Barcelona, like any major city, has a huge variety of accommodation to choose from. Renting rooms in shared flats is also a normal part of life. As a yogi and empath, These are some general tips that have helped me in living in any shared space.
Living with people can provide a huge amount of benefits for everyone, especially if you’re travelling or if you have just moved to a city and want to really explore it fully and meet friends.
But it’s not always easy and can bring challenges too! We sometimes don’t always know who we are going to share the space with – like in hostels, shared flats, AirBNB bookings etc. Other things: People’s habits and routines can be very different from ours. Maybe some prefer being loud, while others need some quiet space. Some may like to share their whole life’s story (and dramas!), while others prefer to keep their life more private. And let’s face it, some people are fantastic to hang out with, but can be difficult to live with! Phew – So many more factors to consider 🙂
Get clear about what you want to gain from the experience
The best way to start is to get really clear about what you want to gain from a shared accommodation. Everyone is different and will prefer different things. I will share some very general factors that you can use for any situation, whether you’re renting a hostel for a holiday, booking online (through places like AirBNB etc) or a looking for long-term room.
Here are some factors to consider.
- How many people do you want to share with?
- Is this short or long-term? Get clear on how long it is for
- Do you have a preference for sharing with only males or females?
- Do you mind if there are smokers in your living space?
- Do you prefer loud or quiet environments?
- Are you looking to meet and share with new friends?
- Do you prefer to have independent time and space?
- What facilities matter to you most?
- What is your budget (per night/month/etc)?
When you are searching for a shared space, don’t be afraid to ask many questions before you choose it
Once you are clear about what you want from your experience in sharing, the search begins. This can be a complete adventure in itself!
Sometimes, it’s easy (for example: by booking online) and you can email your hosts or see the general housing rules/pictures/etc in advance. Other times, it’s a case of going to the place and seeing it for your Self.
I have found that the more I ask questions, the easier it is to know what to expect from a place. This also goes for if I am sharing a place with people I haven’t met yet. It’s good to have an idea of who you’re sharing with in advance if possible.
Get to know the people you live with
We can learn so much from others, especially if we are living with them! Over the years, I have been really inspired by getting to know people – from all walks of life. And by living with others, you really get to know what makes people tick! There’s no avoiding it because it is a personal space.
In saying this, I also bring awareness to the daily routines of others. For example: Knowing when others go to work, when the house will be quiet, when others have meals etc. It may seem like small details, but it can make a huge difference if you’re looking to build a routine of your own. I find that this is often true for long-term rentals when I do need to focus on my routines and can best access my living environment accordingly.
Create a routine that suits you
We all have our personal routines. For example: the time we usually wake up, if we prefer to cook/eat meals at certain times, when we work etc. Sometimes moving to a new shared space can mean that we need to look at our routines in a new light. A simple example that I find true in most shared accommodation: When the shower/bath will be free!
When I move to a new shared space, I like to use the first few days to observe the general routines of everyone and to revise my routines. This is almost like setting an intention before you begin your experience. We often do have to make come slight changes and adapt to new places.
Ask your Self:
- How can I adapt my usual routines to this new environment?
- What changes do I need to make?
- How can I fit what matters to me in my daily life now?
Treat any challenges that come up like a yoga practice
Challenges do come up – like noisy people after hours, personal space invasion etc. There have been many times over the years when things came up that made me feel uncomfortable or puts me out of my own comfort zone. This is the time when I try my best to extend my yoga practice to daily life. Easier said that done sometimes!
Like any yoga class, if things do come up, I will return to how I approach things in my class.
- Notice how your monkey mind chatter and ego are showing up in any situation
- Use the breath to release any stress that situations cause you
- Use intention and clear communication to calmly explore how you feel with others
- Check within your Self how anything is a mirror to your inner Self
- Build confidence and assertiveness through the Solar plexus and Heart Chakra
- Take each step slowly and bring awareness to everything with a neutral mind
Make space to nurture your Self and be alone
Spending quality time for my Self really matters to me. I know I definitely need some space to do my yoga and have a good cup of herbal tea often with my Self and no distractions or drama!
Even if it doesn’t matter to you, maybe approach it in this way: Think about your living space as an exchange hub of energy between you and others. What/how does this energy affect you? (Consciously or subconsciously) Be honest with your Self…
- How does the energy of your shared space feel to you? (Hectic, calm etc)
- How are your stress levels when you around your shared space or with each person?
- What are you picking up from a daily basis?
- Do you feel comfortable in every part of your shared space?
- Are there any areas /people of your shared space that feel heavy or draining?
Make your bedroom area your mini retreat space
Stemming off from the last tip, if you do have personal space in your own bedroom, use it fully! Make this space an area that best suits you and provides comfort and clarity for your own energy. The room we sleep at night is the place we recharge our own energy.
Some tips for making your bedroom space positive:
- Use sage or essential oils to clear the energy regularly
- Organise your personal space to keep the energy clear
- Use all your senses to crate your own personal retreat space (through music, colour, happy items etc)
- If you have some space, create an area just for your Self practice (yoga, meditation, anything creative etc)
- As much as possible, invite only positive people into your personal space
Try this meditation!
I want to share a meditation that helps me so much, by keeping me grounded, by protecting my own energy and by helping me connect deeply to the people I live with as I share my daily life. Enjoy 🙂
Kundalini Meditation: For Projection & Protection from the heart
Read the full instructions here