Isolation sneaks up on ya! Has it snuck up on you too?

I had been building my business as an “Influencer” for over 35 years and this year decided to do something differently. However, disconnecting from that business network for a different focus caught me with a sideline surprise.

The phone stopped ringing as I was happily slowing my pace. I checked email less and stopped going to networking events where I had found fast moving friends. The quietness was a new change for me.

 
 

Then I realized that I had started falling into the habit trap of isolation…and that’s not a healthy place to be! Have you ever found yourself there? If so, how can you break that habit?

Here are six ideas I have implemented that might help you to fight back against social isolation.

Show People You Care

Hold that handshake a little longer. When you are out anywhere, take a few extra minutes to communicate with the person you just met.

If it’s the cashier at the grocery store, you can thank them for their service and ask them what they love about their job, where they are from, if they have a favorite section of the store, or favorite ice cream. Showing you care makes them feel appreciated and wakens you to others’ involvement in the world.

Experience Your Senses

Go into a different kind of restaurant and enjoy the food and ambiance. New flavors are an adventure of their own. I was in a German restaurant recently and was pleasantly serenaded by accordion.

Talk to People

Shop in that little store you have passed by for years and wondered about. Go in and meet the owner or manager and ask them about their business. I always enjoy hearing the answer to “Why did you decide to start this business?”

Appreciate the Little Things

Walk and be blessed that you can. Hearing the birds chirp, smelling the grass, or even hearing the crunch of snow helps root you into the fact that there is a vast world spinning out there. And you need to be a part of it.

Give Back

Volunteer your time. Yes, it can be as a regular volunteer if you have the time and it can simply be volunteering to help a neighbor with their garage sale, a move, etc.

Teach a Lesson

It is very surprising to me that many young women don’t know how to sew. It was a skill taught when I was in high school and it has served me well, saving me lots of money. I also have warm memories of my grandmother teaching crocheting and knitting.

When I was younger and my children were small I tried to learn a new craft every year. That included batiking, basket weaving, stained glass, and carpentry. Those “art” talents are few today and teaching them to others will hone your own skills and benefit others.

I don’t want to turn this into a job for you; I just wanted to give you some simple ideas. You don’t have to do all six tomorrow. Pick one that you’re excited about and try it.
What I found was it was easier to stay home and curl up with Netflix and Roku but I was losing my joy – and to be perfectly honest, adding a few pounds! It’s an effort to get dressed and go out – and it’s also an investment in your health both mentally and physically. As Nike says “just do it.”

When have you recognized the tendency to isolate yourself? Is it a seasonal tendency? What have you done in your life to fight social isolation? Which idea are you going to try first? We look forward to reading your comments.

Sheryl NicholsonSheryl Nicholson is an international professional speaker, author and podcaster known for her authenticity and results-oriented tips. She relates quickly to women and their real-life challenges at work and in their “love space.” Her work-life balance podcast is available on iTunes or here. She shares leadership tips at her website.

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