Relaxing bath with wine

What I do to keep calm, my life as an introvert

It’s been a busy start to the year as you’ve probably noticed I haven’t been as consistent with the blog as I had been pre 2020. Trying to get content out weekly has been so hard to manage with my full time job and volunteer work, we’re in our really busy period at work, so I usually come home and crash out hard once we’ve had dinner, so sadly the blog along with a lot of my social media has taken a real back seat.

As a natural introvert I really don’t feel refreshed or ready to face the working week if I haven’t had a chance to spend some quality time alone or at home. I find it really hard to be on the whole time and it becomes noticeable if I’m around people, I start to get quiet and find reasons to not speak to those I’m with.

In keeping with the introvert theme, here are the top five things I need to recharge as an introvert:

Alone time

This is a big one for me. Whilst also being controlling in nature, my brain is switched on and running through to do lists or what my next meal will be, hah I think about food a lot. With so much going on in my head, it’s really important for me to switch off and push all the thoughts aside and chill the F out. I’m really bad with things like meditation, so sitting quickly with only my thoughts is not going to work for well for me.

I have started to enjoy the savasana at the end of yoga, but this has taken many many years to like, and I’ve really managed to hone in on this part of the practice in this past year. Previously I always used to excuse myself and leave when the teacher would turn out the lights and it was obvious the meditation was starting. But in the past year, my yoga skills have really improved, so by the end of the class I’m usually a sweaty tired mess, so my body craves that few minutes to cool down and relax.

Now managing to stay in the class during savasana does not mean I’ve managed to turn my mind off, in fact I’m almost always things about what I need to do next, and making to do lists on what the rest of the day will cover. So this isn’t really giving me the chance to chill.

So I find that I need Sunday night to really calm down, I need to be in my house having checked all my items off all my lists by around 18.00, so I can really zone out. This isn’t always possible and if we have plans on Sunday, I need to mentally prepare that my schedule and alone time isn’t going to work that week, and I therefore need some time on Saturday to have this instead. I’ll do all my chores ahead of Sunday to make sure i have no reason to feel overwhelmed and try and enjoy whatever it is we have planned.

Familiar surroundings

I’m not one of those people who can get comfortable at other people’s houses, I don’t naturally relax in places that are not familiar to me. This becomes a serious problem when I’m away from my home for a longer period of time. I don’t get the chance to really decompress and I feel constantly engaged, which can become extremely exhausting.

For people who aren’t introverts this kind of exhaustion isn’t something they can relate to and they struggle to understand how you might feel. D and I have this conversation all the time. He is the complete opposite to me and could be around new people and in a new place all the time and not feel like he needs a time out. If he could he would like to go out or have people over all the time, he gains so much energy from that kind of environment, whereas even writing that now gives me anxiety, hah.

This is something we both have to be mindful of, so when I feel like all we’ve done is host or go out for a while, I need to make a deal that I get to be at home for a set night.

Routine

I am the kind of person that does the same thing at the same time every day, I can eat the same meal for days on end and not feel tired of it for quite some time. I thrive when I know what is coming and that it’s something I’m expecting. So surprises are a huge no go for me.

If for some reason my routine needs to alter or is impacted it can take me some time to overcome the change. If I know about it in advance I can mentally prepare and switch my routine around to help myself overcome the feelings of anxiety.

This is massively impacted when in a social environment and the plans change slightly, for instance if we are out for a meal with D’s friends and I know we were going home after dinner, and all of a sudden he gets wrapped up in the moment and agrees that we’ll go to another place for a drink. This kind of change ignites feelings of anxiety and I have to think on my feet and try and rationalise the new plan in my head so that I’m able to move on and remain having a good time.

Whilst the above example is the worst case scenario, it’s all these extra thoughts and feelings that goes on within my body, so after spending a lot of time socialising and using extra energy within, you can imagine how exhausting that can be.

I guess that’s another reason I’m a huge planner, so I can see clearly what socialising is happening by checking my calendar, I can mentally prepare for all the events. Which is why I’m almost never say yes to an invitation without checking my diary and the days around it. Which leads nicely to the next point…

Ability to say no

This is something I’ve been quite good at doing. I’ve the ability to say no to invites and feel good about it. If I was to say Yes to something I didn’t want to do, I’d get to that activity and you’d be able to see my disinterest on my face, hah, I show you exactly how I feel, its written all over my face.

I warn a lot of my friends that I am an introvert and that I need down time, and this has backfired a few times, especially when moving to a new country. When I first moved to London I said no a lot, as I was already tired from my new surroundings, so when I was invited to go to a party or out for dinner I’d quite often say no, because I wanted to be alone. But my new friends saw this as a negative and I stopped being invited to things, so when I wanted to do things with people, those people weren’t around or had plans. So I really had to work on this to make sure I balance my yes’s and no’s adequately so I wasn’t neglecting friendships.

D and I used to fight about this a lot as well, and it’s come now to a point where we are both comfortable with me not going out with him, or leaving early whilst she stays out. And it works really well for us. It’s taken a few years to get to this, but now that we are here, it’s so much better. He feels energised from being around new people, and I get to go home when I’m drained.

I remember years ago my dad phoned my work phone and I recognised his number and he was shocked with how casually I answered the phone. I told him I don’t waste my work voice on people I know, hah. And whilst at the time is sounded funny, it’s so true. I don’t need to use too much energy being and talking to those familiar to me, as I find it comfortable, and it comes naturally. Whereas at work, I need to actively engage to be social and outgoing, and it can be tiring.

So if you know someone who’s a bit of an introvert don’t take their lack of communication as an offence, they may just need downtime, and a chance to recharge. We can’t all run at 100 all the time, it does not make for a healthy mind or body.

Are you an introvert?

How do you recharge?

Peace out for now

B

Photo by Sabri Tuzcu on Unsplash , Mutzii on Unsplash , Yoann Boyer on Unsplash ,  Jesse Schoff on Unsplash

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