Friday, 18 May 2012

Avoid Yourself From Becoming An Introverted Weirdo !

I'm a total introvert (during holiday like this) and the creature comforts of home are usually a lot more enticing than a social outing. The amount of awesome that you can stuff into a small house makes it incredibly hard to get out and leave. The fact most people have a big flat screen TV, can stream just about any movie or TV show on demand, and can automate the delivery of pretty much everything makes it easier than ever to stay cooped up inside. Still, social interaction is good for you, so let's take a look at some ways (healthy ways) you can motivate yourself to get out of the house every now and again.

Turn Leaving the House Into a Game

One of the easiest tricks to forcing yourself out of the house is to incentivize it with a game. The most popular way to do this is probably Foursquare, which rewards you with badges and points when you visit new locations. It's also a good way to try new things and stay in touch with friends, a fact I can personally attest to.

The handy thing about Foursquare (or whatever location-based social app you choose) is that you can also see what your friends are up to if they're in your area. For instance, if a friend checks in at a restaurant near you then you'll know they're out hanging out and probably looking for more company.

Schedule a Day a Week to Try Something New

Sometimes getting out of the house requires a more forceful tactic. In this case, try scheduling a day to try something new. Take a look at your weekly schedule and see where you might have some long stints of nothing to do. Schedule in a day where you hit up a new restaurant or meet up with friends for a new activity. It might sound like overkill, but the truth is if you're given the option to stay in and enjoy the luxuries of home for free or go out and spend a little money, you're probably more likely to choose the money saving method.

That's totally okay on most days, but if you schedule in at least one day a week to go do something a little different, you'll simultaneously keep yourself from falling into a rut and get out of the house. If you're feeling especially introverted, it's a good idea to ride the coattails of an extrovert friend while you're at it because they'll probably force you out whether you like it or not.

Take a Walk and Explore Your Neighborhood

This might be a silly suggestion to some people, but it's one that I personally take advantage of all the time. If I catch myself getting too into some nonsense task like an all-day movie binge or I get too involved in work I'll force myself to get up and walk around the neighborhood. The trick here is to try and explore new areas each time and make eye contact with neighbors (and smile, for crying out loud).

In my case, I live in a neighborhood that happens to border a ton of other, more interesting neighborhoods, and my explorations have lead me to new coffee shops, tiny ice cream stands, and hole-in-wall restaurants. As a bonus I've also met and chatted with a bunch of my neighbors. If nothing else, walking might increase your brain size and memory. 

Volunteer at a Non-Profit

Sure, working for free probably doesn't sound better than playing Xbox for six hours straight, but it's a good way to get out of the house and do something productive. Bonus: you'll feel horrible if you skip a day so you're more likely to do it. Before you start worrying about toiling away in a soup kitchen, know that volunteering can encompass everything from teaching a class on electronics to writing blogs for non-profits. Volunteering isn't just a good way to get out of the house; it's also good padding for your resume.

Really, as long as you're getting out of the house now and again you should be able to steer clear of a Howard Hughes-esque fate, but it's totally understandable if it's a bit tough to get up the willpower to do it.

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