Too Tired After Work? 10 Ways Introverts Can Recharge Fast

too tired after work introvert

If you’re an introvert, you know how it feels to be too tired after work. After a long day slaving away for the man, you come home with mush for brains, and zero energy. This is frustrating for many reasons.

First of all, there are a lot of things you need to do when you get home. There are animals and loved ones to tend to, friends to call back, neighbours to hide from. But here’s the problem.

All of the above tasks take energy. And when you are an introvert who works in a draining environment, energy is one commodity that is in very short supply at the end of the day.

Thankfully, there are ways to refill your energy tanks when you are too tired after work. Many of these after work recharge tips are things you can easily slip into your daily routine. Before I share my top tips, as well as a summary infographic, I want to ask you something important:

Do you know why you feel too tired after work?

For introverts, this is an important question with an answer that is more layered than you might think. Sure, work is stressful and demanding for anyone — that’s why they call it “work”, right? But for introverts, it’s more than that.

For introverts, going to work is a daily battle with overstimulation. The reason has to do with the way an introvert’s brain works in comparison to an extrovert’s. In the 1960s psychologist Hans Eysenck proposed that introverts and extroverts have different levels of cortical arousal (the speed and amount of brain activity). Introverts have naturally higher cortical arousal, which means it’s easier for our brain to get overloaded and drained.

Unless you happen to work in a highly introvert friendly work environment, you likely face at least one or more of the below sources of overstimulation during your workday:

  • noise pollution
  • frequent interruptions
  • team meetings
  • phone conversations
  • needy customers
  • crowded public transit
  • open office spaces
  • multitasking
  • chatty co-workers
  • fast-paced projects
  • loud lunchrooms
  • demanding bosses

Perhaps, there is simply no getting around the constant overstimulation you face at work. You might have even come to accept being too tired after work. You’ve thrown your hands in the air and said, “that’s it, I give up!”

Unfortunately, admitting defeat against chronic exhaustion also means giving up on things that matter to you. Things like, eating well, exercising, connecting with loved ones, developing hobbies, and actually enjoying life. I’ve been there …

I feel your pain, dearest

I know how it feels to be too tired after work. As a writer and online entrepreneur, I may have an introvert’s dream job now, but it wasn’t always this way. My past jobs include: medical assistant, waitress, early childhood educator, reporter, call centre surveyor, bank teller, chocolate shop attendant, and many more.

The joy killer

Nearly all of my past jobs left me feeling way too tired after work — so tired, in fact, that I didn’t have the energy to do the things that bring me the greatest joy. I was so mentally drained that I couldn’t focus on creative projects. Cooking, which is one of my favorite pastimes, became a necessity to get over and done with as quickly as possible. Even talking to people I cared about was a chore.

If any of the above sounds familiar to you, you’ll agree that this is no way to live. Sure, you need to make a living, but you also need to make a life. Building a fulfilling life takes energy. That’s why knowing how to recharge fast after your workday is key.

Top 10 ways to recharge fast when you’re too tired after work

Over the years, I’ve tried out a variety of after work routines in the hopes that I would find the perfect activity to restore myself quickly. What I discovered was that it’s not just one thing that rejuvenates us as introverts. We have to have a variety of recharge tools in our arsenal, so that we can pick and choose what will work best at a given time.

Read on to discover my favorite recharge tips. I’ve also included a sweet little summary infographic for you to download, print, and share on social media.

Meditation

Before you boo me off the stage in protest of this overused catch-all piece of advice, hear me out. Meditating is the ultimate defence against overstimulation for two reasons:

1) It quiets your mind, which results in better focus and attention.

2) It gives you a powerful dose of rejuvenation in as little as five minutes.

Meditation creates a peaceful bubble of protection from outside stimulation, including noise, people, and plasma screens — all of which can be very draining. It also helps you sleep better, especially if you get your zen on right before bed.

Candlelit bath

Taking a bath is both relaxing and rejuvenating for introverts because it provides an oasis of solitude. I recommend turning out the lights, and just using a nightlight or candlelight to supercharge the benefits. Again, it is the reduction of stimulation that makes this activity so effective when you are feeling too tired after work.

Walking

Going for a walk is a great way to recharge because it connects you to nature, the ultimate source of rejuvenation. It also works because walking soothes the mind and prevents overthinking. And there is research to prove it.

A Standford study led by graduate student Gregory Bratman found that walking in nature quieted the part of the brain that is active during rumination (obsessive negative thinking).

The study split up a group of 38 city-dwellers. Half the group sauntered in lush green solitude. Meanwhile, the other half walked near a busy highway. In the end, the volunteers who walked near heavy traffic were just as broody as ever. The peaceful park wanderers, however, had less blood flow to the subgenual prefrontal cortex (the rumination station introvert brains love to tune into after work).

