Photo by Burst.
Life has gotten a lot better for introverts over the past few years as society has become aware of just what introversion really is. While some extroverts still don’t get it and conflate introversion and shyness, chances are that the random people you pass on the street today will know that introversion is just a personality type that needs time to recharge.
As nice as it is to not have to explain yourself as much anymore, you can still end up stressed and anxious because your life, in general, may not be very peaceful. A busy job, lots of housemates, a stressful commute, and other trappings of modern society can wear you down, especially if you’re range toward the highly introverted end of the scale. Self-care is important for everyone, but especially for introverts. If you’re reaching the end of your rope and always feel like you’re dragging, it’s time to look at some self-care strategies.
Carve out Quiet Space
While introverts don’t necessarily mind all noise, they do need quiet time when they can be alone. If you have the space and ability, create a quiet home by limiting ambient noise. Don’t turn on the TV as a way to drown out traffic, for example; instead, turn the TV off and put up blackout curtains, which enhance sound insulation. Add soft rugs to hardwood floors to minimize echoing.
If you don’t have the room or money to make changes like these, especially if you share a house and bedroom, you can still create a quieter space. Set up a room divider, such as a folding shoji screen, to provide some privacy. Invest in industrial-level hearing protection and wear this when reading or trying to relax. Occupational Health and Safety Online explains that homes are one of the noisier environments; wearing hearing protection helps block out or reduce the noise that everyone else is making. (Note that earplugs can work in a pinch, but they can also irritate the insides of your ear canals after a while.)
Connect With Nature
Time in nature has become one of the top ways to lift yourself up when you feel down. Being around plants in a park, your garden, or even pictures on the wall can reduce anxiety, soothe fear, and even affect physical processes like blood pressure and healing. There’s even a form of therapy called ecotherapy that can have transformative effects.
Make time to interact with nature to help release tension and recharge during a busy day. Sit in your garden when you get home; take a different route to work that gives you a great view of the ocean or a nearby lake; place posters of forests or your favorite nature scenes on the walls of your home. At work, use your short breaks to walk out to a landscaped area. And if you can, try to exercise outside in parks or other natural settings.
Exercise is Always Ideal
Fitness is one of the most therapeutic forms of self-care, and it’s especially beneficial for introverts who prefer solo activities like running or swimming. This can be a fantastic way to free your mind of burdens while taking care of the physical self. If you’re unsure about other ways to be active and maintain your alone time, look to activities like hiking, kayaking, yoga, tai chi — all of which can also be enjoyed outdoors. You can even take up inline skating, which can be an enjoyable activity as well as an excellent form of fitness. If this is your first time skating, choose a pair of inline skates that are comfortable and suitable for beginners.
While venturing out into the wilderness alone can be a great way to spend your time, don’t forget that safety precautions are a must. Tell a friend or family member where you’ll be, and make sure your phone can get a signal. Bonus points if you use a smartwatch or a fitness tracker since these handy devices can send alerts in the event of a health emergency.
Introversion requires recharging and time alone, but sometimes you need something beyond Netflix. Self-care means finding the outlets you need when you need them, whether it’s a walk in the park, a hike in the woods, or nestling into your cozy, quiet bedroom with a good book.
Article Contributed by Melissa Howard