Finding Solitude in NYC

In the "city that never sleeps," you have to be creative in finding moments of healthy solitude. Need some inspiration? Keep reading.

woman alone on nyc Brooklyn bridge
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As we find ourselves in the “city that never sleeps,” it is important to find ways to feel well-rested. It is far too easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life in the city–you even have to keep up with the pace of the speed walkers on the sidewalk just to get to the train you’re about to miss.

While there are certainly many hectic and crazy moments that come along with living in NYC, New Yorkers might be the best at finding moments of solitude. We have to be! There are only about eight million people in the way, but we are creative at finding our hiding places where we make time for ourselves.

  • Claim a park bench.

This concrete jungle is surprisingly full of pockets of nature. Go for a walk and find your own little corner of a nearby park (there are many to choose from!). Feel it out, find your spot, and claim it. Carve out time on a regular basis where you can go to your spot and do whatever helps you find peace. New Yorkers tend to mind their own business, so if you need to cry, paint, or just eat your lunch by yourself, people might walk by, but you’ll still be mostly alone. Use that time of solitude to take a deep breath and reset.

  • Zone out on your commute. 

There will be many days where the most time alone you’ll get is when you find a seat on a crowded subway car. Something you’ll learn to master quickly is the art of putting on your headphones, tuning out your surroundings, while staying aware of everything around you. Of course, safety is key, but zoning out on the train might be the most relaxing moment of a busy day. Next stop, Harlem, get aboard the “A” train and use that time for yourself!

  • Catch a breather on the elevator.

This is perhaps the shortest moment of solitude, but it sometimes feels like the longest! Many elevators in the city are slow and you will spend so much time on them. Learn to love it. Take a deep breath or remind yourself of things you’re grateful for!

  • Find alone time in your apartment.

Not everyone has their own bedroom in the city; however, there are still some moments when you find yourself alone in your apartment. In those times when all of your roommates are out, it might be nice to blast some music or catch up on a TV show that you haven’t seen, but it is always good to take advantage of that time. That might mean having twenty minutes of intentional quiet time.

This is definitely one of the best ways to spend time with yourself in whatever way is most beneficial to you. If these moments don’t happen naturally, you might need to conjure them up yourself. Try waking up before your roommates or staying up a little later than them.

You might struggle to find time for healthy solitude, but once you find your spaces and time in your schedule, make a habit of it! Your time alone might occur among others in seemingly public places and that’s okay. Make it happen. When you’re making an effort to find time to reflect, you’ll find yourself adapting to the changes you have to make and learn that you’re happier because of it.

// Photo by Ged Lawson //

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