3 Healthy Habits Introverts Need for Better Self Care
If you can't "people" for longer than a couple of hours at a time...
If answering the question, "What are you up to these days?" one too many times makes you a little crazy...
If your favorite saying is, "One is perfect...two or more is a crowd"...
You might be an introvert.
We're in this together, and even though I love being with others, especially my friends and family, a chick's got her limits when it comes to too much socializing.
And I'm betting you do, too, or you wouldn't be here reading this.
So how does an introvert navigate all of life’s chatty moments while maintaining a grip on their sanity? If you’re a fellow introvert, you’ll want to have the following coping skills in your arsenal. Trust.
After all, an introvert's time spent by themselves is for everyone's protection.
1 | Schedule regular "me time" into your day.
Get your life together and be demanding—just this once, okay? You've probably heard the phrase, "You’ve gotta go after what you want." Well, you have to demand that you get some space and time to yourself. Politely, of course. But this is not the time for people-pleasing.
You can make some space for yourself on a regular basis without being rude about it. Just look for discreet opportunities to squeeze in a little extra “me time" during your day. It’ll keep you sane and has the added bonus of keeping you from ripping anyone’s head off. Win-win.
Take a walk or a short drive.
Whether you’re getting away from the office during your lunch break or you just need to get outside, this strategy is simple but effective. If you can't get too far by car, you can still find some peace and quiet just by getting outdoors. Take in some fresh air, renew your mind, and get a little exercise in while you’re at it.
Indulge in some R&R.
Because when all else fails...take a nap. (I'm pretty sure there's a quippy slogan in there somewhere.)
Sometimes the best cure for a long day filled with excess socializing is much-needed down time. No one needs to know your family/friends/coworkers/annoying acquaintances make you exhausted.
It can be our little secret.
2 | Cultivate Relationships with people you trust.
You may not be able to find that precious solitude, but you can still de-stress even if you're hanging out with another person. I present: the buddy system.
Find your person and escape the chaos together.
Even though introverts recharge by being alone, most of us do have that one person who is easy to be around, and instead of draining us, they can actually recharge our "relational energy." Call up your BFF and escape to a local coffee shop to soak in the ambiance and chill vibes, sip on your favorite latte, and have a quick chat with "your person."
Or that walk I mentioned before? It can still be enjoyable with someone else. But don't feel pressure to keep a conversation going; talking isn't always necessary. They may have been looking for an opportunity to get away for a little while, too.
Establish clear boundaries.
Even though you may have one or a few close friends with whom you’re comfortable, that doesn’t mean that boundaries are unnecessary. For any healthy relationship to work, solid boundaries from each party need to be established, upheld, and respected. The most effective way to set up your own personal boundaries? Consistent communication. Talk to your person about your needs, how you’re feeling, and your expectations. Allow them to voice theirs as well, and work together to make sure both sets of boundaries are understood fully so that the relationship can continue in a positive way and be beneficial for all involved.
3 | Get outside your own head.
Sometimes, the worst part about being introverted is that we have a knack for getting caught up in our thoughts, and we let our negative mindset bring us down. So, how do you avoid this? If you find yourself going to a gloomy place, the best way to combat this is to get your thoughts and feelings out in a way that feels most comfortable and helpful to you.
Write down your thoughts.
When you're around a group of people or live in a large family, all of your relational energy can get used up fast, and it can be overwhelming. If you find that you're overextended, you may want to try journaling.
Often, it's helpful just getting thoughts down on paper; you may even write things down that you didn't know you were thinking or feeling. Some of the best advice I can give you if you decide to journal is to don't think; just write. Even if it's nonsense at first. Even if you feel a little silly doing it.
I know when I write, I feel a lot more clear-headed, and it helps me to separate my emotions from my thoughts and get more clarity on a situation. Use your journaling time to write down anything and everything: random thoughts or goals, wishes, or troubles.
Talk to someone.
If writing isn't your thing, try talking to someone who you're close to and can trust. I know it can be really hard to be vulnerable, but in my experience, it's so worth it.
You deserve to voice how you're feeling, and you deserve to have someone listen to you. It doesn't have to be a serious conversation, unless you want it to be. It can be light-hearted and still leave you feeling refreshed and ready to be sociable again. Sometimes all it takes is a few moments of being understood by someone, someone who hears what you're saying and makes you feel like you matter, because you do.
Listen to music.
Music is one of my favorite escapes. There's just something about putting on my favorite song and soaking up all that goodness that leaves me in an extremely happy state of mind.
No matter my mindset, music almost always puts me in a better mood—a mood where I'm nice to other people and say nice things. It’s a miracle, I tell ya. Isn't that what we all need a little bit more of? I know I do.
So whip out that secret playlist you've been hiding.
I know whenever I'm feeling a little overwhelmed, those exercise endorphins get me feeling good again.
The good thing about exercise is that you can do whatever you want to fit your body's or your mind's needs at the time, and you don't need a lot of space to do it. You can stretch it out, get all bendy in your room or you can go for a short run to get your heart pumping and shake off any negative energy.
I hope you found some of these ideas and tips helpful for you or got some inspiration for your own ways to take time for yourself on a regular basis. I want to also take the time to say that when you're seeking out those moments to have to yourself, just remember to be respectful of others when voicing your needs and above all, be kind.
What are some of your favorite healthy habits that help keep you sane in this extroverted world? :)