I have great friends, I really do, but I’m also an introvert. I’m social and enjoy going out but being doesn’t recharge me the way it does for extroverts. I revel in alone time and can’t seem to get enough.
When I’m going through a hard time all I want to do is stay at home on my couch and watch TV or sleep. My instincts tell me to stay in and ignore the phone calls, ignore all the invites to grab a coffee or go to an event. But really, just like exercise, it’s something that might help the most when you least want to do it. Being social and engaging with others is so very important.
One of the first things I ask when I’m counseling others is if they’ve talked to anyone else about their problems, if they have any friends or family members they’d feel comfortable talking to. I understand that you can’t necessarily talk to every friend about everything but hopefully there is someone in your life who will understand.
The other thing I recommend to people sometimes is even if you don’t feel like talking through all your problems; go out with your friends, talk about movies or actors you have crushes on or anything. Sometimes just being social and light and having the human connection can do a lot for you long term even when you don’t feel it short term. Now of course there is a balance and if you really don’t feel like going out sometimes it’s okay to stay in and stay to yourself. I just know for myself, sometimes it’s the nights I’ve fought the most against going out that I’ve ended up having the most fun.
For my birthday I went out to dinner with a couple of my friends. This has been a fairly typical celebration for the past few years and it brings me so much joy. It’s wonderful to be around people who know you and like to talk about interesting things.
Self-Care can sound self-centered and it normally makes us think of things we can do for ourselves, by ourselves but being social is a great tool for self-care. Laughing, making others laugh, it is a wonderful way to take care of yourself and heal when you need it.
How do you use your friendships to help with your self-care?