Recently, I tried to ironize about the importance of private rooms in the office, likening them to "the air we breathe".

...And was lost for a word that says "enjoy our solitude in" with more rhyme and impact. My target sentence would be like

It's important like the air we breathe and the restrooms we [enjoy our solitude in],

but ideally with a single verb in the end.

Breathe, drink, eat, these are brief and powerful. "Sleep in" is also brief, though weaker. The shortest I was able to think of was "seclude ourselves in", or "retreat to", but both have added connotations.

Is there a single word, even if archaic or unusual, that can serve as a verb for enjoying or perusing one's privacy?

  • Thrive? Restrooms, you know, do not provide rest. Employers will probably react better to tangible over poetic reasons. No fan of the open office and hotelling, I say my valued personal space is not like the air we breathe. And by ironize, did you mean being ironic or being emboldened? Commented Aug 5, 2022 at 15:02
  • @YosefBaskin Rest is for the week, and it's not the space itself you value, but the walls that seclude it. That said, my desired connotation was less of thriving and more of taking care of all things private - but alluding to meditation rather than earthly business.
    – Therac
    Commented Aug 5, 2022 at 15:10
  • You want to advocate for the average worker needing space. We know that no one needs to argue for the CEO getting an office and door. You cannot refer to the bathroom or the bedroom, but for concentrating on the task at hand with the right atmosphere. Neither consoling, solace, seclusion, nor isolation are goals any employer will buy. Commented Aug 5, 2022 at 15:57
  • @YosefBaskin I don't need to advocate, I am in charge, and BTW I've given up both of these )) Actually, it was in joking reference to keeping private conversations (like "I'll lick strawberry cream off you tonight" private) to private rooms.
    – Therac
    Commented Aug 5, 2022 at 16:03

3 Answers 3


I would use the colloquial phrasal verb switch off. It has the extended sense of disconnecting, switching off from work, responsibilities and one's busy life; and enjoying alone time. It is an analogy to its literal sense: to switch/turn off lights, electronic devices or machines.

I've even found an example similar to yours where it is used for the bathroom time:

Nowadays, the bathroom is the modern day rival to the spa; a private and quiet sanctuary that we can spend a decent amount of time in while we switch off from our busy lives. - ratedpeople.com

Disconnect is an option too but it is a bit more general and neutral.

Hmm... an unusual, uncommon verb that can be used figuratively or even humorously?

hermit (hermitize) v. (intransitive) to live as a hermit. - OED

Hermit as a noun has the transferred sense of a person living in solitude but it was verbed also long time ago, in 1610 per OED.


Many people, especially introverts, find it important to take time to recharge during the workday. It's a part of self care just as much as taking lunch, and just as important as a coffee break is to a lot of people. This could be a moment to yourself reading in a quiet corner of the break room or going for a walk around the block...or escaping to the broom closet or bathroom stall depending on the environment. Unfortunately in some workplaces the only space to find solitude to recharge is a bathroom. Others have implemented intentional quiet spaces.

M-W gives the second definition of recharge

to regain energy or spirit

Cambridge gives this under the Human Resources category:

HR to get new energy or to give new energy to something:

It's important to have regular breaks and to take time to recharge.

Taking time to recharge is just as important for self-care as a lunch break, to rephrase your sentence.


If I were you I would go for the simple withdraw. Among its definitions there is this one:

depart to another place in search of quiet or privacy.

  • They withdrew to their rooms for a siesta. (OxfordL)

Also, sequester is not a bad option (used reflexively):

To put aside; remove; separate from other things; seclude; withdraw, keep away from others

There is also closet used as a verb and which has a strong connotation of privacy:

to put yourself in a place, especially a closed space, and stay there:

  • Two weeks before my exams I closeted myself (away) in my room with my books and I didn't speak to anyone. (Cambridge)
  • Seclude fits the sentence more than the purpose of campaigning for the nesting instinct. Will the employer appreciate the worker desire for seclusion? Commented Aug 5, 2022 at 15:08
  • 1
    @YosefBaskin Depends... You can seclude yourself to clear your thoughts and be free to concentrate undistracted on something.
    – fev
    Commented Aug 5, 2022 at 15:09

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.