Jo Club 5/n, “What brings you a sense of calm?”

Bryan left for a boys’ weekend earlier today and won’t be coming back until Sunday night. Though, over the past year, he’s left for nearly the entire day, we haven’t been completely apart for an entire weekend in… over a year.

On one hand, I’m excited for the alone time. On the other hand, I love having a full day of alone time… that ends with him coming back home. I can’t remember that last time that I slept alone in my own bed! (Is this what codependence looks like???)

In the spirit of independence, I’m trying to find ways to enjoy my alone time! If I don’t have a plan, I often default to mindlessly scrolling on my computer or on my phone, so I happen to have a to-do list of things-I-want-to-do-that-don’t-always-require-Bryan up in my brain already:

  • Cleaning! Chores like putting away clutter, washing the dishes, and wiping up spills sound like a boring way to spend my free time, but having things clean is very! satisfying!
  • Hot pot! I’ve written about it before, and we’re doing it a lot less often these days, but I’ve definitely found comfort in every part of the very predictable yet very tasty hot pot routine – buying the ingredients, one person prepping the food, the other person prepping the hot pot, the aroma of the steamy broth, I could go on! Though I love trying new dishes, it is nice once in a while to know exactly what we’re going to eat (and getting to look forward to it all day!).
  • Taking baths! Granted, these were a lot better in Japan (see: rooftop onsen), but I am glad that I’ve grown to appreciate a good bath and can enjoy one every once in a while. I was scared of them for a long time because of my sensitive skin, but through experimentation I’ve found the right temperature and add-ins that are right for me and my body. (I just wish our tub were deeper!)
  • Stretching! This doesn’t sound particularly calming, and honestly doesn’t feel that way in my body, depending on the day, but like hot pot, the routine is the real star of the show. Through, again, lots of experimentation, I’ve found the exact stretches, foam rolls, and self-massages that really feel good in my body. My muscles might be on fire, but there’s a very specific kind of satisfaction that comes with finding a knot and rolling it away.
  • Going for walks! This is not necessarily related to alone time – I go on walks all the time, sometimes with Bryan – but it’s one habit that I would love to continue into the rest of my life, even after “quarantine” is over. I love exploring different areas of my neighborhood, catching up on my podcasts, soaking up the sun, and getting my heart pumping a little bit. It’s been the perfect way to mentally separate my work day from the rest of my evening. I love a mental cue!

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