Sometimes, you feel like you’ve hit rock bottom. You’re never entirely sure how it happened, or what specific causes created this situation. But suddenly, you’re feeling completely alone, like you’ve got no one to talk to, and everything’s going wrong. Sure, you might still have your job (that you don’t really love), and you might even still have an apartment you rent for cheap (though you don’t get along with your neighbors). But none of that matters, because something is deeply wrong. And what’s worse, you’re not entirely sure what it is.
Consider this: what could be missing in your life is having a healthy personal life. Too often, focusing on our careers and goals, we forget one of the most important parts of life: connecting with others, whether that’s family, friends, or a significant other. But if you know what the signs are, then you’re one step closer to fixing the problem.
Sign 1: You spend all your time on social media
Of course, spending some time on social media is normal. We’re all online, whatever our app and online pastime of choice. However, social media can be dangerous because it can get in the way of actual socializing, spending time outdoors and in the world, exercising, and just plain living. If this is the case for you, then you should consider going on a social media detox program.
Sign 2: You and your partner aren’t speaking
Obviously, you still might talk about the small things, like who’s paying the gas bill this month or whether or not the cat was fed this morning. But when it comes to deep, intense conversation, and feeling connected, something’s missing. You should seriously consider talking to your partner about this, and likely suggest that the two of you start going to couples therapy.
Sign 3: You’re addicted
Whether your addiction is playing video games or doing hard drugs, it can be very easy when you seclude yourself to invest time in those isolating, antisocial activities instead of going out with your friends. If it’s something you truly can’t pull yourself away from, you should consider going to therapy—or to treatment centers.
Sign 4: You never leave the house
Another sign that your personal life isn’t working out is that you’re never out of the house. Even when it comes to shopping for groceries or running other errands, you end up making all your orders online. Friends stop by, but you don’t invite them in. It’s vitally important to break this habit. While it may sound a little extreme, taking a spontaneous trip to a foreign country can do wonders for getting you out of your comfort zone and experiencing the world on a whole new level.
Sign 5: You don’t have any hobbies
If you’ve quit going to your weekly yoga class, or you’re no longer going to museums or piano lessons, it can be a sign that your personal life needs help. After all, there are constant interactions in these activities, and if you’re isolating yourself, you’ll want to avoid them.
Sign 6: Avoiding responsibilities
Whether it’s picking up the kids from carpool, or making a phone call to pay a bill or get something repaired around the apartment or house, these are responsibilities that it’s normal to feel anxious about. But if you’re feeling so anxious that you’re avoiding all these responsibilities, it’s likely that you’re avoiding them because you’re afraid to connect to the outer world.
Sign 7: Too much Netflix
Whether it’s The Bachelor or Stranger Things, you’ve been watching way too much TV lately–think along the lines of binge-watching an entire season in one day, and then going onto the next even though it’s time for bed. If you’re isolating yourself from others, this is one of the easiest ways to keep yourself entertained without real personal connection.
Sign 8: You’re always canceling
Just because you’re making plans, that doesn’t mean that your personal life is working out. A lot of people believe that they’re leading a healthy social life when, in fact, they’re not. Why? Because they are constantly canceling, which means they’re closing themselves off from friends while pretending that’s not the case.
Sign 9: You’re overly sensitive
If you find yourself being hurt quite often by your friends, or holding grudges, then it may be a sign that you’re building walls around yourself. Although friends can sometimes hurt each other’s feelings, intentionally or not, cutting yourself off completely means that you’re isolating.
Sign 10: Not exercising
If you aren’t taking care of yourself–exercising, showering, brushing your hair–then it’s likely this is having an impact on your personal life. By not putting in the effort to feel like yourself around others, you are more than likely attempting to keep them at a distance.
Sign 11: You’re feeling FOMO (Fear of Missing Out)
Suddenly, it feels like everyone is having fun–except for you. This is what’s known as Fear of Missing Out–FOMO, for short–and it’s spreading throughout society. We share so many positive selfies and experiences that it feels like everyone’s life is better than yours, which can lead to jealousy and self-isolation.
Sign 12: You’re keeping secrets
Last, but this might be more important than the others, if you’re keeping secrets from friends and family–anything as innocuous as staying in the car an extra twenty minutes after work and saying there was traffic, or something bigger like financial infidelity–then this will take a toll on your relationships. You need to be close to the people in your life, and if you’re lying, you’re creating large chasms between them and you.
So, if you find yourself coming across any of these signs, you’ll want to ensure that you change your habits. Open up to a close friend, start seeing a therapist, and start connecting again.