Since I don’t have many friends locally, it is easy for me to get into a rut (read: the funk to end all funks). Working from home with two school-age children and a husband that travels often, makes me feel really alone especially during the day. To fill the void, I work harder and longer hours when I really should be working smarter and taking care of myself. Since I am prone to depression, I try to find ways to be my own best friend.
The only time I see anyone on a non-commuting day is when I go to the gym. Though the instructors, trainers, and staff are friendly, I don’t have any gym friends like I had at my old gym before we moved. Most of the women that I do encounter (my sons’ friends mothers) are cordial and there are definitely some Mean Girls-esque cliques so I just keep to myself. I stopped trying to make friends and I’m comfortable in the fact that even though my friends and besties don’t live nearby, most are a phone call away or a short pilgrimmage by car.
Here are four ways I’m being my own best friend and if you are looking for support, love, and advice–don’t look any further than in yourself:
1. Treat yo’self – Why not dedicate time, attention, and tokens of affection to yourself? I have a monthly membership to a spa. It isn’t because I’m flossing, it is definitely an indulgence. Yesterday I called and I had banked ten sessions (!!!) because I hadn’t been practicing self care and had been letting work and life rule me. This week I am going to treat myself for a facial with the world’s best aesthetician and a hot stone massage. BLISS. I also treat myself in other ways like buying fresh flowers for my office and kitchen ever so often.
2. Schedule a date – I grew up an only child so I’m no stranger to being alone/lonely but I never necessarily liked being alone. Now I schedule weekly dates with myself. I have been known to dip away and go to the movies or make myself Home Goods happy. I have to schedule them on Outlook and I actually get giddy when I receive the alerts that that special time with myself is coming up. However, you don’t have to spend money to make your best friend (read: you) happy. I have hobbies like photography, writing, reading, and meditation that count as dates. Sure, it would be great to have someone with me on these excursions but since that isn’t an option I am spending quality time getting to know me and making myself happy.
3. Break away for “me” time – After my session with the life and wellness coach, I have been breaking away during the day and not eating at my desk. Now that it is warmer out, I will take it outside and make sure to give myself a proper lunch hour. I’ll even read a book after I eat! Walking my dog Yoda counts as me time too…even though it’s more Yoda time than anything else!
4. Write yourself a love letter – You don’t have to write an actual letter (but you should!) but just complimenting yourself and loving yourself is being a best friend to yourself. Just like a best friend compliments and complements you should do the same! I have become more conscious of the negative self-talk. I say things to myself that I wouldn’t say to my worst enemy so now I find myself saying good things about myself to boost my self-esteem and set the precedent for the day.