Handle with Care

  • SJ

7 Self-Care Tips for Introverts

Updated: Jan 28

We’re here, We’re Uncomfortable, and We just want to go Home!


Prefer to listen? Tune in: 7 Self-Care tips for Introverts


Introvert:


Someone who prefers calm, minimally stimulating environments, and may often feel drained after socialising. Introverts regain their energy by spending time alone. This is largely because introverts’ brains respond to dopamine differently than extroverts’ brains. In other words, the nature of being an introvert is very much in one's DNA.


Common Traits + Characteristics:


  • works best alone

  • dreads small talk

  • seeks authentic relationships

  • enjoys deep and meaningful conversations

  • feels calm in solitude

  • enjoys activities like reading, writing, gaming, gardening, or drawing

  • prefers home-time over party-time

  • naturally reflective minds

  • thinks before speaking

  • likes to relax in spare time

  • loves anything that uses imagination

  • feels energised through idea generating, creative musing, and mental stimulation


Introversion is not being anti-social


Introversion and extroversion are temperaments: ways in which you gain energy and prefer to interact with the world. Whether you’re an introvert or extrovert is largely determined by your genes. However, temperaments are also shaped by our life experiences. If your quiet, thoughtful introverted nature was encouraged by your parents, teachers, and others, you probably grew up feeling confident in who you are. But, if you were teased, bullied, or told to get out more you may have developed social anxiety or felt like you had to pretend to be someone you’re not.


The good news is it’s not too late to embrace your wonderful Introversion

Of course, we all measure up differently on the introversion-extroversion scale. Some introverts only need a little bit of alone time to recharge, and enjoy a fair amount of social time before losing energy. Others drain quickly, and prefer to spend very long periods alone. It’s different for each person, and many introverts are somewhere in the middle.

Sooner or later, all introverts will experience the dreaded ‘introvert hangover’ - yes, it's a real thing. A feeling of being completely wiped out from too much ’people time’ or environmental stimulation. This can mean feeling fatigued, unable to concentrate, just pretty out of whack altogether. Your brain has used up all its mental energy, and now you’re feeling frazzled.


Being an Introvert in an Extroverted World




If you’re an introvert reading this, there’s a big chance you feel pressure to be that social butterfly everyone loves. But it’ll take more than a little pressure to make you leave your cocoon - especially since Netflix is a thing. Yet, there are inevitably times that force you push aside your need for solitude, and painfully try to be what society keeps idealising: the extrovert. *Sigh.



Unlike extroverts, introverts don’t thrive off constant productivity and socialising. So, when we adopt the extroverted-life-curriculum, not only do we put self-care on the back burner, we also dance in the dangerous territory of self-punishment.


Do you ever feel so exhausted that you find it hard to take care of yourself?

Self-care is an ongoing challenge for introverts, because so often we put ourselves last. We know it’s important to recharge, nourish our body and mind, and embrace alone time; but we’re so inclined to feel guilty for putting ourselves first. In a culture where being unsocial is often discouraged, it’s all too easy to mix ‘self-care’ up with ‘selfish’ But -

Self-care isn’t Selfish

Right now, there’s an introvert revolution going on. Slowly, our extroverted world is learning to understand and accept the introvert’s way. Westerm studies have shown that one out of every two or three people, are introverted (between 30-50%). But in order to do that, we first need to better understand what introversion is — and what it’s not.


Stop ignoring your introverted needs


Search Shironeko the 'Zen Cat'

If your energy levels take a nose-dive, and you feel anxious and irritable around socialising; listen to your body, and listen to your higher-self. Your body will tell you if it’s the right time to be your social self, because you’ll feel good and excited. Your higher-self will send you signals of encouragement, because it's in your best interest in those moments. You want to see your friends, go to the places and do all the things!


But if you feel negative emotions, and that harmful self-critic comes out for not being cheerful and chatty like ‘everyone else’ - stop. You must pay attention to this, because only is that your ego talking and talking and not your higher-self, that is where the downward spiral begins. It's okay to not want to be social.


You are not your ego, and that egocentric-anti-introvert critic isn't good for you. They deprived you of the self-care that you needed the most. So, instead of recharging, you might push yourself even harder to go out, or stay in a feel terrible about it - which is never a happy ending, is it? Ignoring your introverted needs can lead to both mental and physical illness, because the body will always respond to your emotional state.


Ignoring your introverted needs can lead to both mental and physical illness

You could end up with the worst IBS of the century, your skin could flare up, or you could catch a cold in the middle of summer - all because you’re forcing your introverted-triangle to fit inside the extroverted-circle slot. It don’t fit honey.


Being an introvert does not mean you are a failed Extrovert

It means, you need to prioritise self-care. From this moment onwards my introverted fam, it’s time to Konmari your diary: we’re cleaning up your social life. The years spent sweeping your introverted needs under the rug are over. It might be hard to know where to begin when it comes to self-care, so your introverted hero is here with 7 easy, essential tips:


7 Self-Care tips for Introverts


1. Identify your Warning Signals



Unlike our smartphones, we don’t get notifications about what’s draining our battery, what % we’re on, and how many hours we have left. But, we do have warning signs, and if we can learn to identify these, we can protect ourselves from a faulty battery and limited performance.


Listen out for the signals from your body and mind that are asking you to take a step back from the social club, and slip in the tub. You-Time is important, and your body will have a unique way of reminding you.


For me, I know it’s time to embrace my inner hermit when I catch myself constantly checking the clock, daydreaming about going home.


2. Start & End Your Day in Solitude


A simple daily recharge method. You can’t escape the extroverted tasks, but you can energise your body and soul to take them on from a positive, happy mind-set.


