If you've been hanging around for any length of time, you've probably gathered by now that I'm an introvert.
And not a subtle introvert, I'm practically a borderline hermit.
I'm not ashamed of that. It's who I am. And even though I haven't always been confident in my skin, I've grown to see my introversion as one of my strengths.
But, it's no secret that there are some struggles that come along with being an introvert. I've found 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. The result was always that I would feel drained and overwhelmed. Even just a normal work day, being around people, can leave me completely exhausted.
Introverts have a limited amount of people energy.
But even being home alone isn't always restful. If you're an introvert, I'm sure you know the frustration of replaying all the mistakes you've ever made over and over again in your head
Overthinking is our greatest strength and weakness. Living in your own head can be tough.
Because we live in a world full of people, full of expectations to be around lots of people, introverts will find themselves drained. A lot. We need a whole lot of self-care.
Be protective of your down time
This should go without saying, but this is the most important form of self-care an introvert can practice. Spending time by ourselves is how we recharge. So it should be obvious that, as an introvert, you need to get enough time to yourself.
Easier said than done.
Sometimes, getting time for ourselves means having to say "No" to people we care about. And for a lot of us, saying no is really hard.
Remember, your 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.
And there has never been a better time to practice saying no.Introvert awareness is on the rise. we are having our day, our time in the spotlight (as uncomfortable as that is).
That means your friends and family are so much more likely to understand that you need downtime. There's so much information out there to educate people about what being an introvert means.
Have a do nothing day
I am a huge fan of do nothing days.
Actually, most of my days are do nothing days.
If you've never had one (but I'm sure you have), just know that are a wonderful way to relax and have a mini-vacation.
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 don't forget the coffee!
But the best part? You can be completely guilt 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.
Do nothing is a fun thing to check off your to-do list.
Get comfy pajamas
And then wear them all day!
Never underestimate the power of being comfortable.
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.
You'll be living the dream.
Put your phone on silent
Nothing gives me quite as much anxiety as getting an unexpected phone call.
Really, people, have you heard of texting?!
We've all been there, right? Totally focused on whatever project I have going on (binge watching Netflix), when I'm suddenly interrupted by my phone ringing.
Stranger danger is real. So, obviously I don't answer the phone, but from that moment on, I'm no longer able to focus.
Who are they? Why are they calling? Am I going to have to call them back? Are they going to show up at my house? Why couldn't they just text me?
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.
When you're focused on your coloring, you're probably not going to think about all the awkward things you said in 8th grade.
(Why was I so awkward?!)
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.
Bonus feature: keeping a book with you at all times also means that if you do happen to go out into the world, you can use that book to avoid social interaction. Win.
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.
You are beautiful. You are strong. You are intelligent. You are going places.
If I start having a bad day or things go wrong, I mentally hit "play" on my list.
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.
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
This was a game changer for me.
It has been 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. That is a very real danger when you live in your own head.
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.
And I schedule a do nothing day as often as possible.
Figuring out what works best for you can take some time, it took me forever to figure out how to relax.