I know, I know, I’m supposed to be taking a blogging break in October… but… I just can’t help myself sometimes.

So along with this whole blogging break thing I’ve been trying to unfurl my wings a little bit.

I’ve decided to try dating.

Talk about energy vortex. Draining, draining, draining. I am an introvert. An introvert gets their energy from being alone. Solitude and quiet gives us a chance to rest and replenish our energy so that we can be bright and shiny. Extroverts are the opposite, they get their energy from being around people and going out. That’s what makes them feel good.

Introverts get the bad reputation of being the anti-social weirdo that’s hiding out in their parent’s basement. That’s not a true representation (most of the time. No offense to my weirdos). I’ve been called a hermit and a shut-in, but the truth is, I like hanging out with people (really I do!). I like enjoying another person’s company… in doses… when it doesn’t cut into my time for me. This doesn’t mean I’m abnormal or that anything is wrong with me.

What it does mean is that I have to pay attention to my energy and what I can give to other people. The past week, I’ve been thinking about self care and how it relates to being an introvert. When I honor my introvert and do the things that nourish that part of me it makes an amazing difference in my life. No more feeling run down and stretched thin and drained when I don’t need to be. Here’s what I’ve learned about self care + introverts.

Learn to say “no”.

This one is hard to learn but it gets easier with practice. Remember that you don’t have go out or meet up or hang out. If you aren’t feeling it, don’t do it, and don’t feel bad about honoring those feelings! Work on saying “no” and saying it right away. If someone invites you to something and you don’t want to go, say no! Don’t say you’ll think about it. Chances are you’ll feel guilty about making them wait for an answer so you’ll just suck it up and go and wish you were home reading the entire time. That’s no fun for anyone.

Be aware of what you need.

Know when it’s time to take a step back from immersing yourself in the company of others. Learn what signals your mind and body are giving you when it’s time to schedule in some “me time”. You might start feeling tired and overwhelmed from social situations. You might get anxious about losing time you want to spend on non-social activities. It’s okay to honor those feelings and be flexible with what’s going on around you.

Learn what recharges you. 

As I’ve said before, self care is different for everyone. It’s that thing that you do that takes care of you and makes you feel good. What things make you feel better after you’ve expended your energy with other people? What fills up your inner reserves? Do those things. Spend time with your best friend or partner. Spend time alone. Spend time in quiet solitude or jam out to music. Do the things that pull you back together and inside of yourself.

Don’t compare yourself to extroverts. 

Extroverts make it look easy don’t they? They are the social butterflies that love attention and conversation. They go out all of the time and they make creating new friendships look as easy as breathing. I’m over here like “I replied to four e-mails today and talked on the phone for 10 minutes. I’m worn out, where’s my cave?” Don’t stress the fact that you aren’t that person that makes the whole social interaction thing look like a breeze. There’s nothing wrong with you and  there are other introverts out there just like you and they’re awesome too. 

Are you an introvert or an extrovert? What things nourish your introverted energy?

  • Eve

    This is beautiful, and you explain this perfectly. I am definitely the same way. The only person I don't mind being around day in and day out is my girlfriend (thankfully, or we may have a problem, haha)!

    I am choosy about friends and keep few close, because relationships are a lot of work, and I want to make sure that those who deserve my time and energy are getting it.

    Your advice was a great and important reminder for me.

  • Bethwyn Walker

    I agree with Eve! This was an excellent post. And I am very much the same – I am happy to spend lots of time with my boyfriend, but other than that I just find myself getting drained over time.

  • Kit Khains

    I would say it would be situations from my life that made me an introvert. Even as a child I would much rather be shut up in my room reading a book or writing than playing with the other kids. As an adult, I find myself very picky about who I associate with and as time goes on it I don't have a break (lazy day) I feel physically exhausted and strained.

    I find that if I avoid really having me time that the stress never goes way, it just keeps piling up until I actually get the freedom to myself. I actually am much happier if I have time to read, listening to some music, watch movies, or even social network or read blogs. I find the time that I can just tune out of life and tune into something else soothes me like nothing else.