I’m trying to tackle the problem of my loneliness in the same way I tackle academic work~ by turning in it into a project, by applying my organization and research skills, making myself things-to-do lists, and the like. Project “New me” was going well until the weekend hit… Saturdays are by far the hardest day of the week, for me as for so many depressed/isolated people.
Anyway, here’s what I’m trying. I have a daily routine:
1. I got a new “solar” alarm clock. So far it’s actually getting my ass out of bed. I like the light and the chirping birds. So I’ve been rising much more easily than I ever have before, and that’s a big deal in my life.
2. Upon rising, I drink glass of room-temperature water with fresh squeezed lemon.
Why? I’ve been reading about the benefits of this one for a while, and I tend to drink a glass of water in the morning anyway, so why not?
3. 10 minute walk with the dogs. Why? Because my new Jawbone UP told me a walk upon rising helps kickstart the metabolism for the day, my dogs need the exercise, my pasty ass needs the vitamin D… but I won’t pretend I’m sucking in any fresh air considering the constant air quality advisories in Houston (humidity + car culture = smoooooooggg)
5. Affirmations Why? They’re part of the whole cognitive behavioral therapy thing. After reading the newest round of studies that show we are what we think, and that repeated negative thoughts wear grooves into our minds, I thought I might try to wear some positive grooves for a change. I use the bloom app to prompt me to do affirmations 3x a day, using photos I’ve taken myself.
6. Journaling. I hate physically writing… been using the computer for too many years now and hand-writing feels slow. But I’ve been writing letters to J, venting my spleen, babbling on paper, etc. It’s a combo of advice from three sources: this study on clearing negative thoughts, advice from the above-mention breakup book, and a bastardization of “Morning Pages” a cool technique from The Artist’s Way and explained well in this article.
7. Yoga. Why? (Well, I’ve been doing yoga for 18 years but…) I bought an unlimited yoga class pass (cheap on Groupon) for the month of September, and I’m determined to get my $20 worth. Also, I need the social contact. Thanks to my friend K’s sending me the info, I’m also joining this 40 day challenge come Sept. 30. How cool is that? 40 days of yoga, meditation, study, and support!
8. Meditation. I’m trying. Why? Oodles upon zoodles of research showing the benefits for stress-reduction, focus, etc.
9. Gratitude. I am writing down three good things about every day. Why? it helps me to remember that even the darkest, most horrible days have something in them that is joyous. Even if it’s just “I made matcha and drank it”. (I am using the Lift app to manage this and all of the above items)
10. Tangentially related… am Pomodoro Techniquing my work routine. But that’s work.
I’m not actually sure trying to become okay with being alone is a good thing. I mean, humans are social creatures, right? I am definitely comfortable with quite a bit of alone time and keep myself very busy (see above, heh!) but… I think on the contrary I need to try to get better at making plans with people. Spontaneity is very difficult for me, so… baby steps, man.
Maybe a week in advance I can try to schedule a coffee date with someone or something? And I am still turning over in my mind whether to get a roommate. This house is too big for just crazy dysfunctional girl and her crazy, dysfunctional dogs. And if I’d had a roommate we all might have avoided today’s scene wherein I found myself sobbing at the top of a step-ladder, unable to get the smoke detector to stop chirping, as the dogs grew increasingly hysterical. I eventually got it together and google-solved my problem, but not without approximately 95% more freakout than was, strictly speaking, necessary.
Okay, I’m sick, I’m sleepy, and my front door is actually locked tonight so it’s bed time.
Ed note: I know, few of these ostensibly have much to do with loneliness- here’s the rub: wellness, is for me the first step to being able to socialize.