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Last Updated on August 4, 2022
If you’re an introvert, you probably relate to the struggles of feeling burnt out, overstimulated, and just needing some dang peace and quiet all to yourself. You need a self care routine that fits the bill and doesn’t contribute to your feelings of overwhelm. Self care for introverts and our unique needs is so important!
If you didn’t know, “introvert” is simply a personality trait for someone who tends to turn inward and focus more on internal thoughts and feelings. They prefer calm and minimally stimulating environments.
You might feel a sense of obligation to “match” your extroverted counterparts. Unfortunately, a lot of functions in society seem to be set up to cater to extroverts and not introverts. This really sucks, because there is honestly nothing wrong with being an introvert! But like anything, it comes with its challenges.
And as much as we try to push ourselves and keep things under control, the fact is….
Life as an introvert can get overwhelming.
No two introverts are alike, but something we typically share is the low threshold for overwhelm. Our social batteries don’t always have the greatest capacity, and we are prone to feeling overstimulated.
This is not to say that you’re weak. Not by any means. Introverts have many strengths extroverts may not have. All it means is that introverts have different self care needs, and that’s totally fine.
Learning that you are introverted allows you to adapt your self care routine to what you truly need. It will help you know your limits–what helps you feel recharged, and what doesn’t. Learning the value of boundaries and which ones you need to set to feel your best is a must.
My introversion became really apparent in my early teens. I struggled with having to interact with so many people at school everyday, to the point where transitioning to online school was my only saving grace.
My mom constantly begged me to come out of my room and “spend time with family,” both scenarios of which were the last things I wanted to do.
My experience is a mix of both introversion and social anxiety, but even though my social anxiety has improved as an adult, I easily have a preference for time spent alone most days. And as long as you aren’t holding yourself back from worthwhile experiences, there’s nothing wrong with that!
What every introvert needs
Being an introvert just means your self care needs might look a little different. How can you support your introverted side while making sure you thrive and flourish? Here’s a few different ways to practice self care for introverts:
- Giving yourself plenty of time to process stimuli
- Checking in with your social battery regularly and recharging in solitude as necessary
- A strong support system that you can confide in
- A small circle of tried and true friends
- Space to connect with your hobbies and passions
- Deep, interpersonal communication with others
- A quiet space just for yourself
- Adequate time to think and self-reflect
How can introverts recharge?
Extroverts charge their batteries by socializing. Introverts charge their batteries by taking some much-needed alone time.
If your battery has been depleted by too much social interaction, make sure you recharge by doing self care activities that cater to rest and regeneration.
If your social battery is super sensitive, you might need to recharge by practicing self care each day. This could look like listening to relaxing music at the end of your work day, reading 10 pages of a good book, or journaling your feelings each night.
Getting a feel for how often you need to recharge and what triggers the need to recharge will help you discover exactly the steps you need to take to form the self care routine that’s right for you!
Self Care for Introverts Who Just Need Some Alone Time
Emotional self care for introverts
Having a few minutes of simple quietness, especially before you start your day, might be just the thing you need. When I have a busy day ahead of me, I know I need to prioritize those moments of stillness where I can find them. Meditation doesn’t have to be complicated either. Just sit down, close your eyes, and focus on your breathing.
2. Brain dump
The purpose of a brain dump is to dump everything in your mind onto paper. This is a great way to get a good release when your mind is overwhelmed with a bajillion things! You’ll let go of any emotional burden and your brain will be so much clearer and quiet afterward.
3. Do a guided journal
On the flip side, it can help to journal in a way that is more guided and structured than a brain dump. Choosing a guided journal with prompts that are specific to something you want to focus on is super beneficial.
For example, I have a printable mental health journal and a printable gratitude journal you can try! The mental health journal is perfect for working through tough emotions, overcoming unhelpful behaviors, and reframing negative thoughts. The gratitude journal is great for training your brain to think more positively and intentionally each day. Grab ‘em below!
4. Set boundaries
Setting boundaries is non-negotiable. You need to prioritize protecting your energy. We have to learn to set boundaries for those who drain us of our energy, no matter how challenging the task may be. This is also true for setting boundaries for yourself if you tend to push yourself to the point of burnout.
