Updated: May 13, 2020
I don’t think everything we do for ourselves has to be about growth and personal development. Sometimes it is necessary to just make ourselves feel better by improving our surroundings. That can be as simple as getting fresh air and being out in nature, taking a great bath, reading a book, or splurging on some home improvements.
Isolation can be a lot of things. It can be mental, emotional and physical, or any combination of the three. I think it is just as common to be trapped in your own mind and thoughts, or shut down by your emotions, as it is to be shut into a space.
Many of my experiences with isolation have been the result of chronic physical pain that did not let me do the things I was used to, or wanted to do. At times, this has prevented me from living on my own terms, due to the limitations of movement, effort and exertion.Other times I have felt completely trapped inside my own head, or even in my heart, dealing with grief, loss, or change. Sometimes these internal things cause us to retreat into our own inner world, or away from people and regular activities.
I feel there is a way back from these obstacles, but it can often take a long time and a lot of effort. The reality is, there is no right way to deal with something, and more than one way to get there.
I consider myself to be a very sociable person. I appreciate my alone time, but I equally love being around people I care about. It is hard for me to navigate the hardest times without people, but sometimes some alone-time is needed. It is like Superman’s fortress of solitude. Nobody knows where it is, so they can’t come find you there. You just have to come back out when you are ready.
Since the majority of my experiences with isolation have been mental and emotional. I spent a lot of time reflecting about the many things that could make me feel better. The list was long and the work was hard. After making many adjustments inside, I also set out to make some minor adjustments to my personal space to make it feel more comfortable.
Other than donating loads of clothing and household items to charity, I also did a mini bedroom makeover. This involved getting some basic painting supplies, ordering a chandelier online, then hiring an electrician on kijiji. The entire project cost under $500 and it made my bedroom feel like a welcoming sanctuary.
I don’t think everything we do for ourselves has to be about growth and personal development. Sometimes it is necessary to just make ourselves feel better by improving our surroundings. That can be as simple as getting fresh air and being out in nature, taking a great bath, reading a book,or splurging on some home improvements. One of the first things I ever did for myself as an adult was buy a good mattress and get what I called “adult” bedroom furniture. I have never regretted the investment, because it felt like an investment in my well being, amortized over hundreds of hours of sleep. We spend a lot of time in our bedroom, so we might as well be as comfortable as we can be. Besides, when we sleep well or have a place to rest, relax and unwind, it is a way to improve over all well being.
If a full or mini renovation is not possible, I recommend getting a new pillow or two, some new sheets, or even a great smelling candle. It is sometimes the little adjustments that can make the biggest difference.