How to Spend Time Alone

The work-at-home revolution that began during the COVID-19 Pandemic brought working mothers a mix of new freedoms and the commitment of increased “on-time.”  As the mother of an 18-month-old at the time, the flexibility of working from home provided me the luxury of watching my baby grow in ways I had been missing. For the first few months, that was amazing. Four years later, I am still mostly working from home.

While I remain grateful for the closeness this dynamic brought to my relationship with my daughter, it also fostered a sense of always being on duty. Now, virtual calls are spent trying to avoid making eye contact with a four-year-old whose face is pressed up against the glass door to my home office. The solace of a lunch hour alone is now spent making mac & cheese and unwrapping juice boxes. The point I am making here is now more than ever, I need some time alone.

Several online resources like offer up the many benefits to spending time by yourself like increased creativity, the ability to get to know yourself better, and the opportunity to build mental strength. But not everyone naturally craves time by themselves. While I don’t identify with these folks, there are some of us who find being alone, well, lonely. differentiates the two this way, “Where loneliness is marked by negative feelings associated with isolation, alone time involves finding freedom, inspiration, and rejuvenation in solitude.” Understanding that difference could be the jumping-off point for you to find the right way to be alone. If all of this hasn’t convinced you to spend some time with yourself, I’ll go further to help you. Here are the top three ways I like to spend time alone: 

Catch a Flick

My partner generally isn’t interested in seeing the same types of movies as me. Likewise, when I get the chance to hang out with a girlfriend, the movie theater isn’t the place I would generally choose to catch up, because we can’t sit and gab.  I am generally my ideal “date” for a trip to the movies. By going it alone at the theater, I ensure I see the movie I want to, while embracing the social break. Don’t feel bad if you end up dozing off in your new-found dark place of solitude. Frankly I just assume it will happen to me. What mom doesn’t need a nap?

Embrace the Sway

To see which hammock I ordered:

Lansing Mom is here to share our tried and true favorites. This post does contain affiliate links that help support our small business but every product is something we love! 

If laying in a hammock on a sunny day with a great book or a journal seems like an overindulgent fantasy to you, fix that! For me, time in my hammock is the perfect way to enjoy a great weather day without filling it with exhausting and highly-scheduled activities like the zoo or a beach day. If music makes you feel relaxed, grab your favorite Bluetooth speaker and listen to your heart’s content. My perfect combo is the relative quiet that nature provides and whatever reading list selection I happen to have on hand. My favorite part of hammock time is how the subtle sway of the hammock eventually rocks me into the perfect nap. Are you noticing a theme about naps? This is my absolute favorite hammock.

Home Alone

When’s the last time you enjoyed the comfort, familiarity, and relaxation home can bring all by yourself? My guess is you spend a lot of time running your kids to school, sports, and appointments, leaving your partner with more time alone at home than you generally get.  Don’t you want to relish in your couch, yoga pants, and pantry without a schedule? My challenge to you about home time is to ensure you’re alone…people agreeing to “leave you alone” is not the same as truly being alone. My biggest tip here is don’t make plans, unless it’s which show you’re going to binge or what snack you’re going to eat. The point of being home alone is to slow down your normal “mom processes,” and over-planning will counteract this. Chances are you’ve worked hard for the home you have. Enjoy that from time-to-time with some solitude, and maybe a nap.

I am grateful to have the type of partner who both understands and agrees that time alone is crucial to function at my best. Whether you’re a single parent or haven’t been able to sell your need for alone time to your partner, here are some steps for getting the help and coverage you need to have alone time:

You Don’t Get What You Don’t Ask For

Sometimes, as caregivers, it’s difficult for us to ask for what we need. Especially if it means another adult will need to sacrifice time to make it happen. It’s important to remember for most personality types spending time alone is not just important but necessary. Don’t let your hesitancy to put yourself first stand in the way of getting what you need.

Think Ahead

I mentioned earlier that alone time should not be spent planning for other family moments. Securing your alone time will most likely require some advance planning. The easier I make it for my partner and daughter to leave the house, the quicker he will make alone time happen for me. For instance, check your calendar (and your mental state) and figure out when you want your time alone to be. Then, use resources like to find community events happening on your goal dates. If time by yourself and their time away is scheduled on the calendar, it’s much more likely to happen!

Make an Offer

Don’t have a partner or do you have one that does not share your vision for alone time? Don’t fret! Offering to provide another mom with alone time is a great way to get it for yourself as well! Grab one of your favorite trustworthy moms and propose an alone time share. Schedule her to hang with your brood while you enjoy time by yourself. In return, commit to a time where you can give her the same alone break you enjoyed.

The next time you’re feeling a wave of overwhelm or burn-out, take a pause. Ask yourself if it’s possible you just need some time during which you’re only committed to yourself. Stillness, silence and a total lack of accountability to others can do wonders for our mental state. Reality tells us that those three things cannot be staples of our daily lives. With some planning, negotiating, and wandering outside your comfort zone, the solace of alone time can be achievable just when you need it most.

If you’re looking for more ways to spend time alone, check out Lansing Mom’s Guide to Self Care!

Kristin Ray
Kristin is a children’s author, blogger, and public speaker. She is the proud mother of one amazing daughter and wife to a supremely supportive husband. She is dedicated to intentionally equipping women and girls with the knowledge and power to move through life with confidence. Kristin is a native of Lansing, Michigan, and a graduate of Michigan State University.


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