If you’re an introvert like me, you probably know the feeling of a “drained social battery” all too well. Just the thought of work meetings is tiring; small talks are a bane; and you wish your calendar just didn’t have space for family gatherings.
Oftentimes, a single social occasion can wipe us out for a few days, but skipping these events isn’t always possible.
The trick here is to strike a balance. We need to cultivate routines and activities that protect – and increase – our energy.
Keep in mind that when you invest in your own energy and take the time to recharge between engagements, you’re able to better support others, as well as foster meaningful connections.
So over the years, I’ve come up with 12 daily rituals that introverts can do to safeguard their spirit:
1) Be Self-Aware
We introverts are often sensitive to external stimuli – may that be social situations, loud noises, presentations, and the like.
We like to protect our inner peace. Grounding yourself whenever you feel overwhelmed can pull you out of your head and make you feel centered.
You need to be aware of your energy levels. Once you feel like your social battery is getting low, take a “mini-break” to recharge.
I used to work at a marketing job that required a lot of talking. It didn’t matter what day – I always had a speech, a pitch, or some small talk with someone.
When things were getting too much, I would watch YouTube videos, read Reddit, or perhaps step outside for some fresh air. Being self-aware helped me manage my emotional well-being.
2) Carve Out Moments of Alone Time
Respect your need for alone time. Nothing is wrong with needing peace and quiet, even if it’s just five-minute increments.
We often neglect this need and push it off until the weekend, but as an introvert, you need that breathing room on a daily basis.
Be intentional. If you’re five minutes early for your bus ride, your friend is running late, or the restaurant is taking forever to make your order, take in all the energy-returning ounces that that uninterrupted quiet time can give.
It may not seem like much, but these small pockets of time boost your energy throughout the day.
3) Watch an Uplifting TV Series
Watching films and TV series can be an act of total escapism for introverts.
Don’t use your phone or do anything else. Immerse yourself in another world for a little while, before you go back to being an introvert in an extrovert’s world.
There’s nothing more validating than watching introverted characters on television shows. If anything, we feel represented.
For one, The Queen’s Gambit revolves around prodigious introvert Beth Harmon who finds escape when she discovers chess.
There’s also Perks of Being a Wallflower, a must-watch for introverts. It follows the early high school life of Charlie, someone who is observant and understands details that most people overlook.
4) Get Creative
Creativity is arguably the best mood booster. It gives you an avenue to channel all your pent-up energy and frustrations.
The best part is that you don’t even have to be an artist. You can cook, color, write, do arts and crafts, make something with your hands – anything! The less pressure you put on yourself, the better.
Some time ago, at that same marketing job, I was feeling particularly low-energy.
So instead of letting procrastination get the best of me, I used blogging as a creative outlet – and this way, I was able to find peace in chaos.
5) Process Your Thoughts in a Journal
Speaking of writing, jotting down your endless stream of thoughts in a journal can help you understand and calm your emotions.
You may seem quiet to strangers and acquaintances, but in reality, your head is filled with thoughts, memories, and opinions from years past.
To make sense of this mess in your head, try following journaling prompts such as “3 things you’re grateful for” or “What mantra has gotten you through dark days?”.
I remember when the lockdown was first introduced in my country. I thought I was dreaming. It was everything an introvert could ever want: canceled plans, staying home, all the “me” time possible.
Months passed and I didn’t understand what I was feeling – but that was until I picked up a journal and started to write about my sadness and loneliness.
I then learned that what I was going through was called “ambiguous loss.”
So once I understood exactly what it was and how to cope with it, I inevitably became kinder to myself. It felt like a heavy weight was lifted off my shoulders.
6) Reconnect With Physical Body Through Movement
Exercise doesn’t always mean spending hours at the gym.
A simple 20-minute walk around the block, a yoga session, or end-of-work-day dance party can do wonders for your state of mind.
Physical activity not only provides you with adrenaline and focus, but it gives you valuable alone time, too. It gets you out of your overthinking brain and into your body.
From one introvert to another, I encourage you to begin your physical fitness journey as soon as you can. Incorporating exercise into your daily routine allows you to shake it off and feel more energetic than when you first started.
7) Get Lost in a Book
Reading is the favorite pastime for many introverts.
You can spot one from a mile away when they have a book in their hand or perhaps wandering through the bookstore, delighted by the covers found at every turn.
I used to think that reading – especially fiction books – was an unproductive hobby, but I couldn’t have been more wrong.
There’s more to reading than just sitting in a corner and not having to talk to anyone. It recharges our social batteries, increases empathy, and lowers stress levels.
We get to feel some sense of connection when words that were written years ago speak to us, to remind us that we’re not alone and to explore possibilities we may have not yet considered.
Books take us on adventures that don’t require us to leave the comforts of our homes.
8) Spot “Energy Vampires” 3-3
Introverts tend to be givers by nature. We drop everything in a heartbeat to either lend a hand (or ear) to those who need it. We go the extra mile to understand why someone did what they did.
People who abuse this generosity are called “energy vampires” – the ones who always like to play victim, want something in return, and complain as if their life depends on it.
These people will suck your mental, emotional, and physical energy if you let them. Stay away.
9) Seek Conscious Connection
I’m not referring to therapy (although it would be nice to try), but rather engaging in meaningful conversations.
Small talk can be inherently draining for introverts, but deep, thought-provoking topics can be energizing.
I always try to make it a point to talk to another human being – someone who isn’t an energy vampire – every day, even if it’s just for a short while through chat or in person.
It might be my significant other, best friend, or family. At the very least, I randomly tell them “I love you.”
On another note, I try to brainstorm conversation starters before I go out just to make sure that I don’t run out of things to talk about in icebreakers.
10) Do Housework
Doing chores may not seem like an exciting idea nor does it strike as an energy-giving activity.
But finding joy in these mundane tasks – in shopping, driving, cooking, cleaning, cutting grass, and doing the laundry – also means plenty of uninterrupted time to think, imagine, and incubate ideas.
How many instances in the shower were you able to spontaneously connect the dots between life events or perhaps come up with a creative idea?
The same eureka effect happens with chores. The hours you spend doing the dishes or laundry give your mind downtime to sort through its archives and come up with critical insights.
11) Have a “Wind-Down Routine” 3-3
Pro tip: Find that activity trio that helps you wind down and relax before bedtime.
It might be clean-podcast-cook or maybe yoga-shower-journal – whatever it is, this relaxation time is not up for grabs. In the rush of daily life and work, don’t forget to reward yourself for a job well done.
This might seem like a no-brainer, but making sure your bedroom is the perfect place to sleep and recharge is crucial for introverted individuals.
Small issues can add up, reduce your sleep quality, and make you feel tired when you wake up.
Block out the noise; keep your bedroom clean; and make sure to prevent unwanted light from keeping you awake.
12) Conduct Daily Check-Ins
Create a habit of checking in with yourself to evaluate your energy levels throughout the day. These check-ins should only take a few minutes.
For example, first thing in the morning, I take a deep breath and gauge if I need to take a walk to ease some anxiety.
In the afternoon, I might feel sluggish if I haven’t been drinking enough water. And before I sleep, I take a moment to identify parts in my day that took a lot out of me.
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