If you prefer the home-based life in between your busy work or study obligations, you may have experienced pressure to "get out and party more!" Indeed, some relatives and friends can imply that there is something a little unhinged or hermit-like about you because you prefer to stay home when all the fun is seemingly happening anywhere but home. Yet, living in the fast lane is not for every person and a homebody is content with the familiarity and comfort of the home environment. It could even be said that it's the frequent party goer who is the one missing out on a rich and fulfilling experience, for the homebody is frequently rapt in worlds within a world, delving into books, hobbies, gardening and other home-based pursuits that can't be enjoyed while out partying all of the time. If you're sometimes a little unsure that your choice to be a homebody is not mainstream enough or you feel rather defensive about preferring a cozy night-in to a night-on-the-town, it's time to reclaim a little pride in your homebody status.
Appreciate that being a homebody is a perfectly valid choice. In a world currently aligned more toward the preferences of extroverts and social butterflies, it can be easy to wonder if your homebody ways are somehow bizarre or out-of-kilter with everyone else. They're not––the challenge is that extroverts and social butterflies tend to be energized by always being among other people outside of the home environment, while other people just don't get that same buzz. For example, if you're an introvert, chances are that spending too much time with large groups of people can drain your energy and leave you feeling overwhelmed. Equally, highly sensitive people can find that the constant exposure to loud levels of noise, lots of people and exciting happenings can feel like sensory overload. These are simply reflections of the way you are and not something to be ashamed of.
- Recognize that many people in the "social butterfly" crowd tend to thrive on drama, hyped-up excitement and even troubles. A lot of attention-seeking behavior is fulfilled when "going out," while staying at home tends to be the opposite; namely, nurturing the inner self and not giving a toss what others think.
Acknowledge that some people will always make fun of homebodies. It's like a DNA thing, it's in their genes, they simply feel compelled to point out that you can't possibly be "having fun stuck at home." Of course, this assessment is totally based on their experience of fun and it's highly likely that any time they've stayed home it has been enforced, such as when they ran out of money or caught a cold, and therefore the memory of it is just plain bad. Just as it's fine to want to be the life and soul of each and every party, it's also fine to be a homebody, just so long as both types of people can reach a gentle agreement to leave the other be.
- Many teens and young adults feel a pressure to "party non-stop" and to never be at home apart from sleep and laundry. Common stereotypes of homebody people is that they're usually old or grandparents, leaving little room for the reality that anyone can be a homebody at any age, or perhaps even changing between being a social butterfly or homebody during different stages of our lives.
- By all means make compromises when it really matters, such as when your friend or sibling is celebrating a birthday or your workplace has thrown a special party featuring a renowned speaker but don't be pushed into regularly going out with friends or others just because you're conforming to their preference.
Work out your reasons for staying home more often than not. While you don't have to justify your preference for staying home, sometimes it does help to clarify to yourself why you prefer spending time at home rather than visiting the mall, dance clubs and outdoor events. In doing so, you'll be able to come up with some neat replies to help other people understand that you are happy, contented, at ease and excited by this choice! Write a list of the top five reasons for why you like being a homebody. Then build some good explanations around those reasons to share with people who try to criticize your choice.
- Help caring but pushy friends and relatives understand that you are fulfilled and not missing anything. Explain to them that being forced to go out against your preference would be an abrupt and unwelcome change with little advantage if you hated every moment of the going-out experience.
- Gently tell people the difference between solitude and loneliness, at the same time as confirming that you're not at all lonely.
Revel in all the things you love to do at home. Home is a sanctuary from the world and it's here that you get to build your Taj Mahal from toothpicks, reread Lord of the Rings for the fifth time, hold a movie marathon and feed your pet snake live rats all without the prying eyes of the world looking on and judging you. Many activities, both creative and physical, would not be possible without having your own private space for reflection, peace and privacy––home offers you this. And for some, perhaps you included, it is a simple extension of their love of having a certain routine and way of being that leans them towards preferring the home environment. For example, once you get into a rhythm of movie marathons every Friday night, writing poetry each Saturday and crocheting kitty clothes Sunday afternoon in front of a favorite view, the peaceful and regular momentum is not something worth disturbing because it's fulfilling. Things that you might do best at home include:
- Reading a good or challenging book, or reading a whole series of books!
- Writing is often something that benefits from the peace of being at home. Find a settled spot that is just yours and preferably one with a lovely view, then write away. Novels, blogs, short stories, opinion pieces, articles, and so forth, are all possible ways to let forth your inner writer.
- Cooking up a storm. If you've got a functioning kitchen, you've got all you need to be a chef-at-home. You can bake, cook and grill to your heart's content and if you're the writing and cooking type, you might blog about it too.
- Movie marathons. Home is where you can catch up on missed movies and TV shows, or re-watch all the movies and shows you've loved and continue to cherish. Indeed, if you missed most of a favorite TV series, hire the DVD, make a large bowl of popcorn and snuggle up to watch it all in one go.
- Spending time with your pets. While dogs don't mind a bit of socializing, many pets aren't suitable for going anywhere, such as cats, reptiles, rodents and the like. Even dogs like to spend at-home time (granted, they're happy wherever you're happy). Much quality time can be spent with pets at home.
- Be an artist. At home, you can create away, all in the knowledge that nobody is going to judge the end results unless you ask them to. You can also get crafty, and raid the recycling bin for some inspiration, or collect natural bits and pieces from your garden.
- Invite your friends over for a board game party. Get out the old games, lots of delicious snacks, play mellow music and simply sink into comfy chairs for an evening of fun together, at an easy-yet-still-competitive pace. Video games are another option.