The bottom line: walking is an easy way to quiet and replenish your mind when you’re too tired after work. Just be sure to stroll in a peaceful environment. If you live in a busy concrete jungle without a sliver of green in sight, try walking at a quiet time of day, such as nighttime.

Cooking

You might think that cooking is the opposite of relaxing after a long day at work, but it depends on how you approach it. Cooking can be a flow activity, which focuses your mind. The beauty of flow activities, which also include gardening, running, and mountain climbing, is that they create a kind of mental rhythm. Your brain can relax into the moment as it travels along familiar grooves.

Intimacy

When you’re feeling too tired after work, you might be tempted to shut people out. After all, people are highly stimulating, and therefore, draining. But here’s the thing.

It is the superficial relationships that introverts find most exhausting. Intimate relationships go way beyond the surface. The Psychology Dictionary defines intimacy in this way:

“A state of extreme interpersonal emotional closeness such that each party’s personal space can be entered without causing discomfort and by any of the other parties to that person.”

The human need for fulfilling connections is universal. Whether you’re an introvert or extrovert, you will feel energized by true intimacy. Emotionally intimate relationships that are built on acceptance, trust, and mutual respect rejuvenate you.

Artistic expression

Most introverts are naturally creative. It’s just another one of those perks of being introspective, and intuitive. The thing about artistic expression is that it needs to be, well, expressed. When you keep it locked inside you, you start to feel weighed down. Allowing yourself to get creative makes you feel light, free, and refreshed.

Yoga

Yeah, yeah, yeah … I know you’ve hear this one before, too. I resisted doing yoga for a long time because it seemed boring and pointless. But last year I caved and gave it a chance. Now I get it.

Yoga goes beyond exercise. It’s one of the few activities that provides mental, spiritual, and physical rejuvenation. Best of all, you can enjoy its replenishing effects by doing the simplest of postures for as little as five minutes a day. I often do my favorite back release moves in bed. Now that’s what I call introvert friendly exercise!

Animal cuddles

Dog, cat, hamster, parakeet — it doesn’t really matter your animal friend of choice — spending quality time with a furry (or feathery) cutie will help you recharge when you’re too tired after work.

For the past couple of days, my boyfriend’s dog has been having sleepovers at my house. I have to admit, I feel more calm and relaxed as a result. Nothing sweeps away the day’s worries like the unconditional love of an animal companion.

Exercise

Say what?! Exercise might be the last thing you want to do after work, but guess what.

Exercise is an amazing way to recharge as an introvert. In fact, going for nighttime runs was one of my main innie coping strategies during high school. After a long day of classes, I would pop in my earbuds and run my worries away.

If you’re worried about making the trek to a gym after work, consider exercising at home, or in your backyard. Working out at home saves you precious time, energy, and money.

Music

I’m a big believer in the power of resonance. When you find a song that reverberates within your soul and mind, you come back to life. Music soothes and mends what the workday leaves in pieces. A little bit of Bob Marley gets your heart dancing to a more hopeful rhythm. Some laid back Bossa Nova beats remind you that life ain’t so bad after all.

So, there you have it — my 10 ways to recharge fast when you’re too tired after work. Even adding just one of these activities to your daily routine will make a big difference. I recommend starting off with the thing that seems the most achievable for you.

Alright, now that we’ve covered the top ten in-depth, here’s a little visual summary:

too tired after work introvert infographic

Remember to go easy on yourself! After all, you’ve just survived a day full of stimulation attacks. You deserve some R&R.

Thoughts?

Do you often feel too tired after work? What are some of your favorite recharge activities? Please do share your thoughts in the comments below.

Xo,

 

 

32 Comments

  1. Wonderful recharge activities Michaela and a great article! They are all spot on and can really work wonders on a tired innie mind. 🙂 My favourite ones are meditation (I’m applying different time-focused ones), music (few things can relax me more than a gentle Irish rhythm of a violin and a flute), walking of course, I love observing stars and recharge my mind in the infinity of looking at them, intimacy like you said can have amazing results, and I adore listening to nature sounds that calm my senses and recharge my concentration. As for the work part, in the past I have experienced chronic overwhelm numerous times working on mainly extroverted jobs. But this is the thing of the past since I now do my dream job and what I love the most. 😉

    Reply
    • Thanks Marko! Great to hear which ones are your favorites!

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  2. This is not about work. But I am meeting a group of people I don’t know on a photoworkshop. I am pretty much a novice and am starting to have anxiety over the trip even though it was advertised as beginners welcome. How can I get over this.

