I am an introvert. For those that know me well, this is not a secret. I wear my introversion proudly, and view it as one of my strengths. But, despite my confidence in who I am, there can be some draw backs to being an introvert.
As an introvert, I find that it can be hard to find time for self-care, even though I do spend a good bit of time at home recharging. I have always felt the need to force myself to hang out with friends more than I wanted to just so I didn’t hurt their feelings. Pushing myself past where I was comfortable and I would constantly feel drained and overwhelmed. Even just a normal work day, being around people, can leave me completely exhausted.
And even in the times we find to recharge times, we all know the frustration of replaying all the mistakes we’ve ever made over and over again in our heads. Living in our own world can be a blessing and a curse.
Make sure you get enough down time. Don’t be afraid to say NO
This should go without saying, but this is the most important form of self-care an introvert can practice. Down time, time to ourselves, is how we recharge. So it should be obvious that, as an introvert, you need to get enough time to yourself. But sometimes, getting time for ourselves means having to say “No” to people we care about.
It’s really important to be able to say to yourself “my needs and feelings matter, too.” Be clear with yourself about what your needs are. Maybe you need one night to yourself every week. Or maybe a few hours each day. Whatever they are, be clear with yourself about them so you can be clear with others. This will make saying “No” a little bit easier.
Have a do nothing day
I am a huge fan of do nothing days. They are a wonderful way to relax and have a mini-vacation. I do plan more of them than I probably should, but they are just so great. And they are so beneficial.
Do nothing days are a great time to forget the to do list, put on some comfy pants, and binge watch Netflix and cat videos. And the best part? You can be completely guild free about being lazy and not doing anything. Why? Because you scheduled this day. You scheduled this time of doing nothing. You planned on it. And when you accomplish the things you planned, that feels good.
Get comfy pajamas
Get comfy pajamas. And then wear them all day! Pajamas, leggings, sweat pants, oversized hoodies… the point here is to put on something super comfortable. Being cozy is probably the best thing ever. And while you’re at it, grab a blanket, a hot drink, and a book (or cat videos, whatever you’re feeling).
This may seem like a really simple thing, but letting yourself be comfortable is a great way to practice self-care. And the cozier you are, the more you’ll feel like you’re in your own little world, far away from other people. Pure bliss is what it is.
Put your phone on silent
Nothing gives me quite as much anxiety as getting an unexpected phone call. We’ve all been there, right? Totally focused on whatever project I have going on, when I’m suddenly interrupted by my phone ringing. The thought of stranger danger filling me with panic. Obviously I don’t answer the phone, but from that moment on, I’m no longer able to focus.
I know that turning your phone on silent won’t keep people from calling, but at least you won’t be startled out of your cozy daydreams. You’ll be able to Netflix in peace.
Take a break with a coloring book
Coloring is really just the best. It let’s you be creative and make beautiful things, it’s soothing, and it’s really fun. But probably the best thing about coloring is that it gives you something to focus on. It can help keep your thoughts from turning to all the awkward things you said in 8th grade. It helps you get some peace and quiet, a break from your own brain. Because sometimes, that’s really what we need.
Always keep a stack of books at hand
Just like coloring, books are a really fantastic way to focus on something else other than the thoughts in your own head. And not only does it get you out of your own head, they take you to a whole other world. It’s like a mini-vacation.
I try to keep 2 or 3 books near me at all times. If I start feeling a bit too stressed out, I do some deep breathing, make some tea, and then curl up with a book. It is the perfect escape for a bad day. And you don’t even need to have tons of time to devote to reading. Sometimes even 5 minutes with a book and I’m feeling so much better.
Even if you’re not an introvert, it is so important to fill your head with good thoughts. We believe the things we hear the most, so we should be telling ourselves good things every day. I have a list of positive affirmations, just some good thoughts, that I can play on repeat in my head throughout the day.
If I start having a bad day or things go wrong, I mentally hit “play” on my list. After that, it’s about 5-10 minutes of “Things are going to be ok. You are strong. You’re going to make it through this. The world is still a beautiful place.” going on and on in my head.
When I first started trying it, I thought it was ridiculous. I didn’t think it could have any impact at all on anything. But I tried it anyway. And you know what happened? “It’s going to work out” has become my default attitude to any situation now. I don’t even have to go through the affirmations. Because I have already gotten to the point where they are just what I believe.
Keep a journal
Another of my favorite ways to practice self-care is to keep a journal. This is a great way to get my thoughts out of my head. You don’t even have to use words if you don’t want to either. My journals are usually a mix of writing and drawing, whatever it takes to express myself.
Too many times we get consumed by our thoughts. We replay memories over and over again, get sucked into endless “what ifs.” It can get overwhelming in a hurry. Writing down what’s going on in your head is a way of clearing out space. Once it’s on paper, it’s not in your head anymore. At least that’s the way it works for me.
Having a go-to list of favorite self-care practices can be a lifesaver. I have my favorites and I try to do at least 1 or 2 each evening. Figuring out what works best for you can take some time, it took me forever to figure out how to relax.
So, my fellow introvert, comment below and let me know what your favorite self-care practices are!