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4 Ways To Practice Self-Care As an Introvert

It’s no secret that people are gradually making self-care a priority recently. It’s also no secret that people’s personalities vary from person to person.

What works as self-care for an extrovert most likely won’t work for us introverts, though. As a self-proclaimed introvert, here’s what I’ve found that does work instead:

1. Take The Time You Need To Decompress 

I get it, it’s totally exhausting for us introverts to be around people all the time. Things that other people might take as little things, like appointments or interviews. can be huge for us, or even drain us of energy.

It’s important to take the time you need to decompress from the things that drain you and regroup in order to build up your energy again. Taking breaks is in fact, a healthy thing to engage in, and can even help you in the long run.

It’s important to take the time you need to decompress, but it’s equally important to ensure that you’re not decompressing so much that you become lazy. One thing that helped me while I was in undergrad was to buy a typical kitchen timer in order to make sure that I used my time effectively. I would study a particular subject or work on a particular assignment for an hour before giving myself 10 or 15 minutes of break time to use however I wanted, whether that meant browsing my social media feed or doing a quick 15 minute yoga flow on the floor of my single.

After the 15 minutes were up, I would set my timer again for another hour and either dive back into the assignment I had been working on, or turn my attention to something else that I needed to do.

It was tempting to hang out with friends every night after I finished my work, especially as a college student, but I knew that I got a lot of my energy from hanging out by myself. Knowing that meant that I turned down a lot of invitations to parties or things that just didn’t feel fun. Sure, I may not have been the most popular kid in the freshman class, but I knew that taking some “me” time away from the constant press of people was healthier for me in the long run.

 2. Make Time For The Things That Make You Happy

With all the responsibilities that crowd our plates including jobs, bills, and school (among other things), it can be easy to forget to devote time to ourselves. Making time for yourself by doing things that make you happy allows you time to reset and ground yourself while rebuilding your energy. The things that make you happy vary from person to person, but they can include:

  • Reading books
  • Listening to music (or podcasts)
  • Watch your favorite TV show or film
  • Do your favorite workout (whatever that is)
  • Drink your favorite tea
  • Cook your favorite meal
  • Take a nap

The list goes on. Regardless of what it is that makes you happy, it’s important to carve out time for yourself amid a busy schedule. You know yourself best; do what is best for you.

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3. Schedule It Like A Doctor’s Appointment

You would never miss a doctor’s appointment, would you?

Yeah, that’s what I thought.

This is not the first time I’ve professed my love for structure. I’ve found it incredibly useful, especially amid the demands on our time that seem to pull us every which way on a daily basis.

Ensuring that you have a non-negotiable amount of time to yourself also gives you the extra kick in the rear and something to look forward to at the end of the day, whether that’s your favorite Disney movie or coffee with a friend you haven’t seen in forever.

You are important and you deserve time to yourself. Scheduling your self-care time just as you would a doctor’s appointment emphasizes that message and boosts your self-esteem, too. And who doesn’t like that?

4. Check In With Yourself

Take time (periodically) to check in with your physical body. How do you feel? Do you feel drowsy? Are you hungry? Are you itching to go for a run and burn excess steam by pounding concrete?

Listening to your instincts and your body allows you to do things that make you feel good. Those things, little as they may be, gradually pile up. Checking in with yourself and honoring how your body feels is another way of showing yourself that you matter.

Yes, sometimes you have to do things that you would rather not do, but that doesn’t mean completely ignoring your instincts. One way to care for yourself and ensure that you’re operating at your best is to follow your instincts and honor your feelings and your body.

Yes, granted, sometimes your instincts aren’t always right, but more often than not, you come out the other side feeling better for having listened to your body. Exercising good self-care habits means caring for both your physical and mental well-being, especially as an introvert.

As an introvert, the world can seem overwhelming at times, but making yourself a priority amid the chaos of your everyday life can offer structure and relief. Doing the things that make you feel better about yourself, whether that means meditating, doing a yoga flow, or watching a few shows on Netflix at the end of the day can do wonders for your health as you recharge yourself away from crowds.

About the Author

Alisa Tanaka

Alisa Tanaka graduated with a Communications degree from Lewis & Clark College in 2012. She hopes to develop a career that allows her to make a measurable impact on the world while doing something that she loves. Her interests include psychology, linguistics, and mental health. She can also be found reading, watching documentaries, and writing her blog.