“There is but one solution to the intricate riddle of life; to improve ourselves, and contribute to the happiness of others” – Mary Shelley.”
How true this is, and yet, some days it seems like more people are working on themselves but forgetting those around them. It’s as if they’ve forgotten an entire world exists outside of their struggle. It’s fascinating, really, the reclusiveness people take on to work on themselves and in turn, ruin relationships.
Tips on Maintaining A Sense of Reality While Working on Self
Though self-work is the absolute best thing to do for oneself, we cannot forget that those who love us are still present, watching us struggle.
It is difficult to spread our energy into so many directions. Balancing our time between us and our loved ones seems almost impossible when the problem at hand is so overwhelming. But that’s where time management and grounding oneself comes in. It’s a change in our thinking that must take place if we want to get through the process of change. Without the power over our minds, nothing will happen beyond constant struggle.
1. Set hours throughout your day to spend with your loved ones.
“But I have nothing to say. I can’t even think straight, let alone hold a conversation.” Then send them a text that you’re going through something and need time for yourself. Add in an “I love you” if appropriate. the reclusiveness doesn’t need to be dead silent. In fact, that will hurt everyone around you.
2. Make sure you are making time for things like eating, hygiene, and sleeping enough hours.
Without the basics of physical self-care, we tend to fall into a mental ditch where we feel the way we look. But failing to brush our teeth will hurt us in the long run. Failing to feed ourselves will only create illness among the stress. No one expects us to put ourselves together when we’re feeling the struggle—though it does have a tendency to naturally raise our energy levels when we feel put-together.
3. Step outside every once in a while.
It’s easy to lock ourselves up with the curtains shut where we can forget the world around us. But put it into your mind to step outside for brief moments throughout your days. Let your skin feel the summer’s sun or the winter’s bite. Look ahead of you, into your neighborhood or whatever else lies in front of your home. If you don’t want to actually step outside, then open a curtain. Pretend you’re a ghost in the window if that’s where your mood is at—whatever it takes. The point is to visually take in the world around you. Don’t drown yourself in the vision of a dark room. Reclusiveness with connection is the key.
4. Watch your posture.
Whenever you get up to get a drink or use the bathroom, stand up straight. The straighter, the better. Heck, walk with a broom down the back of your shirt. You might even crack a smile over how dumb you feel, but a smile does release neuropeptides that help you fight off stress. And when you’re in the ditch, any positive chemical release will help you get out without any real effort.
5. Ask yourself the hard questions.
If you’re already in a ditch, why not? True change requires healthy criticism. You cannot just accept where you are without breaking down the why’s, who’s, and what’s. You need to recognize the parts of yourself that you do not like and put it on a pedestal. Why do you not like this part of yourself? Is it something innate or is it because of outside expectations? Putting yourself into the mindset of “why am I like this and how do I want to be” may very well be the solution to many, many problems you’re struggling with.
Reclusiveness in Others
As for your loved ones that are undergoing a difficult time in their lives and are becoming reclusive to you, do not be quick to push them out of your life. It will not last forever. Instead, leave your struggling loved one little reminders throughout the day that you are there and you still think about them.
Some Things to Keep in Mind About Reclusiveness
- Not everyone is self-aware when they are struggling. This typically goes for men who are in the creative arts. They will entirely seclude themselves, putting up mental walls between him and every person in his life, until he works through his problem. Creative men become so fixated on the issue at hand that time almost has no meaning. This often results in him “waking up” after solving the problem, only to find that his loved ones have detached from the relationship. It is absolutely heartbreaking to see this happen, as he had no internal loss of love or care within himself—just the loss of time and focus.
If you have someone like this in your life, you need to speak up. Communication is key in all relationships but it will be the saving grace of relationships with a creative man.
(None of this is to say that women never get like this—it’s just more typical in men.)
- Turning your back completely on a loved one who is shutting themselves off from others during a struggle will only lead them deeper down the hole. Offer your time, your ears, and your presence. When they come out of the emotional/mental ditch, this is what will be remembered of you and you will not regret it.
- This next bit of advice about reclusiveness may seem to counter the last one, but here goes: do not blame yourself for your loved one’s suffering. It is not your job to bring happiness to other people—only to yourself. Be a sense of presence, but don’t overburden yourself, spending all your time to help them. We all must learn to rely on ourselves and to help ourselves. We all must learn to grow from within.
Life is a balance and we each have our own scales to work with. There is a time for struggle and a time to help those who struggle. But it is always time for communication and for growth.