    Reply
    • Hi Shirley, thanks for your message. One thing that might help you reframe things is to remember that you were literally invited to the workshop because it said “beginner’s welcome”. When you’re invited somewhere you – just as you are – belong there. I would just let people know upfront that you’re a beginner and you feel intimidated. People will likely welcome you, and try to help you, rather than judge you. Everyone has been a beginner at one point!

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  3. Wow – this article could not have come at a better time. I’m so exhausted right now due to high work and family demands that I would like to hibernate until July. I almost quit work earlier this week due to the extreme demands I’m under right now. Will try to implement some of these tips so I don’t end up unemployed ! Thanks !!!

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    • I’m glad it was timely for you, though I’m sorry to hear you’ve been having such a hard time. It’s a tough time of year! I hope the tips help. 🙂 xo

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  4. Thanks for this, Michaela. A good reminder to give our quiet personality a way to return to that blissful place.

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    • You’re welcome, Charlotte! Thanks for your comment. 🙂

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  5. As always, your articles are always on point and unbelievably helpful with what I’m dealing with in my everyday life. Thank you so much for this post!!

    My favorite methods for unwinding after work differ depending on the day, but a couple of my favorites are meditating (I like to use Zentangles when my ‘mind chatter’ is too strong) and listening to music.

    I enjoy walking quite a bit, however I currently live in the city and my automatic negative thoughts spin even faster on their hamster-wheel-of-doom. I’ve recently made the decision to make a major move from the city I’ve been raised in, to a much quieter area where I’ll be surrounded by less people and much more nature. I’m looking forward to all of my walks and hikes, as I’m hoping this adjustment can help me find even more peace in my daily life.

    Reply
    • Thanks for sharing that Christina. I’m glad you found the article helpful! And that’s exciting to hear you’ll be moving to a quieter area where you can hopefully get your hamster wheel to slow down!

      Reply
      • My quickest way to recharge is a nap. I also enjoy shopping….alone.

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  6. My number one way of recharging after a long way is just driving… It works very well for me. I just enjoy driving. Especially if the trip is long. It gives me a sense of freedom from life. Going on a weekend road trip is even better. It completely recharges what a busy week has drained out of me.

    Reply
    • Ah, great suggestion Rhett! I didn’t think of that one because I don’t drive, but I know many innies will agree with what you say. 🙂

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  7. This is article is spot on! I love how you explain why we introverts are too tired after work. I have recently reintroduced exercise into my routine and I find it does help. Now, I plan to try meditation and walking in nature – I love nature. 😊

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  8. Really nice article Michaela. Work has always drained me and I never understood why until I read a book about Introverts and highly sensitive people last year. I have also learned the same here from you. We have a lot more receptors always out there looking for sensory input from our environments and this coupled with our actual jobs, means we are doubly tired by the end of the day.
    I am between jobs right now (as they say) and with the extra time I am trying to take a nice walk every day or at least three or four times a week depending on weather. It really does help. I like to listen to a book while walking to help keep my mind occupied and not get too introspective. I liked what you said about cooking being a “flow” activity. I have never thought of it like that before. I keep telling myself I need a new hobby and this might be the time and place to start one like cooking. Especially if it helps take away introspection and helps the mind focus on something besides self and problems.

    Thanks for your continued help with these valued free articles.

    Reply
  9. I just love your articles/ blogs. Since knowing my personality type and researching it, I now feel less like an odd nod. I do often wonder how other people see us though, especially as I am the INFJ which is only 1% of population.

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  10. Michaela, I really enjoyed your article! Being a full-time study really gets my energy tanks low, often. I agree with the techniques you listed! I have found all of them to be beneficial. The ones that work best for me are yoga, animal cuddles and artistic expression (writing). I was unsure about yoga for a long time, and had a difficult time getting up to do it because I just didn’t have the energy.. but every single time after I complete it I do feel better. So it has become a go-to for me! Thanks for writing these wonderful articles to help introverts, they are really great! 🙂

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  11. I wish I had known this about myself,sooner. I used to self Medicare with alcohol and drugs, after work, and “overstressed” situations. Cleaned up now, but I lost a lot of my life, that I didn’t have to.

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  12. Great article Michaela..wonderful tips to decompress after work.
    I want to know how to get socialized. People complain I am dumb all the time. I could expect some help from you.

    Reply
  13. Awesome! Some great new techniques for me to try. Luckily my cooking is already a creative endeavor, hahaha. I already use meditation to start my day peaceful and energized, works great! I don’t think the candlelit bathing is going to fly with me, hahaha.