- Exercise. You don’t need to go to a gym in order to achieve a good workout. Purchase exercise DVDs, watch exercise videos online or go for a run to relieve stress built up from the week.
Appreciate your Zen surroundings while your friends and colleagues spend their time rushing around. Being a homebody can mean that you have more time to relax and rejuvenate after being busy at work or study. Learn how to stop and “smell the roses” in order to maximize your time at home. You can truly relax in the home environment by implementing deliberate relaxation measures as part of your homebody time. Some ideas include meditation, yoga, contemplation, a DIY spa in your bath, intentional resting and hanging out in a hammock.
- Keeping your home environment Zen includes ensuring that it's tidy and in order. If you spend your week rushing here and there, hunker down and get chores accomplished at a regular weekly time, so that during the rest of your homebody time and busy week you aren’t bogged down with additional checklist items.
- Sharing homebody-ness. If someone you live with is a homebody, connect and spend some quiet time together, perhaps even meditating, discussing the merits of a novel, gently debating sociological issues or contemplating life together.
Take more time to enjoy your family within the relaxed environment of home.Parents are sometimes enforced homebodies because it's just easier to cope with infants and toddlers in the home environment. Rather than feeling constrained by staying at home because of family responsibilities though, see it as a wonderful chance to spend time together doing things that bring you all closer together. Some ideas include:
- Play family games. Family game night can be a wonderful way to reconnect with your children. Select an age appropriate game and gather the family around the table for an opportunity to interact and have fun. Turn it into a tradition that your children will look back on in fondness.
- Start a family project. Whether it's painting the shed in the backyard or creating a special birthday gift for grandma, take time at home to work together with other family members on something creative.
- Redecorate or renovate. Time for a big girl/boy room? Gather your supplies ahead of time (have the new bed delivered and have your child choose the paint colors and décor) and then put your talents to work!
- Snuggle with your children on the couch during a rainy afternoon. Enjoy and embrace every minute you have with your kids by holding them close and spending some quiet time at home.
Take pride in what you're saving while you're spending time at home. Being a homebody for many people soon turns into a money-saving exercise. You're not tempted by the usual things that partygoers tend to spend their hard earned cash on, like drinks, parties, glitzy clothing, lots of meals out and other random costs. Instead, the homebody can save money by cooking at home, not worry about what you're wearing, pursuing budget-conscious activities and being careful with money. And even if your hobby or online shopping habit is soaking up a few pennies, it's more likely that you've got something to show for it because you've made considered purchases that further your interests rather than spending money unaccountably when out. Moreover, it's likely that you're paying a lot for the privilege of owning or renting your little piece of paradise––by spending more time in it, you're getting more mileage from your payments. To really ensure that your homebody ways result in an increase in your personal savings, here are some additional suggestions:
- Create a budget that will allow for the maximum amount of saving. If you're not spending as much money socializing or dining out on the town, make sure you end up saving your cash. Money can easily slip through your fingers if you don’t watch it, even if you stay home a lot.
- Make a lot of things from scratch, from meals to clothing. Self-sustaining skills are making a big resurgence as people start to realize the quality and self-satisfaction derived from making your own.
- Borrow rather than buy. Visit the library for books, rent rather than buy movies and hire anything needed for big work around the home rather than buying the gear. This will save you a lot of money––and space.
- Invest in energy saving initiatives so that heating and cooling your home isn't so expensive––proper insulation is a good place to begin.
- Allocate money for the future. In the future you may want to travel to broaden your worldly knowledge or to be able to afford a new experience such as starting a home business. Be sure you have the money available to pursue a few personal dreams by squirreling away some dough in a savings account, money market, CD or IRA. If financial nous isn't your thing, get a good financial adviser to help you.
Become "party" central at home by making your own fun. Not every homebody will want to include entertaining others in the home as a regular activity but for some homebodies, this can have great appeal. If you like the idea of having friends over to your place and feeding them or simply throwing a fun party, you can set your culinary skills free and throw a good time for all at home. Some ideas for ways to entertain or celebrate at home include:
- Throw a family party that includes both kids and adults. If many of your friends have small children, heading out on the town isn’t going to be the norm. Home parties can make for some memorable moments so throw a casual party “just because” and can help give other homebodies the chance to have some fun outside of the normal routine. Include both kid and adult friendly food and beverages and have plenty of toys and adult supervision for the kids.
- Host a girls’ or boys’ night in. No need to go out on the town to have fun with the girls or boys––your home space will do nicely. Stock up on adult beverages, appetizers and even throw in some cards for a rousing evening with friends at home. Consider themes such as wine tasting or even a special event party such as a Royal Wedding or Cinco de Mayo.
- Host an indoor picnic during the winter. Being housebound during the frigid winter months doesn’t mean you can’t bring the outdoors in. If the winter blues have you down, invite your friends over for a spring inspired picnic in your living room. Spread out checkered blankets, break out the picnic baskets and even purchase a few plastic ants to “annoy” the guests. Ask each guest to bring a dish and you supply the drinks, paper and plastic ware.
- Hold a regular hobby night at your home. Bring together people who share your interests and show off your skills. This could be a teaching opportunity, a chance for everyone to share tips and a time to display finished items each of you has made. Cookies and hot drinks are all that are needed to help such an evening run smoothly.
Accept your choice to be a homebody. Adrenaline junkies can't sit still, need constant action and like to be "in the thick of it." While that approach to life seems to be the mainstream accepted norm, you can still make the world turn in a quieter, less hyped way. By being a homebody, you have chosen to pursue the things you enjoy out of the spotlight, nurturing the inner self and making the most of your home environment. Whenever a non-homebody tries to convince you to be otherwise, realize that spending time the way that you prefer to is the ultimate choice and don't be persuaded to go against your wishes.