An Introvert’s Guide to Self-Care by Diane Harrison
It’s fairly common for people to label themselves as either an introvert or extrovert based largely on their level of sociability. This oversimplification of introversion and extroversion has perpetuated several myths regarding introverts. Often, they are considered to be shy, anxious, and antisocial. While these traits can certainly apply to some introverts, they do not define introversion.
A more accurate representation is that introversion and extroversion are the ends of a spectrum. Individuals can have strong tendencies toward one direction or the other, but most people fall somewhere in between and display elements of both traits.
Common Characteristics of Introverts
Introverts tend to:
- Need sufficient solo time to recharge.
- Feel drained after too much social interaction.
- Prefer quieter environments.
- Work better independently.
- Take more time to process information and make decisions.
If you find yourself leaning more toward the introverted end of the spectrum, you may be looking for ways to reset and recharge so you can live your best life. Here are six low-maintenance ideas, especially for introverts, to ensure you’re getting the self-care you need:
Schedule Daily Solo Time
It’s absolutely imperative for you, as an introvert, to get plenty of time to yourself throughout your day. Whether it’s a workout, time reading a new book, or a nice, long bath, schedule it like you would an appointment if you have to. Establishing solo morning and night routines will help you start and end your day just right.
Make Time for Prayer
Whether it’s to connect with God at the moment or to pray during a time of crisis, time spent in prayer is a powerful form of self-care. Even just a few minutes a day can help you feel more in touch with God and open your heart.
Set Healthy Boundaries
Introverts tend to avoid conflict and feel guilty for declining event invitations. Give yourself the grace to say no to something you don’t really want to do.
Spend Time With Mother Nature
Natural settings provide you with a space to enjoy peace and serenity. Ample research touts the restorative effects of nature along with other health benefits. Take a walk, read a book under a tree, or drink your morning cup of coffee on your porch — there are plenty of ways to connect with nature by yourself. And if your neighborhood has a high walk score, take the opportunity to wander around through shops and cafes, too. If you don’t want to engage with people, pop your earbuds in and just give a polite nod to the people you pass.
Stop Comparing Yourself to Others (Especially Extroverts)
“Comparison is the thief of joy.” This quote, commonly attributed to Theodore Roosevelt, implies that comparing yourself to others takes away from your happiness. Research shows that we create distorted self-perceptions when making comparisons because we tend to put our skills and experiences up against an individual we know who excels in a particular domain. If you compare your introverted self to an extroverted peer, you’re likely to feel inferior, especially in social settings.
Go Marie Kondo on Your Home
Cleaning is a great excuse to get some much-needed alone time. It’s a safe bet that no one will jump to help you scrub toilets. While you’re at it, take time to get rid of things you no longer want or need, especially broken items, as they can bring negative energy to a space.
This can also be a great time to make your home environment more comfortable, too. If you don’t have central air conditioning, consider installing a ceiling fan or a window air conditioning unit.
If you have one, but the unit is no longer pushing through cold air as it should, have it serviced. It’s a simple step, but it’s easy to put off calling a repairman when you are busy or strained from social interactions. Here are local options where you can get a quick estimate by answering a few questions. Then just select a few people to call from the recommendations, and get your appointment scheduled.
Support Your Mental Health
Your mental well-being is just as important as your physical well-being; but in our busy world, mental self-care can often fall off our radar. That’s why it’s important to support yourself through meditation, deep breathing techniques, prayer, and physical activity. These activities help reduce stress and can help you find more positivity in your life.
Being an introvert should not be seen as negative. Introverts are often thoughtful, creative, and compassionate. Any challenges you face due to your introverted tendencies can be managed with regular self-care practices. Go do your social thing for a bit, then curl up at home with a good book.
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