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Essential Stress Management and Self-Care Tips for Introverts
by Melissa Howard
Practicing self-care is essential for staying grounded and energized as an introvert. Although the world can sometimes feel like an overwhelming place, introverts can truly thrive by acknowledging their need for alone time and learning how to be selective with their energy. If you’re an introvert, practicing self-care will help you tend to your mental and physical health in the face of social exhaustion.
Eating a healthy diet is important for staying energized all day long. According to Harvard Medical School, the foods you eat can affect your mood, anxiety levels, perception of stress, and even your mental outlook! For example, studies have found that diets rich in vegetables, fruits, unprocessed grains, and fish are associated with lower rates of depression.
A clean diet can help you maintain your mental stamina for a little longer so you can stave off introvert burnout, but you may also want to take a good-quality multivitamin for an extra boost. Multivitamins are still beneficial for people who eat well and exercise. Choose a supplement that contains antioxidants, polyphenols, and B vitamins for more energy, better gut health, and clearer skin.
Skip the Gym
Exercise is an important aspect of self-care because it relieves stress, improves mood, keeps the body happy, and helps us sleep better. But you don’t have to go to the gym to enjoy these benefits. If you’re trying to build muscle, buy a few weights and set up an at-home gym or follow along with bodyweight training videos in your living room. Solo aerobic activities like running and cycling are also great for your whole-body health. Just make sure you stay safe out there!
Besides tracking your workouts and helping you monitor your progress, smartwatches and fitness trackers can give you peace of mind when you’re out jogging alone. For example, the Apple Watch Series 4 includes safety features like low and high heart rate notifications, fall detection, and an emergency SOS, so you can quickly call for help if you’re in trouble.
Learn to Say No
As an introvert, you have to be selective with your energy. Spreading yourself thin will quickly leave you feeling depleted! If you don’t have the mental stamina for a night out with friends, don’t feel bad about staying home to recharge. Learn how to say no without feeling guilty.
If you’re having trouble declining invitations without an excuse, be honest and say that you’re feeling tired and could use a little “me” time. Remember, taking time for yourself is not a luxury, but a necessary element of your self-care practice! Getting to know your boundaries and staying true to them will help you avoid burnout.
Find What Energizes You
Every introvert needs some go-to techniques and strategies to recharge after an exhausting day or event. Try making a list of activities that really energize you, so you know just what to do when you’re running on empty. To recharge quickly, Introvert Spring recommends meditating, taking baths, cooking, practicing yoga, creating art, listening to music, and spending time with animals.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed in the middle of the workday, try to get out for a walk in nature to restore some brainpower—spending time in nature has stress-reducing effects and has even been found to improve mental performance and creativity.
Self-care means something different to every one of us, and what may be relaxing and rejuvenating to one person may be stressful and draining to you. The best way to practice self-care is to know yourself. Pay close attention to your needs and try different self-care strategies until you find what works to bring more calm and balance to your life.