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No peace in the pandemic

There’s no escape from my family right now – how can I get to be alone?

I can understand your frustration, says our elder. Here are a few ideas on how to carve out some personal space.

 

Dear EWC

Now that we’re at home I feel like there’s no escape from other people and that there’s always somebody too close. For this whole time I have been gradually getting more and more tired of everyone who lives with me. For some reason I want to spend time with everyone except for my family? But now I have to be with them all day, every single day. Sometimes it’s like there’s always someone watching me and seeing what I do. and now I just want to get as far away from them as I can! It’s so annoying when people complain about having to live alone because they’re actually the lucky ones. I guess I just want to be alone for once and be completely peaceful.

 

Scriber replies

Thank you for writing. I think I know how you’re feeling right now and I can understand your frustration. The pandemic has really forced us to make a lot of changes. I’m going to give you a few suggestions on how to improve your current situation and hopefully you’ll feel better soon. 

I’m assuming that you’re a teenager and that there are several people in your household. Even if you’re not a teenager, this advice may be helpful. If you don’t have to share your bedroom with anyone, perhaps that is one area in the house where you can try to have some privacy. Close your door and turn on some relaxing music. If you have headphones, that’s even better yet. If you don’t feel like listening to music, find something else to do that will occupy your time and your mind. After a little while, you might find yourself in a better mood. 

Also, let your family members know that you’re starting to feel stressed out and that you really need some personal space right now. That way, when they see that you’re trying to isolate yourself a bit, they won’t get worried about you. Tell them that it’s nothing personal, but that you need some time to yourself. When they see you separating yourself from the family, they’ll know that you’re just trying to have some alone time. It’s very likely that they may be feeling the same way too. 

If it’s too noisy in your house or if there are too many other distractions, how about taking a walk? This can be your own personal time for yourself to just relax and think about things. Plus, you’ll probably feel better after getting some exercise outside in the fresh air and sunshine. When I was a kid, my family lived in a small bungalow in the country. There was very little space inside the house to move around without seeing another family member, so I know about that feeling of always being watched. If I went into the kitchen to get a snack, someone saw what I was eating. If I went into the bathroom, everyone knew I was in there. You get the idea. So, even though I had my own bedroom, I had very little privacy, but once I walked out the door, I was free! I had special spots in the backyard, and other places, where I was able to escape from the watchful eyes of my parents and siblings. Living out in the boondocks is very different from living in a suburban or urban area. But wherever you live, you might have to take some similar action by just leaving the house. However, if you’re still young, I strongly advise you to get permission from your parents and let them know where you’re headed so that they don’t worry about you. 

I can fully understand why you’re tired of always being around your family right now and that you’d rather spend time with other people instead. If you were in a similar living situation with other people, aside from your family, you’d probably get tired of being around them too. From your letter, I know that right now you feel like your family is always watching you and that makes you feel really annoyed. But try to remember that the restrictions that we’re all going through right now are only temporary. You won’t be stuck at home forever. In the meantime, call other people to see how they are doing. Check in with people that you haven’t seen or talked to in a while. This might make you feel a lot better. It will also help other people feel better too. 

You’re right, some people do complain about living alone, but not everyone. It all depends on the person and the situation. You look at living alone as an ideal situation because you’re tired of being around people all the time. Hopefully, one day you’ll be able to have your own place where you can live alone and in peace. 

In the meantime, try to be patient with your family members. Sometimes family is all we have and they can be the ones to have our back, so try to go easy on them if you can. They’re also trying to adjust to the pandemic restrictions, just like you. I know the constant presence of your family members may seem annoying right now, but one day in the future you might miss them. 

I hope my advice was helpful to you. Please feel free to write back at any time. 

Family #467162

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