“I’ve never thought about it this way before,” shares Emily, “but I guess I’ve become really isolated. Ever since the twins were born, it’s become so hard to get out of the house. I try to make it to church, but I feel like such a mess. It doesn’t seem worth all of the effort it takes to pack everyone up and walk out the door. I do keep up with some friends on Facebook, but sometimes that even has the opposite effect and I end up feeling even more insecure because it seems like everyone else has it all together.”
God created us to be in community, so relationships are important. Have you ever had a season of life where you felt isolated? Maybe after having a new baby and you felt stuck at home, or when you were caring for your elderly parent who needed constant supervision?
When you’re thinking about relational self care, it’s important to identify whether you’re an introvert or extrovert. An extrovert gains energy from being with people. Being around others can be draining to an introvert, although relationships are equally important to both personality types.
If you’re married, don’t overlook the importance of working on that relationship, too. If you’re feeling disconnected from your spouse, you’re more likely to feel anxious and lonely.
Who else is in your support network? Who could you turn to or lean on in challenging situations? Family, friends, neighbors, babysitters, church resources. Make a list of everywhere you could turn if you needed help (include everyone you can think of, even if they wouldn’t be appropriate for every situation). Just knowing who you could call if you were in need can help you withstand a greater amount of frustration and stress than if you felt alone and isolated.
Are you looking for practical ideas for improving social or relational self care in your life? I have a whole list of ideas in my ebook. I also provide this ebook as a free resource for new clients.