Humans are social by nature and it is part of our make up, that we crave to be around others. You see on “Planet Earth”, that when animals are left alone to fend for themselves with no opportunity to interact with others, they are more vulnerable to depression, so David A says. Why would we humans be any different? Research on humans shows that lack of socialisation can lead to psychological problems, such as depression and anxiety.
We need attention from others, and to feel needed by others too. Socialising is so necessary to a human’s routine, that it makes sense that solitary confinement is used as a form of torture or punishment. Human interaction simply makes life more meaningful.
Think about how socialising with others make help you? It may offer opportunity for you to get your mind off your current problems. A little bit of distraction makes anyone feel emotionally happier. A problem shared is often a problem halved, so maybe having a little rant is useful to you.
Actively socialising is also associated with longer life, better immune systems, and lower risk of long term health problems and dementia.
Why is socialising one of the things we deny ourselves when we are going through a rough patch. I call it the AWOL Time. Everyone I know does it, and it does not serve them well. The only way they can get out of it is by being forced to go to some social event that they really don’t want to go to, and realise “huh, I really like these people. I must meet with them more”. Facepalm.
When motherhood beckons, and you feel you are stuck at home with a newborn, it’s easy to not find time to socialise. I remember trying to go out the first time. I planned two hours of time in which I would get ready, get the baby ready and then leave at a leisurely pace. In reality I was already 30 minutes late, and there was a poonami incident and I arrived as people were considering leaving. Disaster.
As mentioned in previous posts, there is no routine in the early days and you are drowning in nappies and milk, so when do you fit others in? There is no correct answer. You just have to, for your own wellbeing. Below are ways you can kickstart your socialising engine:
- Facetime or videochatting. It’s not ideal, as face to face in person interactions tend to be best for mood, but it will do for now. I often take a cuppa with me and pretend I’m in a cafe catching up with my Mum or my besties.
- Make a plan and hell or high water, stick to it. Make it as realistic as possible for example, a local place with parking or buggy access so you have less to worry about on the day.
- If you are already going to be out doing a necessary task, e.g. baby weigh in or supermarket shop, tag along another plan with a mate. Two birds one stone!
- Walk through your local neighbourhood and make a point of smiling or saying hi to anyone who crosses your path. Everyone loves a baby and they may stop to make further conversation, and before you know it, you may have a local friend.
I would love to hear your ideas of how you deal with your AWOL days, and maybe I can add it to the list. Let me know your thoughts.
Lots of love,