Is Fall the Season for Isolation?
It’s fall. The sun is rising later and setting earlier. Fifty degrees in February feels positively balmy, but in October it sends me inside for a blanket and a fire.
So quite naturally people are spending more time indoors and less time socializing. Alone time can be healthy and stimulating. But where is the line between isolating and me time?
You Know You’re Isolating When…
There is one major difference between isolating and having me time. Intention. If you plan time alone to do something you enjoy, that’s healthy. Everyone needs to breathe and indulge in things they can only do alone. So, if you spending your time alone doing things that stimulate you, you’re fine!
If your intention is to avoid stimulation, conversation, or being “on,” you may be isolating.
This is an important distinction because humans are social creatures. Yes, even introverted ones! We all need human company and connection to thrive.
What Do You Do If You’re Isolating?
First, keep it real. Recognize the behavior and how you’re feeling. We often isolate because we don’t want to feel, so feeling your feelings is a step out of this unhealthy pattern.Practice self-care. When we’re isolating, that’s one of the first things to go. We stop showering and don’t get dressed. While this may be a restful Sunday routine, it’s not great for every day. It can lead to a slump that’s hard to get out of.Talk to somebody. If you can get some face time, that’s even better! There’s nothing like a connected conversation to stimulate the old brain cells and get a boost of hope. Go for a walk in nature. If you can find a coniferous forest, that’s even better. Forest bathing is a proven way to enhance mood and overall health. Nature heals. Do the social things that you used to enjoy. This gives you an excuse to get outside and reconnect with people and the things you love. Volunteer. Contributing is a fantastic way to get out of the house and feel a sense of purpose. Everyone needs to feel what they do matters.
If you’re prone to seasonal depression or isolation, now is a great time to put some practices in place to make sure that this year, you take better care of yourself.
The thing to remember is, fall is the season for letting go, but everything has balance. Don’t let it all go and forget to care about yourself and engage in life.