Monday, March 26, 2012

Keeping Sane

How does an author, locked up in her tiny apartment by herself for days on end, stay sane?

Everything's fine. No, haven't seen a thing.

Doctor Who Girls' Night. (Extra credit if you understand the photo reference!)

Yes, there's the regular job. And for some people, that may be social time enough. But the interactions between coworkers are often more formal, which means less relaxing. And if you work in a cubicle forest like I do, it's really not all that social.

It's important to keep up a social connection in what can arguably be called one of the most introverted professions around. We're humans - we need social company, even those of us with introvert qualities. It's kind of important to the continued functioning of our sanity (or, in some cases, functional insanity.)

Scheduling your life should include at least one, if not more, arranged social periods. Yes, that's right, playdates for grown-ups.

In my case, I host a weekly girls' night. This consists of several of us getting together, cooking dinner, and watching an episode or two of Doctor Who. Or sometimes we just end up talking so much that we don't get around to watching, but that's okay, too. It's about the company, not about the activity.

I could use this time to write. I could use this time to clean. I'm particularly fond of dishes, and there's always the hassle of more-or-less cleaning the apartment* before everyone gets here. But I never regret the company, and it's always fun.

(*Disclaimer: Cleanliness is relative. Dishes are clean; bathroom's Lysoled. That's what counts, right?)

Maybe you won't crack open a bottle of mead and have 6 cooks trying to work in a tiny apartment kitchen. But that's no excuse to neglect your mental health. Whether it's friend time, family time, or spouse time, make time in the week to be with other people. Even if this means heading over the local game shop for board-game night, or doing a hang-out on Google+ with old college friends. Our minds work best with at least a little human interaction. So make time.

Do you have a regularly scheduled social time? If so, what do you do? If not, what could you do?

1 comment:

  1. I'm trying to get better at being social. My social life has deteriorated over the last couple of years thanks to my work schedule. I've become the stereotypical writer-hermit.

    I'm trying to work at it though! The main thing for me is telling myself to get over those guilty "I could be working" thoughts.

    P.S. Because I think your blog is awesome, I've named you as a recipient of the Liebster Award! Check out my entry on the award for more info. :)

    The Great and Mysterious Liebster Award