Everyone deserves some time to relax and unwind after a long day. We should all be practicing self-care, but that may look different if you’re an introvert! Today I’d like to share my best self-care tips for introverts.
It is so easy to feel drained when you aren’t taking enough time to care for yourself. I know that when I’m feeling run down, I get irritable, short-tempered, and less productive. On the other hand, you can be doing all the self-care you want, but you still won’t feel better if you’re not doing the right things for you.
My goal is to share the power of doing the right kind of self-care. A lot of that can be dependent on your personality type. Introverts and extroverts recharge in different ways, so the best self-care methods will also be different.
I want to make you aware of the types of self-care activities that are beneficial for introverts. As an introvert myself, I’ll share the things that always put me in a better mood and help me thrive.
We’ll go over the differences between introverts and extroverts, my two best tips for introverted self-care, and 30 ideas for how to practice self-care as an introvert. If you’re looking for some inspiration, I hope this will help!
Welcome to Practical Self-Care! It’s a year-long, 12-post series on Plants and Pondering dedicated to exploring all aspects of self-care. Understanding and practicing self-care has changed my life.
If you’re brand new to self-care or you’re looking to deepen your practice and hone in on the best ways to care for yourself, this journey is perfect for you!
When you’re taking care of yourself, it makes everything in life more manageable. You can be more productive, creative, emotionally balanced, and have the energy to work toward your goals with your best effort.
With that being said, let’s get started on Practical Self-Care together!
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Introverts vs. Extroverts
Introverts and extroverts are mainly defined by how they recharge. Extroverts draw energy from other people and their surroundings, while introverts prefer to spend time alone with their thoughts.
Extroverts tend to be very expressive and enjoy working in groups. They often feel like they are doing their best work when it is done in collaboration with others. Extroverts are likely to make friends easily and have a large social circle.
On the other hand, introverts recharge by going inward. They like to work alone and consider things deeply. Introverts can be great listeners. (It’s a stereotype that introverts are shy, anti-social, or awkward, but these traits are not the same as introversion!)
This doesn’t mean that introverts can’t enjoy parties or that extroverts hate being alone. Of course, they can do these things, but it will often be more draining than what’s more in line with their natural tendencies. An introvert at a party will be relieved when they get to go home and relax, and an extrovert will probably be itching to hang out with people after a night in.
You can probably figure out what you are, but there are online quizzes that can be fun to take as well.
As with many other things, it’s a spectrum. So while you may feel closer to one end or the other (hardcore introvert, here!), you may also fall somewhere closer to the middle. Perhaps you don’t feel very drained by being social or on your own, and you adapt quickly to new situations. Then you would be an ambivert, and you’d likely identify with some introverted and extroverted traits.
The important thing to remember is that there is no right or wrong personality here. While many Western standards favor extroverted behaviors, especially in education or business settings, everyone’s unique strengths are valuable. There’s no reason to change your whole personality, and it’d probably be pretty uncomfortable to try.
When you’re not practicing self-care or doing the wrong things for you, it’s easy to feel extra drained. Like I discussed with how to get started with self-care, it takes more than just face masks and bubble baths to care for ourselves.
There are 7 areas of self-care: physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, social, professional, and financial. In some cases, the best self-care activities really depend on your personal introvert/extrovert levels. I’d say that financial self-care is pretty much independent of this, but social self-care is obviously impacted.
As an introvert, my favorite forms of self-care are almost exclusively practiced alone. That doesn’t mean that I don’t enjoy spending time with other people, but I know that I need to recharge by myself.
Reading, writing, spiritual practices, and spa/pampering nights are great things to do alone. The peace and quiet allow you to reflect on what’s on your mind. There’s something so nurturing about connecting to your own needs and taking care of them.
If you’re an introvert, I encourage you to explore how that affects your self-care practice. Maybe there are some needs that you weren’t even aware you had! There could be ways to modify certain activities to make them even more refreshing.