Physical self care for introverts
5. Stretch or do some yoga
Stretching and yoga are good ways to get slower, more intentional movement in without over-exerting yourself. Stretching doesn’t have to be strenuous. It should feel good! Yoga can also be a good escape because it allows you to be very grounded and focused on the movements you’re doing.
6. Take “THE” shower
You know, the life-changing shower that makes you feel godlike after. All the yummy smelling products, exfoliating, scrubbing, cleansing, shaving…the whole nine yards!
Taking “THE” ultimate shower like this always makes me feel so clean and my life so put together! It is a great chance to focus on yourself and make yourself feel good.
7. Dance or do an endorphin-boosting activity
So many people hate cardio, but I SWEAR dance is the one form of cardio that doesn’t suck. It can be as simple as putting on your favorite upbeat song and dancing to your heart’s content, or even looking up dance workouts on YouTube! Just give it a try!
As an introvert, your home is probably your sanctuary. Make sure you’re treating it as such by staying on top of cleaning when you can. You deserve to exist in a clean, tidy space. Don’t overwhelm yourself, just take one room at a time and feel the lack of physical clutter translate to your mental state!
Overstimulation self care for introverts
9. Turn off the noise
Sometimes you just need a moment of silence. All the little noises in your environment can add up, so turn off what you can and give your auditory processing system a rest. You can always try relaxing background music too, like rain sounds or ocean sounds to drown out any pleasant noise.
10. Turn off or dim the lights
Limiting your visual overstimulation can also help. If you have a dimmable light or LED light strips where you have control over the brightness, dim the lights or set them to a soothing color. I love setting the mood in my bedroom to something different, like purple, when I need a change from bright white lighting. Much easier on the eyes!
11. Lay down with your eyes closed
Or even take a power nap if you have the time. If not, simply laying down with your eyes closed can give you the little reset you need. Closing your eyes and focusing on deep breathing signals your body to calm down and turn off the fight-or-flight response.
12. Practice grounding exercises
Grounding exercises are helpful during times of overwhelm or in the middle of strong emotions. It shifts your focus away from the stressor. A common grounding exercise is the 5-4-3-2-1 coping technique:
- Notice 5 things you can SEE
- 4 things you can TOUCH
- 3 things you can HEAR
- 2 things you can SMELL
- 1 things you can TASTE
Self care activities like these are awesome, but you’ll find the most benefit if you pair them with therapy. Talking to an online therapist can really help you out. It’s helped me tremendously! I always recommend Online Therapy because it’s a comprehensive, effective online therapy toolkit at an affordable monthly cost. Get 20% off your first month with the link below!
13. No screen time for x amount of time
Cutting back on screen time in general can also be a huge help when you’re feeling overstimulated. Think of the abundance of information you’re taking in and processing when you’re watching TV, Googling random info, or scrolling through Tik Tok. No wonder it can send you into information overdrive! Make an intentional plan for an hour or two away from the screen each day.
Social self care for introverts
14. Detox from social media
Social media is a funny thing for us introverts. It’s probably a more comfortable way to stay connected to the people in your life, but getting sucked into the social media scroll for hours on end is not so helpful, especially when we wind up in the social comparison trap.
Be conscious about your social media consumption and take the time to “detox” and spend time away from it doing more constructive activities!
15. Evaluate your friend circle
One of the most crucial steps toward self care for introverts is to be thoughtful and wise about those you keep in your friend circle. Quality over quantity. You might have a friend in your circle you’ve known for years and have a hard time letting go of, but if they’ve had a negative influence on you, are they worth keeping around?
16. Catch up with your best friend
My best friend lives across the country from me, but whenever we catch up, she is truly my safe space and I leave our Facetime call feeling so much better! If you’re lucky to have someone like that in your life, make sure to catch up with them periodically. Filling your social interactions with best friends you can confide in is so healthy!
Let me know in the comments:
Which activities of self care for introverts have you tried? How did they go?
Psst…grab my daily self care check in sheet for introverts below!