Self Care List For The Lonely Introvert

November 11, 2019


I'm not the kind of person who reaches out when feeling lonely. It's something I'm still working on. Growing up, isolating myself became a habit because there was no one else I could count on. It was what made me feel safe. Cultivating healthy relationships was something I only became familiar with in my late twenties. Now as an adult, as fun and outgoing as I might be, I'm also relatively shy and I'm afraid of rejection. In my head, I often tell myself that people don't want to hang out with me, or don't want to talk to me, which is not true of course, but I still end up not really asking anyone to do anything and just staying home. Which is fine. I like being by myself and I also like being with my boyfriend but I do wish I would call someone when I feel like going for coffee or going shopping; I wish I would reach out more and connect with people that are not my boyfriend. As I said in the beginning, this is something I'm actively working on but in the meantime, I have compiled a self care list with things I do, that you can do too, to help cope with both being alone and feeling lonely.


Self Care List For The Lonely Introvert


Journal

Write down your dreams, your feelings, make lists of why you're sad, why you're happy, write down joyful memories, sad memories, small and achievable to do lists, books you'd like to read, your current favorite songs, shopping wish lists etc. I find that journaling no longer is like keeping an actual diary and writing paragraph after paragraph. It's checking in with yourself, writing down a sentence or two, making yourself feel heard. As a person who's always wanted to journal but never actually managed to do so successfully, using the Listography One List A Day journal helped a lot. It's about answering a question every day with a list of 3 things. I used to think writing lists about myself was stupid, why would I do that? It helps to change the negative self-talk. This is a great way to get to know yourself better, it improves positive thinking and makes for self improvement. If you're not interested in buying a new journal or simply can't afford one, start journaling on your phone, your computer or using an old notebook.

Cuddle with a hot water bottle 

Most people use hot water bottles to cope with pain or cold, I use a hot water bottle when I'm feeling lonely and I need a cuddle. It's like mimicking the body warmth of another person but with warm water. You should try it. I like to place the bottle on my back, my tummy or my feet, it instantly makes me feel better. you can also use a cherry pit heat pad if you have one.

Listen to podcasts 

When I listen to podcasts I feel involved in the conversation. My current favorites are Adventures In Roommating (all things millennial), No Lies Detected (self improvement) and The Read (pop culture). The listener letters in every episodes are probably my favorite. It makes you realise you're not alone with your struggles. It's hard to be a person sometimes and that's okay. I also enjoy listening to Tigerbelly (stand up comedy) and Where Should We Begin with Esther Perel (psychotherapist who records couples therapy sessions), which are podcasts with more specific topics.

Honor your feelings 

My therapist recommended I start wearing something that I can see to remind myself that I'm okay when I'm having a hard time. I decided to opt for a bracelet. A tattoo was my first thought, not gonna lie, but I don't have any so maybe next time. I like my bracelet, I don't wear it every day, I do when I'm feeling anxious or sad or when I'm about to do something I find challenging. Wearing my bracelet also reminds me that I'm whole and not broken, that I don't need something or someone to complete myself and that I am allowed to love myself. That I can ask for help when I need to and that what I'm going through is temporary. It's another tool to help you to check in with yourself. I remember this one day, feeling like absolute shit and deciding that I was actually going to allow myself to feel like shit, to mope around and cry and feel sorry for myself and get it out of my system. Give yourself a timeline and honor your feelings.

Role play

This might sound silly or weird but it's actually really fun. As a stay at home girlfriend, my fantasy is being a career woman, living in an apartment by myself, just me and my bunny, being single and ready to mingle. When my boyfriend isn't home that is the person I embody sometimes. I pretend that I live in the apartment by myself and I'm living my best life. I like to dress up like I'm going to the office for example, when I simply want to go and buy some ramen noodles at the Asian super market. Somehow, it makes me feel like I have it all figured out. Live your fantasy, it makes everything so much more exciting. 

Connect with people online 

2019 marks the year where I actually made one friend in real life after 10 years of exclusively online friend dating. As soon as I left school (and of course blocked all of my former class mates) I only made friends online. I used to be an au pair so I connected with a lot of nannies at first, that was on Facebook. Some time later I started my Youtube channel and made friends through that, then there was also Twitter and Instagram and Snapchat. There's also the blogger community. I've always found it pretty easy to connect with people online. There's a community out there, for any kind of interest, books, politics, football, pets, bullet journaling, photography, you name it. Find your people.

Make a schedule

Plan your week so you have something to do and/or to look forward to, in your free time. It doesn't matter what you plan, it doesn't need to be big or mind blowing, it just needs to make you feel better. Even if it only makes you feel a little bit better. Small steps ultimately make for big improvements. I like to declutter and vacuum the house on Sunday, I also throw all the used towels in the wash and change the bedsheets. Having a clean house to me is the best way to start a new week. I see my therapist every two weeks. I give myself a manicure once a week. I also like to schedule a lunch with a family member or a friend. Every Tuesday I have a free cinema ticket from my cell phone plan. I like to meal prep, schedule when I'd like to run my errands, when I think I'll be motivated to do laundry, or wash my hair for that matter, because that always takes ages. Practise self care by scheduling the simple things, so you have something to rely on when you feel lost.

Start petsitting

I have a pet and even though I'm very tempted to title this 'adopt a pet', pets are a big responsibility and it's definitely not for everyone. I love having a pet. Happy pets cannot wait to see you in the morning, they cannot wait to come say hi, cuddle, they are excited for their breakfast, their dinner, they want to play and interact with you. They need care and love. In taking care of Chloé, my free roam rabbit, I also take care of myself. Chloé wasn't always my bunny, I was her petsitter. She's not the kind of animal that needs to be walked twice a day but free roam rabbits are high maintenance and I loved petsitting her. It gave me a sense of purpose. If you're a dog lover you could sign up for a pet sitting app and maybe walk some in your free time and make some money doing something you love. Maybe you'd like to babysit a bunny too or a cat, a hamster who knows. Petsitting apps have many different formulas. Feeding, walking, house visits, home boarding. Find something that suits you.

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