Charge yourself up morning and night for a healthy mind and a healthy life; a productive day, and a peaceful night’s sleep. Prevent burnout and feeling overwhelmed by making daily recharge time a priority. Make this time a non-negotiable part of your morning and bedtime routines. Just like brushing your teeth or cleansing your skin, always set aside time to be in solitude.


Try morning stretches, a 10 minute meditation, a short at home yoga flow, or simply just sipping that morning cuppa, mindfully, just you and your coffee. Ahh, sounds nice.


Perhaps this means you have to get up earlier - but it’s so worth it. What's 10 extra minutes of Happy? Try spending the last twenty minutes before you go to sleep in quiet. Not only will this help you to fall asleep more quickly, it will also calm your mind, so that you wake up refreshed and clear-headed. For more self-care ideas in under 10 minutes, check out this post. Many minutes can make a difference.


3. Learn to Say No - without the guilt


‘When you’re saying yes to others, make sure you’re not saying no to yourself’ - Paul Coelho

If you want more time, freedom and energy, learn to say no. Saying no is a powerful act of self-care. It protects your mental health and physical stamina. Unfortunately, there’s a problem: guilt. It’s normal to feel guilty for saying no, but that doesn’t mean you are guilty of anything. Feeling guilty is not your fault either, it’s your indoctrination: societal evolution and cultural conditioning is responsible for much more than we care to credit for, because it’s all too easy to beat ourselves up instead.


In truth, it’s perfectly okay to say ‘no’ to someone and something, so that you can say ‘yes’ to yourself and your own needs. This may come as a shock, but it’s absurd to feel bad about about looking after yourself!


You are the CEO of your life, it’s your job to invest time in yourself, generate good energy, and protect those beautiful assets: your mind, body and soul. Your business is to care for yourself at a fundamental level, flourish in self-love, and share your best self with the world. In order to do that, you need to say no - and say yes to yourself.


4. Never Compare, Always Embrace


There’s no comparison between the Sun and the Moon, they both shine when it’s their time

To compare your-introverted-self to an extroverted friend, you may as well compare chalk to cheese. Comparing yourself to anyone, in any respect, isn’t in your best interest or a healthy habit to maintain at any rate. The first step to self-acceptance, is to stop comparison. And where does self-acceptance lead to? Self-love, and this is where the magic happens. Read more on Self- Love.

Self-comparisons are harmful for many reasons. In fact, there are only harmful reasons. They’re false, because it’s an unrealistic and immeasurable comparison. Even to compare yourself to a younger version of yourself isn't fair, because you've changed. You've had new experiences that have shaped the present you - so forget that 'you should only compare yourself to the person you were yesterday' and embrace 'you should never compare yourself to anyone, not even yourself, period.'


You have a unique history, with a unique past, and personal traumas, growth and skills all exclusive to you. You cannot compare yourself to anyone, because two people are the same. Even when you do compare yourself to someone, you’re likely comparing what you believe to be your worst qualities with the other person’s best qualities. Fair? Nope. You have different strengths, needs and life experiences than the person you are comparing yourself to. Honour yourself by letting go of comparisons, and focus on what self-care means to you.


The only thing comparison strengthens is insecurities - let that shit go


5. Reduce Daily Stimulation


Introverts can be sensitive to stimulation. Heavy traffic, loud noises, busy work environments, and bright lights can overwhelm us and drain our batteries quite quickly. If you’re aware of this, and can find ways in order to de-stimulate your daily environments, you might just give your battery an extra little green bar.


For me, I absolutely have to limit my screen time. Otherwise, my head hurts and that downward spiral starts feeling familiar.


One of the simplest ways to reduce daily stimulation, is to clock off your devices at the same time every evening, or simply limit the time you spend online. Another thing to do, is keeping your home and work environments tidy. Then there are little things, like closing the door, take a candle-lit bath, peaceful meditation — the world will not fall off its axis if you step away from your phone and sit in silence for a while.



6. Go Outside



Time outdoors is an essential self-care practice for anyone, and best of all, it’s free. Oh, and you don’t have to meet up with anyone! Not only will fresh air give you refreshing boost of energy, it will improve your brain function and relax your mind at the same time. If you can, get moving too. Walking will help lower anxiety and stress levels. You can be introverted and outside at the same time. To be outside in nature or a green environment is best of course, to help reconnect with the earth and feel grounded in times of low energy. But, even a nice walk around your city's or town's interesting ends can be just as beneficial, to help you get out of your head and back into your body; to create more space within the introverted mind and body.




7. Do something you Love, a little, everyday


Whatever it is that brings you comfort in your introverted world, do it. Dance in your knickers, sing in the shower, draw, cook, read... These are things that foster our feelings of contentment and keep us grounded and stable when the world feels all too extroverted. For me, that’s listening to podcasts, morning yoga, baking, using the tarot, watching conspiracy theories and making art. What keeps your inner-flame burning? I would freaking love to know!


Hope you enjoyed these self-care tips for introverts, and please let me know if you decide to adopt any! <3 Extroverts, I hope this has strengthened your understanding of all the lovely introverts in your life.




Don't forget, you can listen to this post, rather than read, on my podcast rightttt here.




Love + Moonlight, Namaste - at home,

and remember to always, always,



- Handle with Care




Rcommended Reading:


12 healthy morning habits that cultivate happiness - Handle with Care

Self-Care for any time frame - your ultimate guide - Handle with Care

What is Self-Love - Handle with Care

What is an Introvert - Introverted, Dear

23 amazingly successful introverts throughout history - Inc.