Radical Self-Care, Connecting

This week I’m lucky enough to have four social engagements on my calendar. For an introvert who recharges best at home, this is highly unusual. Maybe the full moon energy is pulling me out into the world this week more than normal. Whatever the reason, I’m enjoying meeting friends one-on-one for meals as well as looking forward to a social gathering tonight.

Research shows that people who have healthy relationships are not only happier, but live longer than people who feel lonely. As much as I cherish my solitude, I really value my friendships and the heart-felt conversations, laughter, and feelings of belonging and connection that they engender. I’m blessed to have wonderful, supportive, kind, and fun people in my life who are available for merry making and meaningful conversations.

While the self-care practices I’ve been exploring so far have been mostly solo activities that I have crafted into daily routines, buddy time is often sporadic and rarely fits into an open time slot. If I waited for my schedule to present two or three hour gaps that lined up with other people’s gaps, I’d be rather lonely. So instead I make a consistent effort to create those gaps and work my other responsibilities around them. If I’m too busy to meet in person, I often schedule a check-in phone call. Seriously, I make the plan with a friend and book it in my calendar. It’s too important to me to leave to chance.

Once again I am finding that planning and follow through are just as important as the act itself. My work schedule often interferes with socializing during evening and weekend hours. This means I need to make extra effort and consciously seek out interactions. Four events each week is not sustainable during this time while I’m launching a business, but two is manageable. The venue and activity aren’t at all important; it’s the making time to spend together that is. The resulting joy is well worth the effort.

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