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Being Alone


During the past couple weeks, due to a lot of things, I've had a sudden desire to withdraw and be alone. When crises hit, I tend to outwardly not react, but I'm learning that my body and brain do react by packing it away and then yelling "Surprise!" in symptoms I am not familiar with. I'm productive during these times of solitude, doing things like catching up on e-mails or writing projects that require a mindset of deep work. Working out of this funk, this is what I am learning. These can be helpful whether you're going through a hermit phase that feels out of balance, dealing with winter blues, or struggling with getting up in the morning.

1. Listen to your body.

If your body is telling you it can not take being around so many people and sustaining different conversations, if your eyes are tired of staring at your phone every time a new message pops up, then listen to your body and reschedule that hangout time, don't respond to the message right away. It's probably not urgent, but recharging yourself is.

2. Connect.

Alone time is good for people, especially introverts, but isolation is not. When you feel up to it, get dressed, cleaned up, and go out to socialize. If you struggled with anxiety around others too, then this will help make sure that your social skills are still warm. It doesn't have to be high-key. Just sitting around and talking or watching a movie and then discussing it is good too. It's okay to just have a few friends, but make sure you're investing in those friends.

3. Create something every day.

I've been keeping small goals like working on a page of my projects every day, writing three sketches a week, taking a certain amount of photographs a week too. That keeps a bigger goal at hand.

4. It's okay to look at your phone

This might sound like contradiction to my previous post, but it's okay to turn off once in awhile and just do what you want to do, whether that means binge watching A Series of Unfortunate Events or browsing Tumblr. If your productive mode is "on" all the time, then it's going to overheat. Turn it off in moderation. Just make sure that "on" is the default setting! When you're honest with yourself and with will power, you eventually work the urge to look at your phone out of your system. Today morning, I woke up desiring very much to be alone but repulsed at the thought of looking at my phone and not getting work done.

5. You are not your output

You are so much more. Throw a signal out once in a while to let your friends and family know that you're alive, appreciate and want to invest in them, and then go back and hide and figure things out. Take it a day at a time. You'll get through this, and you'll emerge ready to take on the world.

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