Isolation & Self-Care

I’ve spoken before on this blog a bit about the useful qualities being an introvert can bring to life. It allows me to enjoy my solitary work environment (with animals of course!), gives a greater ability to concentrate and makes one-on-one intimate relationships of great importance.
One potential downside is that it can get too much. It’s very easy when you enjoy the solitary experience to allow it to take over so that you become isolated. Life is busy; rushing in and out getting breakfast, lunch, drop-offs, collections as well as the endless piles of laundry and to-do lists. But this is not really the same as spending time with people and having interaction as part of your day.
I go through cycle; by the end of holidays I long for time alone. The first few days are bliss, I sit in the office with almost total silence (not counting the insane cats dismantling my pile of packing materials) and just LOVE it. Then a few days pass and I realise that my only human interaction was telling people to get up, hurry and checking that homework was done. During the week due to gym schedules I don’t see my husband before 8 or 9 and generally we’ve both lost the desire to do anything other than turn into couch potatoes at that point. At first I don’t notice that I’m becoming isolated, then I get sad and then I get very negative. But it take a few more days before I realise that I’ve got to reach out either virtually or in person and make an effort. Virtual connection is wonderful, you can pick it up and put it down as you need so that it fits in comfortably around your life. I’m astonished how wonderful, effective and supportive virtual friends are. It can make all the difference. It can change a day where you felt like the world was crashing down around you into a day that’s full of new possibilities and fun.

Here are a few self-care techniques I’m attempting to incorporate into my life

  • 20-30 minutes of Yoga to centre myself before I work (I’m finding Yoga with Adriene fantastic!).
  • Clear lists with small, achievable goals for the day.
  • Daily walk with my dog.
  • Remember to stop rushing for just a few minutes every day and reach out to people (in-person or virtually).
  • Being gentle on myself if the day ran away with me and start afresh the next day.

My goal – to achieve this level of relaxation daily!

Do you have a support network in real life or virtually that picks up up and dusts you off on rough days? What self-care works best for you? Let’s all mind and love ourselves in 2018.

12 thoughts on “Isolation & Self-Care

  1. Hi Carol. I do have a health focus this year! For me it’s an affirmation that I learned of from my internet yoga teacher Brett Larkin. It goes like this.
    “I will be patient and let the answers come to me”
    I have 4 grown children. 1 son in the Navy in the Middle East, another son and daughter in college and 1 at home working with my husband.
    My life is full with worry, teaching gymnastics, cooking, cleaning, hiking with dogs, I have 2 cats, a great husband, and hopefully some knitting. I too do yoga in small time doses! 15-60min when I can. I think the Yoga has turned it all around for me. It’s important that we self care. Everybody benefits from us being happy and taking care of ourselves. It’s the best thing we can teach our family and friends. That said I’m enjoying the Knit along! ALOT

  2. Hi Carol, your blog on isolation and self care resonates with me. I am a married mother of three. My son is 22 and attends college 7 hrs from home. My twin daughters are 18 and also attend college away from home – luckily not as far. One of my daughters has been having anxiety dealing with the social demands of being away at school. I bought her a book “called Hiding in the bathroom” that addresses how important introverts are in this world. Haha never considering that I should read it too. I am not working now – I have worked from home and have chosen careers where I am solely responsible for my work. Now I am home a lot. I am realizing that I have to work and plan real human contact in my life because for me it is much more comfortable being alone and quiet. I realized today that I am also an introvert and I guess with the demands of parenting and working – being alone was rare. I now embrace it. But- I also think it isn’t a good thing to do. I think to really feel the best we need balance. I also have virtual friends that I hold dear but being near people is also important. I am going to think about how I can make that more of a priority in my life even though I really would prefer to avoid it.
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts…

  3. Hi Carol, be gentle with yourself is key I think. Plus I say out loud: I am not perfect but I am doing the best I can. Our house is fairly quiet now with only 2 cats and a rabbit but because I am a lot slower nowadays and we take care of our 2 youngest grandchildren 2 days a week there’s never dnough time for everything I want/need to do.
    On busy days a long hot shower us my me time!
    My goal is: don’t fuss but enjoy !

  4. Hi Carol. I love this blog. I have a tendency to become impatient so must remember what is important in life. Thank you for your words. Rita

  5. Greetings Carol….May I have your cats please? I’m sure they will get me from being stubbornly introverted to some lively meowing to commenting on Facebook to seeing real people.
    I’m not sure how I got to be on your list but I’m so grateful I’m here. The mention of yoga is an encouraging reminder. Lost my instructor but will look at at the reference to Yoga with Adriene. Plus there’s all your amazing patterns & yarn. Reorganizing my stash & need more of absolutely nothing. So I bought it anyway–shawl pattern & kit. Many thanks and best regards, Pat

  6. Dear Carol,

    I am an introvert by nature but in the work world have to be an extrovert which for me has always been very exhausting. Therefore, my quiet time is important, I often did not realize that over many days outside of work I have no contact with other people at all.

    I have rectified this by having a virtual friend for almost 10 years (in the days of old-fashioned letters, it would have been called a pen pal) and I have managed a few friends in my local area.

    It is enough for me (smile). Between my virtual friend who has become a dear friend (we telephone now at least 1 to 2 times a week and I am someone that does not like the telephone) and my few local friends, I am content.

    This year (thankful to still be on this earth) is focused on self-care and those that are important to me.

    I have been a fan of yours for quite some time and have knitted several of your designs, I look forward your newest cardigan as it is definitely my style!

    All the best!

  7. Oh—your words are like sunshine to me!
    Crazy, because I was simply going to watch one of your tutoring videos, but found your philosophical post, instead. Even better!!

    How I needed it to settle my soul.
    I’ve always been a busy, busy woman.
    Work, children, hubby, friends, community, church, etc….
    But now that I’m 64, I want to slow down and become an introvert! So far I love it—but yes, yes, it’s true—
    There is a skinny line of going too far away from others and even myself.

    So here’s to the upcoming Spring and to many more cardigans & knee socks!
    We’re with ya!

  8. My wife is truly an introvert but she thrives as a knitter SwanAvenue on etsy she also live on an isolated Island in the Salish Sea BC Lasqueti Island

  9. Hi Carol,
    I thought that I was the “crazy cat lady,” at one time having nine. They weren’t
    deliberately chosen but they chose me. Now our home is down to three, two
    nineteen yr. olds having recently passed away.
    I am in the process of knitting Ravi Nua and having fits over the short rows. I have
    checked out every tutorial I can find on short rows in garter stitch. I have your craftsy guide on short rows and saw your example of your Ravi Nua where you said
    that you had used Japanese short rows. I tried them but kept ending up with a loop
    on the right side. I watched your video on German short rows so tried those as well
    as wrap and turn. Everything is so obvious, I ended ripping out. I am using your Nua
    yarn. Do you have any suggestions for me?

    Best to you and your sweet animals.

  10. For short rows in Garter Stitch German short rows would be my preferred method. It is not entirely invisible, however it ends up becoming a repeated pattern that is attractive in its own right as you work your way around the yoke.

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