One of the keys to self-care is balance. Balancing self-care between physical, emotional, intellectual, spiritual and relational/social helps to ensure that our efforts to take care of ourselves don’t turn into escapism or overindulgence.
Sometimes I go the other way and isolate. Not interacting with people just feels easier. A common reaction to divorce or other crises is being ultrasocial or retreating.
- Talk to a friend or loved one long distance. Not living in the same place doesn’t mean you can’t share each others’ lives. Catch up on the big stuff and the mundane details.
- Meet a friend for a walk, hike, or other physical activity. You can take care of yourself physically and socially at the same time.
- Join or create a group of people with similar interests or issues and go to a group meeting.
- Host or go to a potluck/party so you can see a whole bunch of friends at once.
- Go see a movie, play, or poetry reading with a friend. Then make time to hang out afterward so you can share what you just experienced.
- Have a friend over or go to her/his house. You can chat, catch up, and offer each other support without spending any money.
- It may not be exactly social, whether it’s called social media or not, but catching up with a friend via FB, Twitter, or email still can be relationship-building or sustaining.
* Bonus tip: Reunions are great for social self-care. At least the right kind of reunion is. This summer, a bunch of childhood friends and I scheduled our trips to our home town so they would coincide. Those weeks together, with our kids playing together, was some of the best social/relational care of my lifetime.
It might not quite seem like self-care if it’s with others, but making the time to connect with people you love is a great way to take care of yourself.
What are some of your favorite ways to connect with others and meet your needs for social/relational self-care?