For introverts, coming up with the right daily routine can be tough. Often, we’re so used to designing our life around the expectations of others, that we don’t even know what daily habits will make us happy.
There is a constant push and pull throwing us off balance. On the one hand, we want to do all of the things that healthy ‘normal’ people are expected to do. Unfortunately, in Western culture that means cramming your day with as many activities as possible. On the other hand, we just want to stay in bed for as long as possible. Where is the happy medium?
How can we, as introverts, find that sweet spot in our daily routine that satisfies our innie needs while also fulfilling our obligations?
I have to be honest, my daily habits are ever-evolving. I am continuously sculpting my day into just the right flow, only to smash my routine into smithereens the moment it becomes too familiar. What can I say, I’m an INFP personality, so I feel the constant need to remake my world.
The good news is that your daily routine can be set in stone, as predictable as tulips in spring, or it can be flexible like mine. Even if you like change like me, you’ll probably benefit from at least one anchoring activity in your routine.
For example, I always feel happiest when I start my day by writing. I usually do a bit of journalling, and then I’ll dive straight into writing a blog post, newsletter, or book. Of course, sitting in front of the computer all day doesn’t make for the healthiest routine, so I try to practice other daily habits that keep me happy and motivated.
Here is a summary of my favorite daily habits for a balanced introvert life. Feel free to mix and match and also change things up when you get bored.
Daily Habits for introverts
An introvert’s world centres around our mind. We are constantly turning inward, thinking and daydreaming. We also tend to ruminate, allowing worries to seep into our mind and strangle out our joy.
It makes perfect sense for introverts to begin the day by preparing our most important asset—our beautiful brain. Mentally prepare for the day with one of these activities:
- Write down your dreams (do immediately upon waking)
- Write down affirmations and goals
- Do yoga
- Do EFT tapping
- Say mantras in front of the mirror
- Take 10 deep and focused breaths
I have integrated all of the above into my daily habits at one point or another and each one has helped reduce anxiety, create clarity, boost creativity, and sharpen my intuition throughout the day.
Flow activities focus your mind and make you loose sense of time. All of a sudden you look up from what you’re doing and can’t believe that several hours have passed. For me, writing can create a sense of flow. Sometimes, however, other activities like cooking or sewing are even more effective because they are consuming without feeling stressful.
If you’re not sure which flow activities to add to your daily habits, think back to the things you enjoyed as a child. Perhaps, you could spend hours putting together model airplanes or drawing. Or maybe you loved to style your friend’s hair into intricate braids.
There might be a more adult-friendly version of the activity. You could trade braids for baking or sewing. Instead of making model airplanes, you might take up carpentry.
A daily routine wouldn’t be complete without some form of movement. As much as I like to hibernate in the wintertime, I’ve noticed that staying physically stagnant for too long also creates mental stagnancy. I start to lose focus and motivation. Not only that.
My happiness levels plummet. All the energy I would have circulated through physical movement gets channelled toward worrisome thoughts instead. Adding movement to your routine doesn’t have to be complicated. I’ve found that simply going for walks or doing a quick HIIT workout really boosts my happiness levels.
This is one I always have to be mindful of. As an introvert, I feel so content alone that I sometimes forget to reach out to friends and family. Now that I’m in Puerto Vallarta (I’m spending part of the harsh Canadian winter here), I have to be even more mindful when it comes to connecting with people.
I don’t want to burnout from too much socializing, but I also don’t want to isolate myself. It’s very easy to become lonely when you travel by yourself as an introvert. So, I make an effort to talk to people daily.
Today, for example, I chatted with my Airbnb hosts and a couple staying in another room during breakfast. (I normally don’t like to socialize in the morning, but I got up earlier to journal, do some light yoga, and meditate before coming down for breakfast, so it was okay.) I also made plans to Skype with friends from back home later in the week.
At the end of a long day, you might find it hard to relax. Your brain is likely overstimulated from too much noise, busyness, and socializing. That’s why it’s so important for introverts to practice daily habits to unwind and recenter. For me, this means doing many of the morning reflection activities I mentioned earlier. I journal, read, meditate, or just sit in silence for a while.
I also try to eat dinner without distractions. I don’t watch T.V. or do work while I’m eating. Focusing on one activity at a time creates a sense of clarity and calm. It’s an easy way to unwind after a stressful day.
Have you noticed that what you think about right before bed effects your dreams? It also impacts how you feel when you wake up in the morning. Heck, it can determine the entire flow of the day.
Take control of your mind at night by doing some simple visualizations. You can use guided visualizations for peace and abundance from YouTube. I also like to relive my favorite moment from the day.
For example, if I went for a walk, and suddenly felt in awe of the beauty that surrounded me, I would step back into that moment as I lay in bed, vividly picturing the scene, the smells, the sunlight on my face. And I would let my heart expand with gratitude.
So, there you have it, my daily habits for introvert happiness. Try adding a few of them to your daily routine for the next week, if you please. Don’t feel bad if you fall off the bandwagon and everything goes to hell.
As with rules, routines are made for breaking. They provide a sturdy frame for the moving picture of your life. But they are only meant to support, not to take over the show!
What about you, dearest?
