Masturbation is an important (we'd argue, essential) element of self-care, so even if you're cooped up in close quarters with other people, it's worth finding a way to comfortably get down with yourself. During times of high stress and anxiety, masturbation will be a valuable outlet for creating even just a moment of release and calm.
We've got a few things for you to keep in mind, as you proceed on your quest for a little much-needed "Me Time".
Consider the time and space you can make available for yourself.
Anyone who has tried to accomplish a big project while also keeping up with a day job and other obligations knows that sometimes achieving your goals means creating chunks of time that weren't there before. Super early mornings, late evenings, moments when the rest of the family go out for a walk or a partner does a grocery store run.
Slivers of time exist, even if it means cohabitants are still technically around, but are mentally and physically distracted (think: hour-long conference calls or home school class sessions).
For most, the bedroom will probably be the best bet for privacy, but there's a chance you'll need to get crafty about space, too. The key is: doors with locks. While the bathroom isn't the sexiest place, it's also the one place we are almost always guaranteed true privacy (though parents of young children will disagree). You can always make it seem like you're going in there to do a face mask or paint your nails, if you feel like you need a decoy.
Masturbating while you take your regular daily shower is a great option that a lot of people do regardless of privacy levels at home. Just be sure to get a vibrator that is waterproof, like the Limon.
Aim for efficiency.
Ordinarily, we'd rather you take as much time as you want to masturbate. Low and slow is often the most satisfying release, versus a quick fix get-off-and-go.
When you're grasping for even 15 minutes alone, find a happy medium between the two.
Foreplay isn't just for partnered sex. If you don't have anyone looking directly over your shoulder, you could warm yourself up by reading or listening (with headphones) to something erotic - a novel, audio porn, music by The Weeknd, whatever gets you in the mood! If that's not an option, just let your mind wander and have some sexy daydreams for a little bit.
The point is to get aroused well before you actually go and do your business in private, so that when you can get the vibrator or your fingers going, you're already meeting yourself part of the way there.
Be aware of noise levels.
If you've masturbated before, you probably have an idea of how loud you naturally are while in the act and while finishing. It's probably obvious to say, that if you usually let out involuntarily loud noises, you should do everything in your power to muffle those noises like keeping a pillow nearby to cover your face.
You could also turn it into a fantasy of sorts, if you struggle with keeping it down. Masturbate while acting out in your head a sexy scenario in which you have to be quiet, like sneaking away to hook up with someone in the middle of a party happening right outside the door.
If you like to watch porn while you masturbate, do so with headphones. Leave the noise-canceling ones behind this time, so that you can hear anyone approaching and can also keep tabs on the volume of your own involuntary noises. Maybe just have in one of two earbuds, to stay aware of your surroundings.
If you masturbate with anything that vibrates, be mindful of the fact that vibrations make noise. Invest in a quiet vibrator that is rechargeable - battery operated motors usually offer a less smooth vibration.
It's ok to tell a little white lie in order to get privacy.
Along with the aforementioned long bathroom break excuses, you can pardon yourself from a conversation by saying you need to make a private call, maybe with a therapist or for work.
Tell your partner you need an extra-long bath today because you're feeling stressed, and ask if they can take on kid duty on their own for a bit.
It is also perfectly acceptable to just say "I really need some time to myself this morning / afternoon / evening. Could I reserve the bedroom to unwind from [0:00 - 0:00]?". Chances are, whoever you are making arrangements with will also feel relieved to have that time for themselves.
Don't feel guilty about wanting the alone time (and using it to masturbate).
You probably wouldn't say that it's "trivial" to go on a jog once in a while, so don't say that about masturbation. Both are examples of beneficial regular practices that promote taking care of yourself, releasing endorphins, and soothing anxiety and stress.
Even if you live with the person you have sex with, it's still normal to masturbate. It's an unrealistic amount of pressure for partners to put on each other, as the only avenue of achieving sexual satisfaction. Keeping up a regular masturbation habit keeps everyone sexually happy and healthy, together and apart.
Remember: you are your safest sex partner during the COVID-19 health crisis. Think of masturbation as a very fun civic duty that we are lucky to have.