2 Self-Care Tips for Introverts
There are hundreds of self-care tips out there, and a lot of them are super helpful. But sometimes, you just need some simple guidelines. If I had to narrow everything I’ve learned about self-care into two tips, this is what they would be. They have been the most comforting to me and have helped me practice self-care as an introvert in a healthy way without shame or guilt.
Tip #1: Honor Who You Are
Don’t force yourself to conform to extroverted standards or allow others to set your boundaries for you. (This applies to self-care and other aspects of life!) Other people aren’t inside your mind, and they can’t tell you how you are feeling. Therefore, it’s up to you to decide what’s best for you and the things you will or won’t do.
There’s nothing wrong with being introverted. It’s not something to be fixed or changed. We have our unique strengths compared to extroverts, and diversity is a beautiful thing. If you’d rather stay home than go to a party, then go for it. Do what you enjoy doing, and don’t feel bad about it.
Tip #2: Honor Where You Are
Every day is a new and different experience. Needing quiet or alone time is nothing to feel guilty about. It’s something that everyone needs – even extroverts. Practice listening to your body’s signals to understand what you need each day.
Know that it’s okay to take a break and that rest is good for you.
I had to learn this one the hard way. I would have a bad day and need to rest and then make it worse by beating myself up for not getting more done. Instead, I have learned to accept when I need some extra downtime and then just take it without making it a big deal. There are way fewer negative emotions involved, and I’m able to start feeling better much faster.
30 Self-Care Ideas for Introverts
One – Meditate
There’s nothing like some quiet time with your thoughts to clear your mind. Meditation can be so beneficial for recharging.
Two – Spend time in nature
When was the last time you went outside and just soaked it all in? Introverts especially can have a powerful connection to nature. Depending on where you live, the nature around you may look different, but it’s all beautiful.
Three – Do yoga
I consider yoga to be a kind of moving meditation. It’s another way to clear your mind on top of getting a good workout. Plus, there are so many styles of yoga practice that you’re sure to find one that works for you.
Four – Listen to music
Music is a powerful tool for connecting to your emotions. Take some self-care time by putting on your favorite playlist and listening closely to the songs.
Five – Read a book
Is there anything cozier than curling up with a good book? Reading has become one of my favorite forms of self-care. If you’re looking for recommendations, check out my 2020 reading wrap-up to see all the books I read last year. To read more about introversion specifically, I’d suggest Quiet by Susan Cain or The Introvert Advantage by Marti Laney. Both were really eye-opening for me when I started learning about being an introvert.
Six – Spend time with pets
Much like being in nature, spending time with animals can be so therapeutic. If you have a pet, spend time hanging out with them. If not, find some cute animal videos online to enjoy.
Seven – Do a workout video
Many people have discovered the benefits of at-home workout videos lately. I appreciate that it is much easier to follow along than to come up with my own routine. Plus, a workout video gives you the illusion of working out with someone else and being social, but you can still be alone!
Eight – Cook your favorite recipe
Food can be so comforting—practice self-care by cooking your favorite recipe. Or, if you’re feeling adventurous, try something new!
Nine – Have a social outing with one person
The key here is to spend one-on-one time with someone. As an introvert, large gatherings can be draining, but hanging out with a close friend is sure to put you in a better mood.
Ten – Write in a journal
Introverts often process things better when they write them down. Try taking 20 minutes to journal and just write about anything that comes to mind. You may find clarity on a problem or emotion that you’ve been dealing with.
Eleven – Set or reflect on your goals
I am a huge fan of setting goals! It is so helpful to have some positive things to be working toward, and seeing your progress is so rewarding. If you need some inspiration, here are 10 ideas for personal development goals.
Twelve – Draw, paint, make art
When was the last time you did something creative? A self-care day is a perfect opportunity. If you’re not very skilled artistically (I’m certainly not), remember to focus on how you feel when you’re creating instead of judging your results.