What are some of your daily habits for innie joy? Please do share them with our introvert community in the comments below. ?
You`re talking straight to my soul. Thank you. <3 🙂
You’re welcome, Mariah! 🙂
I find relief after a hectic day at work with many meetings listening to my favourite music and looking at a candle light while drinking a cup of tea. Nice way to unwind
Sounds like the perfect way to unwind, John! Thanks for sharing! 🙂
Michaela, since the beginning of 2018 I’m back to “Saturday Night Fever” (haha… “the older they get, the more they want to live it up” …haha) – That means I re-listen to my Funk & Soul & Disco favorites of the 80’s (“black music”). I bought myself a small mp3-player for the very first time of my life and my morning-routine starts with “dance-workouts” …haha… (using mp3-player and headphones) and so ends the night-routine. 🙂
It turned out that too much “silence” makes me feel depressed very soon, because I’m a “thinker”, always thinking, overthinking, re-thinking, deep-thinking… too much thinking …depressing musing…ugh! –
but when I’m listening & jumping to these hot danceable rhythms, beats & basses (…”everybody move your body”…) I feel refreshed, back to life and happy (and no depressions at all with THAT music!). – And THIS was my inspiration (lol): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_zdv23bAINM&list=FLhzyGgXDmFmwo4Cw5Byvw_Q&index=11
I’ve only just discovered this website, I do find I need to be reminded on occasion that there’s nothing wrong with me being me and going through the Top 100 Introvert Quotes has just made my morning! My relief in the winter, at the end of the day, is to sit in natural candle and firelight with my cat on my lap with only the sound of her purring. In summer, it’s just to sit in my garden, same purring cat, with just the sounds of nature thrown in. Thank you Michaela.
Thank you so much for this article, Michaela! <3 Since the beginning of the year, I've been working on the morning routine because I've never really been a morning person and including yoga, exercise and a protein breakfast has really made a difference! However, I've never thought of a bedtime routine until I read your article. I thought some stretching, reading and herbal tea would be enough to solve my sleeping problems. I'd like to give visualisations a try, however I set myself the rule not to watch screens after 8PM. I'll find another way eventually. 🙂
As a gramma in an intergenerational household, (temporarily giving a hand up , not hand out,to my son and grandson) it has been very difficult to carve out solitude. I have never had a set routines for very long. Currently I volunteer for my community, work part time. I
haven’t created anything for lack of space, BUT have started 1 day a week for myself, tour a gallery, go to lunch, check out thrift shops, or what ever comes to mind.It feels good, and I hope to expand to take some drop in art classes.
life is as good as you make it. Cheers and thank you for your site.
In the morning I like to sit in our big kitchen window with a cup of tea for at least an hour, usually two. I’m an innie AND a night owl, so mornings have never been my thing. But giving myself a couple hours to ease into the day has been a life saver.
I feel the same way about mornings. 🙂
I am glad that I found your book The Irrestible Introvert at my local library. Before I read it, I always wondered why I felt as though my energy wasn’t up to par with how I thought the world should expect it to be. I wondered if I was just unmotivated and didn’t have the ambtion to “get out there” and meet people with the same abandon that extroverted people can do. Now, because I chanced to find your little book sitting at my library, I gained many insights about why I am the way I am.
Thank you for writing your book. I would say that it is one of the few books which actually taught me something about myself that I didn’t quite understand before I read it. Although many people think of mostly women as being introverted, I can attest that there are us of the male gender who are not fitted to the typical stereotype of men being go getters who have to conquer the world.
I’m definitely the kind of person that doesn’t like to be confined to too many routines (INTP here) but much of my workday is routine so I like things to be a bit more free-form after my shift to make up for it, I guess.
So it’s a little different every day, depending on my mood and energy levels. Sometimes I’ll do an hour’s worth in intense pilates and jam around my kitchen to some new Spotify playlist and others it’s a quiet evening on the balcony with a weird novel.
Works really well for me~!
Thanks so much for these topics Michaela, first; I can recognise myself in it. And its nice gathering these happiness-inducing advices in a whole picture, if you understand, so appreciate it deeply!
And I have been feeling a bit lonely in that wanting to do all I can, versus wanting to relax in bed, and it’s frustrating, so perhaps changing a bit of my morning routine around can get me motivated ….
Have a beautiful day with more of peace & joy in it …. Kind regards, Sunniva
hello! my daily habit for innie joy is daydream! ha ha so common, isnt it?
I also like starting my day by writing and practicing yoga, not meditating.
I definitely agree about the exercise, I really need to exercise regularly to feel mentally alert and happy. Being an introvert I’ll find any excuse to stay in my nice warm apartment! I would like to find a flow hobby as I spend lots of time surfing the internet. I think that’s ok to a certain extent but it’s passive and not creative so I feel like I need a new writing project. What could I do, any ideas?!
I like to bake desserts or make a snack for my family. This reminds me of the good I am capable of.
I also love connecting with nature!
Hi. In the mornings before work, what always helps to start my day is meditation and yoga. I check my mood, record it on an app on my phone, and I make sure I eat breakfast. Having a peaceful morning at home before I get out and go to work has changed my attitude and how I look at the day. I get great joy from this morning routine and I can really see the change in me.