It’s perfectly understandable; you’re young and at the peak of your career, which means that it’s crucial that you give it all you’ve got every single day of the week. While your devotion is impressive, it’s not something that can be considered wise. Continue on this path and you’ll soon find yourself burnt out, lonely, and maybe even demotivated. Your life is your work and your work is your life. Social circles? You can’t even remember the last time you shared a meal with someone outside the office and had a good laugh.
If you find yourself in this boat and you’re desperate for a change, there’s good news for you: it’s never too late to start socializing again. It might take more effort than you expect, but once you begin, you’ll realize that getting a promotion is much more rewarding when you can celebrate with your friends.
Be Transparent—Share Your Calendar!
By now, your friends and family are already aware that your schedule is hectic. They might’ve even gotten to the point of skipping your invitation because your answer is always no.
The first step to remedy this situation is to let them know you’re interested. Prove it by sharing your calendar with your group chat. People always appreciate it when you’re making the effort to connect, and this will simplify the process of finally scheduling a long-overdue meet-up. You may also prompt them to share their calendar so that you can make adjustments to yours.
Maybe it’s someone’s birthday and you’re planning to celebrate in a dinner restaurant. There are many wonderful places you want to try, but you’re not all available on the exact birthday. Sharing calendars make it easier to achieve a compromise and finalize the details. Moreover, you’re likely to put it in your actual calendar and avoid making commitments that can get in its way.
What if your friends and relatives are in another state, maybe even another continent? Well, that’s what technology is for. If nobody has suggested this before in spite of Zoom’s prevalence during the pandemic, then now is the time to mention it. All the birthdays, baptisms, weddings, engagements, and graduation ceremonies happening this year are possible to attend virtually.
Make it the norm in your social circles whenever meeting up in person is either not geographically possible or safe due to the pandemic. You may have to be more creative, like agreeing on the type of clothes you’ll wear, the food you’ll eat, and activities you’ll do, but it’s definitely worth it. Also, it leaves you with no excuse to miss out because all you have to do is sit back and relax while you wave at your laptop screen from the comfort of your home.
Reassess Your Activities
Is your schedule still a little too tight? What you need might be a major reassessment of your entire lifestyle. Maybe you can improve your time management skills and cut back on certain tasks. If doing the laundry eats up two to three hours of your time, then send it to the dry cleaners instead. Do you waste too much time deciding what to cook and wear?
Create a meal plan and decide on your outfits for the entire week. Some of these habits you commit to may be key to freeing up space in your schedule. For all you know, this could be exactly what you need not only to socialize but to actually have some meaningful alone time and rejuvenate.
Join A Group
Perhaps your existing social circle is small and you want to expand it. The solution is to join a social group in your locality. Runners can find running groups in their neighborhood, and voracious readers can join book clubs.
In case you don’t have any such hobbies, sign up for classes. Take up piano lessons or horticulture classes. You may even volunteer at local shelters and befriend not only the other volunteers but also the countless dogs that need your love. The dog community is especially notorious for being welcoming and passionate. Sometimes, even a trip to the dog park can lead to a friend or two in the short time you’re there.
You may hate this saying, but it’s true that no man is an island. Humans are social creatures that thrive in communities. Socializing may look different from one person to another, but as long as it gives you the connection you need from others, then it shouldn’t matter how big or small your circle of friends is.