It’s been a difficult year for introverts. Sure, you might think isolation and social distancing sound pretty nice to a loner, but it’s not quite that simple.
It’s easy to believe an introvert enjoys being lonely, because often they say how they prefer their own company to that of others. When you have no choice but to isolate yourself from normal life and the people you care about, your loneliness may take on a different, darker form.
Whether we like it or not, we all had to get used to our own company. If you find yourself more introverted than before, or are indeed more introverted than you previously thought, you might be wondering what proper self-care looks like now.
Self-Care Tips for Introverts (From an Introvert)
#1: Don’t compare yourself to extroverts.
Everybody is different, and there’s no reason to beat yourself up for not being somebody else. Whether you are extroverted or introverted, or anywhere in between, you did not choose to be that way. It’s just a part of your personality and temperament that you were born with.
Different people are just wired differently. Needing more time for yourself to recharge is a character trait, not a personality fault.
#2: When planning your schedule, put yourself first sometimes.
Nobody can fault you for caring about other people and their feelings. But, in your haste to please every person you can, don’t forget that you are a person too.
Leave some time for yourself to recharge if you think you need it. You deserve it, and you shouldn’t feel guilty about it.
It’s ok to say “no” to plans you’re not interested in, and it’s even ok to cancel plans sometimes. Make sure your friends and loved ones know why you need this time to yourself so they don’t take it personally, but it’s ok to put yourself first.
#3: Write down your thoughts in a journal.
I know what you’re thinking. Recording your thoughts in a journal can seem intimidating or even embarrassing. The scariest part is that it requires a level of emotional vulnerability and honesty that can be a difficult headspace to get into.
We are creatures of habit, though, fortunately, and the more often you write down what you’re feeling, the easier it is. It doesn’t have to be pretty or poetic. It doesn’t have to make sense to anyone but you, and you never have to share your journal if you don’t want to.
The important part is the catharsis of taking these thoughts and feelings out of your head and channeling them into words, sentences, or even illustrations.
#4: Learn what your own needs are.
No introvert is exactly the same. We all have varying degrees of need for downtime, isolation, or recharge periods.
To set your own boundaries, first you need to realize what your boundaries are. Maybe you need more downtime than other introverts you know — that’s fine. Maybe you need a little less than others. Well, that’s fine, too. It doesn’t mean you’re not an introvert as some suggest.
#5: Develop a routine for mornings and nights.
This introvert thrives with consistency. It’s important to develop a routine for beginning and ending your days in a way you’re comfortable with to find a sense of consistency in life.
Maybe it’s a warm glass of milk and reading before bed, or maybe it’s getting up a half-hour early to practice some yoga or meditation. It really doesn’t matter what it is, in fact, just that it works for you.
Don’t forget to treat yourself with the love, respect, and most importantly patience you give to others.
No matter how introverted or extroverted you are, you deserve to set healthy boundaries and feel comfortable with the amount of time you spend around others.