I am a big introvert. Not in that “I’m socially awkward, please don’t ever talk to me” way, but in that “I can only handle one social engagement per week because that’s not how I recharge” way. Too much socializing can leave me tired and anxious, so I often avoid it. As a result, I can be a crummy friend and a major party-pooper when it comes to anything that requires me to leave my couch. I know this and I’m working on it.
As I tip-toe into trying to be more social, here are a few things I’m doing to keep from feeling overwhelmed. They’re all about making sure you build in “you time”!
1. Protect the bedtime / weekend / yoga class / etc.
This is something my family says and my sister reminded me that I could use it to frame social plan-making — when it comes to anything you do, it’s okay to accommodate the things that are important to you and to your well-being. Sometimes that means not starting a movie at 9 PM in order to protect your 10 PM bedtime. Sometimes that means having lunch with a friend during the workweek, instead of on Saturday or Sunday, because you know you’ll need time to yourself during the weekend. Sometimes it means that the yoga class you take each week is nonnegotiable. Whatever you need to recharge, protect it!
2. Make a list of ready-to-go ideas.
If you’re anything like me, there are some social things that are more your speed than others. For example, I’m not ever going to be on board with spending $50 on every outing, but I am always in the mood for a coffee walk. Accept that it’s not up to anyone but you to make sure you’re comfortable with the plans — you can’t expect everyone to suggest only ideas you would like. To keep from doing things you don’t want to do and to keep from being the “no, No, NO” person, come up with a handful of suggestions ahead of time. I keep a running list! This way, you’ll always be prepared to offer a new idea that’s up your alley.
3. Don’t load up.
I know that a full week of socializing leaves me feeling drained and unprepared for the real-life stuff that comes up. If I’ve spent all my energy hanging out, I drop the ball on things like grocery shopping, doing laundry, and cleaning my apartment. Keeping this in mind, I try not to completely fill up my time after work or on weekends with social outings. I sprinkle them in here and there, with plenty of recovery time.
Oooooh y’all, allergy season has hit me hard. I was overjoyed to see things start to bloom, but I immediately started to feel bad. As a result, it seems like I’ve been dealing with a heavy dose of that allergy-induced mental fog for April so far. But it seems like we might be close to finished with the major pollen — fingers crossed!
Lately I’m …
Eating: Lots of chopped salads! After Brittany, of Eating Bird Food, shared her love of this chopped salad bowl, my sister ordered one. She and I made a few chopped salads together, and then I decided that I needed one too! I was really skeptical, but there really is something different about a completely chopped salad. Everything is uniform, the dressing is really distributed, there is a lightness to every bite — I love it.
Watching: Schitt’s Creek. I was late to the party, but I am here now! The show is easy to watch, the episodes are short, and the entire cast is great.
East Pole Coffee Company: The space is beautiful and the coffee is good. I’ve only had their pour over, but they’ve had a different selection of beans each time and I’ve enjoyed every cup. There is lots of seating because there is space within the shop and directly outside in a communal space, and there is parking!
Muchacho: This is a little retro-feeling cafe, serving things like tacos, toast, and grain bowls alongside a variety of coffee drinks. I’ve only been for breakfast, but beer and other drinks are also on the menu. The staff is quirky, the space is Insta-worthy, and it’s a fun stop overall. Again, there’s parking!
Academy Coffee: Just off the Beltline (near Krog Street Market), this is a fun spot to hit for unexpected coffee goodness. You can have your standard coffee order, but the menu features a handful of signature options that are so good.
Gunshow: A super-cool concept that yields lots of delicious food! I’ve only been once, but I tried many of the dishes on the menu at the time (it rotates!) and I loved them all. You’ll need reservations and it’s pricey, but the food is special and worth a stop.
(Update to) Fitness
I’ve downgraded my ClassPass membership. After a few years of studio-hopping, I was ready for a more consistent routine. I felt I had stopped making real progress and I wanted to focus more on lifting weights. I now spend most of my workouts at a small, local gym, plus a few CorePower Yoga classes, walks, short runs, and a ClassPass class or two.
While I still love all the studios I originally included in my list, I haven’t been to most of them in a while.
NEW! Miscellaneous Fun
Farmers markets around town: There are so many options!!! Farmers markets are a fun activity, you’ll get to see and try a large selection of local offerings, and it gets you outside. I have a few favorites, but I really don’t think you can go wrong.
Tiny Doors ATL: You can find teeny, tiny, decorated doors all over the city. They’re seven inches tall and each one is designed with a specific area or Atlanta feature in mind. It’s nice to happen upon these doors by happy accident, but it’s also fun to set out on a door-finding mission!
Anything you think is an Atlanta must-do that’s not on my list? Let me know!
I’d offer excuses for my absence, but no! Life has been busy and full and exciting lately, so I’ve been offline and out in the world. As a result, I have a handful of fun updates and pictures from the last few months to share.
Spring has sprung! It feels like everything started blooming overnight and it’s been so nice to walk around and enjoy flowers on every corner. Tulips, specifically, are all over town.
My parents were out of town for a bit, so my sister and I headed home to stay with our family cats. It was like a staycation! My sister and I had a lot of girl time, we had wine with every dinner, and we were always in bed by 10 PM. And, of course, the kitties were the most precious.
I have been eating very well! In addition to trying some new things in my own kitchen, I’ve been treated to some delicious food while out and about: a giant almond croissant at Brash Coffee, the Nashville Hot Chicken Biscuit and the Arugula + Blueberry Salad at Ladybird, and the Ricotta & Jam Toast at Muchacho. Yum, yum, yum!
And the grand finale: sloths!!! For my birthday, my boyfriend surprised me with some one-on-one time with two sweet sloths. I’m a big sloth fan — they’re so weird and gentle. We were able to pet them and feed them sweet potato snacks. 😀
We’re speeding into spring! After what has felt like a weird, long winter, I am ready for flowers to start blooming and to put away my big coat. The days are starting to feel a bit brighter (thanks daylight saving time) and the weather a bit warmer, so this weekend I’ve got no big plans except to soak it all in.
Watching: Period. End of Sentence.It’s eye-opening, inspirational, and worth a watch, especially since it’s only 25 minutes long. (It’s on Netflix!)
Hearing: P!nk, nonstop. We had a fun girls’ night out on Tuesday and were able to see her in concert! It was so much better than I was expecting. She is a great performer — so much dancing, skipping around the stage, and flying through the air all over the stadium (which she’s doing in both of the pictures above). And so many sequins!
Reading: I’m about halfway through Meik Wiking’s The Little Book of Lykke, which is his follow-up to The Little Book of Hygge. It’s all about the little, realistic things we can do in our everyday lives to feel happier. Getting a few ideas in that department is never a bad thing.