    Reply
  14. Its funny that I finally got a chance to read this post at the end of the week, because this past week was dedicated to finding balance during my work week. I found that I was having a case of the Monday Blues too often. I then realized I was placing too much pressure on my weekends to provide relaxation. So this week I inserted a few tasks to help me relax before, during, and after work. I first identified areas in my life I need to feed in order to balance myself out (experience nature, stress relief techniques, do something creative, alone & quiet time, escape reality, look good feel good, and self-care/reward myself). Under each category I wrote 3 tasks to help me feed them. This week, before work I watched tv and colored/drew a picture, I gave myself 5 minutes of sitting outside during the work day, I went to the gym after work and ended the day with 15 minutes of quiet time. Inserting these tasks made such a difference in my week! I didn’t feel as tired and overwhelmed when I finally got home. Reading this post lets me know I’m on the right path and gives me a few more ideas! As always, you’re awesome and thank you for giving this introvert a place to call home 🙂

    Reply
    • That’s so wonderful to hear, Sabrina! Indeed, you’re on the right track. I hope you’re able to keep it up. 🙂

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  15. Hi Michaela, these are so helpful. I’ve been so tired lately due to an increase in work hours and haven’t had the energy to spend more time here and wanted to answer these earlier.
    For me baking is more enjoyable then cooking, I’m more creative that way. I think that having hobbies can be relaxing too. Playing with kids such as ones own or a niece or nephew and just acting like a kid again can work wonders to relieve stress and overwhelm and would cover the exercise aspect with less structure, nothing like a little foolish uninhibited nonsense aka, F.U.N. to release those relaxing brain chemicals. I think too eating right helps as well, since we are naturally over thinkers, nutrition has to come into play for better stress management, I know that if I drink too much caffeine or eat too many carbs or sugars it drags me down, I find when I eat more raw veggies and fruits and snack on those often I have more energy, especially since I’m active naturally, just about everyday of the week is walking, climbing and going up and down stairs, it’s not uncommon for me to walk 20,000 steps a day, the parking lot to the job is often a mile or more away.

    I actually got into yoga and Pilates by accident, I had gotten a back injury and later was rear ended in a car crash by a at sleep driver moving 70 miles per hour while I sat in traffic, and the fix for me was exercise through physical therapy and now I’m virtually pain free and haven’t had my back go out in years.

    Thank you for being you, articles like this really make me appreciate all the healing you do and how helpful you are in my life. You bring so much to the table and are just such an incredibly valuable person all around with so much to offer the world.
    Never give up sweetie you have a true gift!! 🙂

    Reply
  16. great and nice blog to read

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    • Thanks! 🙂

      Reply
  17. Hi Michaela,
    Great article, and awesome project in general.
    I definitely think that not only music, but listening to a calm, relaxed voice is a way to “recharge”.
    In this sense I was wondering if you have audio files of yourself talking about your writings ? In other words, listen to your blogs instead of reading them 🙂
    xx

    Reply
  18. This is great – I’ll be sure to try out some of these after a long day at work!

    Reply
  19. I really appreciate this series. As an introvert who has recently moved to a new city I am struggling with wanting to be alone but not be lonely. I’ve also only recently accepted my introversion. Lol. I’ve been wearing the mask for years. I have roommates that invite me out. But they no longer invite me as I usually say no because the thought of socializing with people I hardly know is exhausting. Especially since I work in a very fast paced environment. I thank you for this series and hope to manage my introversion a little better. Not only are we both introverts but we have the same name too. Lol

    Reply
    • Wow I just recently took a personality test and learned that I was INFJ, And everything I’m reading about the personality type makes me react with a big YES including this article . I work with the public all day one after another, and there’s a lot I enjoy about it and make special connections all day long but I am exhausted after work, more so than anyone I know or work with.

      Reply
  20. Wow great article! I chuckled about the “neighbors to hide from” part, that’s me for sure!! I like my neighbors just fine but … I’m INFJ 😉
    I also related to the tidbit about running at night during high school years. I did exactly that too!!!
    Again, great article, great ideas! I like music, artistic expression, going for a drive, and prayer.

    Reply
  21. I really enjoyed this post, Michaela. I’m trying to find ways to have more energy in the evening for my family, so this is great. Have you written anything about ways to recharge at work throughout the workday? As in trying to keep energy levels steady and not drain ourselves too much. That’s what I’m trying to work on next!:)

    Reply
  22. Great tips. I already use a few like nature walks and pet cuddles but you gave me some more to consider. I re-entered the workforce not too long ago after a few years working from home and am really struggling with introvert exhaustion. I feel like the older I get, the more alone time I need. I can’t wait until retirement!

    Reply

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