Thirteen – Review your monthly budget
Introverts may feel calmer when their money is in order. Of course, practicing good financial habits is beneficial for everyone. To learn more about how money relates to self-care, check out the fundamentals of financial self-care.
Fourteen – Research a topic that interests you
This falls into the realm of mental self-care. Maybe there’s something that you’ve always wanted to learn more about. Take some time to do that, with no pressure to become an expert. Just follow your curiosity!
Fifteen – Watch your favorite show or movie
It can be so comforting to go back to an old favorite. Cuddle up on the couch and watch something that you know will make you smile.
Sixteen – Have a spa night/take a long shower
The key here is to create a relaxing sensory experience. Make your bath or shower as luxurious as possible, and enjoy the rest of your night.
Seventeen – Enforce boundaries for communication
For the most part, we are not required to be available 24/7. It doesn’t have to be harsh, but try establishing boundaries for when you will or won’t be responding to messages. And stick to it!
Eighteen – Declutter a space in your house
A tidy house means a tidy mind! Spend a few hours (or more) cleaning and decluttering a space in your home that looks less than ideal.
Nineteen – Write a letter
Maybe there’s something you want to tell someone, but you just can’t find the right words. Writing them a letter could be an easier way to get your thoughts across. Depending on the person and the letter’s contents, you don’t even have to mail it to them! Use it as a tool for healing.
Twenty – Light a candle
To me, candles add to the magic of self-care time. I’ve been loving the natural soy wax candles at Confetti Candle Co on Etsy. They have a huge assortment of simple scents that create the perfect ambiance for relaxation.
Twenty-one – Take a social media break
We unconsciously absorb emotions and energy from what we’re seeing online. Practice self-care by taking a social media break for a day. Or, review who you’re following and unfollow anyone who is making your mental state worse.
Twenty-two – Fill out your calendar or planner
If you’re a planner person like I am, getting your calendar in order will bring you joy. If not, feel free to try it out anyway. Make it fun by decorating with stickers or colored pens.
Twenty-three – Listen to a podcast
Podcasts are another great way to feel social without having to actually talk to someone. There are so many different types of podcasts that you can choose from, depending on whether you’re looking to learn something or just be entertained.
Twenty-four – Make a gratitude list
I could go on and on about the power of gratitude. Try making a list of things you’re thankful for, no matter how small they may seem. Even on a bad day, there’s always something positive to acknowledge.
Twenty-five – Make a Pinterest board
Pinterest is such a fun way to get inspired. If there’s something you want to design or even just fantasize about, like a wedding, home décor, or new plants, make a new board for those ideas. (Shameless plug here, follow me on Pinterest!)
Twenty-six – Clean your closet
Make space in your life by only keeping clothes that you genuinely love. Decluttering is a great activity for introverts – you get to spend some quiet time reflecting by yourself.
Twenty-seven – Call your best friend
Introverts aren’t completely anti-social, but conversations are often more enjoyable when they are with close friends.
Twenty-eight – Play a single-player video game
This might just be me, but I think multiplayer video games are totally overwhelming. Because of this, I prefer to relax by playing single-player games where I’m able to focus on the game without the stress of interaction. (Stardew Valley is my current favorite!)
Twenty-nine – Practice a hobby or craft
Introverts are often drawn to art, crafts, and other solo hobbies. They give you time to slow down, clear your mind, and create something beautiful. My craft of choice is cross-stitch embroidery. It was pretty easy to learn, and it’s so calming!
Thirty – Do a spiritual or religious practice
Alone time allows you to connect with something beyond yourself. Take care of yourself by doing a spiritual or religious practice you believe in.
So there are the my favorite self-care tips for introverts! I shared my best tips and plenty of self-care ideas to help you get started.
Introvert or not, what’s your favorite way to practice self-care? Let me know by leaving a comment!
If you want to keep the self-care train rolling, check out the rest of the Practical Self-Care series: