself and stay in it for hours and not talk to anyone. Yes, in my own home! I usually make it clear that I'm distancing, so my family knows when to and not to summon me. When I'm out with friends, I socialise a lot, but halfway through the motive, I take a step back from the crowd and when the opportunity sees itself, I have some me time. This often leads my friends to ask if I'm okay, to which I usually respond by saying that I'm fine, and it's not always the case deep down, but I say I'm fine, so that I don't let the negative thoughts surface and ruin the fun. Therefore, when I take those few minutes away from mates, I try to reflect and make sure that I retain the good mood. Lastly, since starting university, I've been on a few nights out, had a few drinks in kitchens and been out with some friends. I have met some awesome people at uni thus far, whether they're course-mates or people in my halls of residence! And it's great that I can see them very often and spend time with them. However, since coming to uni, my necessity to have my space still stays intact. I find that my flatmates are always having kitchen parties and finding things to do (while abiding by social distancing) and there would be times where I'm not really in the mood and therefore, I decline. Maybe I have work to do, or maybe I just don't want to see anyone. And that's fine. Recently, I found out that the only times I had been out this week was for face to face seminars or for shopping. I've really just been spending so much time in my room and not really talking to anyone. Granted, with the pandemic and the cases unfortunately increasing, it is advised to stay indoors, but I took it upon myself to not socialise. So with that out of the way, what do I do when I am away from civilisation?
1) I bop out to music. Music is therapeutic for me, especially as a producer and making my own. I have a whole playlist that I never get bored listening to and the benefits of living alone means that none of my family members can judge me for bopping my head idiotically. Be mindful though! I tend to listen to music at near max to max volume and it can damage your ears!
2) Sleep. I love my beauty sleep. I find myself taking daylight naps a lot, as many times as necessary. (I'm not weird) This is a great way to escape temporarily without keeping track of what's going on. After a good few hours, I find myself in a better mood, and when I'm deprived of it, I am pretty grouchy. There's nothing quite like tucking yourself into your own bed!
3) I draw. Now this is something that I find I don't do so passionately anymore. When I was little, I aspired to be an architect and adored skyline views. Because I grew up in London, I loved drawing the Canary Wharf scenery, even if they sucked most of the time! But architecture wasn't the only one. I used to make graphics, as I ran a YouTube channel back in the day and being a self run channel, I edit, upload, produce and make GFX for my videos. It was effort but it was a good getaway. If this is something you aspire to do, start off with a very basic software. You don't need a top tier program to make decent graphics. My passion for art and drawing has not died though, I feel like I can definitely jump back into it.
4) Get outside/go on a walk. So what if you don't want to stay in the house and you'd like to get out? Go take a trip! Go on a walk. I don't usually bother trying to make myself look flattering either. I slip on some beat up tracksuits, some trainers and get outside. This is probably one of my favourite activities, because I love to get active. When I go for a walk, I either travel locally and stall or I would go further out and take convoluted routes all while listening to music! I also go on runs and keep myself in shape. You release endorphins this way, and it's a somewhat good substitute for going to the gym if your only goal is to keep active anyway, which will put you in a good mood. I also explore and I've again been doing this quite a lot since moving into a new city, in which initially I was unfamiliar with. I found some lovely open green areas and took some cool photos of the sights. I checked out a few woods and felt like I was on a mini quest. The thrill of getting lost and temporarily having no sense of direction excites me, and it may not for you and that's okay. I would advise that you explore spontaneously and check out some areas in your city that you've probably never seen before while having Google maps handy. Having cruising around, I've pretty much familiarised myself with my new surroundings, which makes for a better, faster and easier commute the next time you do it again. Living in a small island like Portsmouth, getting to places is so convenient, but it's amazing to get away from the town centre and escape from the city. There are lots of picturesque views in the suburbs and beaches that I got to see just by getting away.
These are just a few things I do to space out. I would like to emphasise that even though I have a habit of distancing from people, this doesn't mean I practice what I do effectively and could use with better habits and ideas. While it is something I enjoy, I found myself not reciprocating it to people at times. This comes in hand with a previous post I wrote about "Being too Much". In that post, I mostly talked about and referred to bullies and people who had done me wrong in the past. But not about a situation I was in with a close friend or former partner at the time, a justified reasoning. I realised fairly recently that I didn't give enough space to someone I care about most, something I forgot to mention previously. I wanted to make myself available to help the person with what they were going through and didn't respect their desire for space enough, thus I was overbearing and ended up making things worse instead of better. Naturally, they will slip away. Whether you intend to help or not, it is important to step back when someone wants space, particularly in a relationship. It is a common boundary, one that I often kept screwing up because I aspired to be helpful and didn't fully take in what the person wanted. With that said, I am no expert at this and I hope this can help anyone out there who might need a bit of inspiration!