If you’ve been feeling unmotivated, lethargic, and disillusioned with life lately, I understand how you feel.
Life can be challenging, or jut plain boring, at the best of times. This is not the best of times.
For myself, the last several months have been a period of emotional ups and downs.
What has always pulled me out of the low points is my arsenal of tried and true self-care practices.
For introverts like us who tend to get overwhelmed and burned out easily, self-care is a must.
After all, our happiness doesn’t come from external rewards in the same way it does for extroverts. We need to stay connected to our inner world to feel our best.
Creating structures and routines to avoid or minimize overstimulation is also key for introverts.
If we try to live the busybody life that many extroverts thrive on, we can easily lose our sense of inner peace and spiral into dark moods.
Why self-care is hard for introverts
Just because self-care is essential for introverts, that doesn’t make it easy.
Sometimes, the very thought of doing the things we know will make us happy is overwhelming.
We might also get bored with the routines and rituals that keep us sane.
Boredom is a big one for me, especially with social distancing in place. Life is already repetitive enough.
Do I really need to keep repeating the same old self-care routines?
I also forget just how effective and crucial each one of my self-care practices is. I think to myself, I don’t really need to journal, or do yoga, or write today…
Then before I know it I’m three hours into a Netflix binge, my house is a mess, and my self-esteem is plummeting by the minute.
While flexibility and rest is important, so is intentionally doing the things we know will make us happy each day.
Do I really have to do it everyday?
I hear that in AA they have a saying: “You can’t get clean off yesterday’s shower.”
Going one day without showering might feel ok, but several days and there will be an uncomfortable buildup of ickiness.
It’s the same with self-care. We have to keep doing the inner housekeeping to feel good. I’ve discovered that there are 10 key things I must do on a regular basis to feel my best.
If I go too long without doing any one of those things, I start to feel unhappy. That’s why I recently made a Self-Care Checklist to ensure that I stick to these practices.
I also included a section to indicate how I felt overall that day—happy, sad, or neutral—so that I can see the direct impact my self-care routines have on my mood.
I’ve made a copy for you that you can download and print.
Download The Introvert Self-Care Checklist
P.S. If you’re new to the blog, allow me to introduce myself. I’m Michaela Chung, author of The Irresistible Introvert and creator of this amazing innie community we have here. For several years, I’ve been building up a labyrinth of introvert resources that will take you on a magical journey toward more confidence, connection, and self-love. Start with this free Introvert Connection Guide.
That way great I find reinforcing my why helps me to try to keep to a routine.
Are you still doing your podcast?
I’m sorry but this annoys me. I haven’t even figured out if I am an introvert or not but self care is equally important for extroverts too. The things on the list are definitely good self care practices but there is no time for working. Working and volunteering are also good for ones health; self esteem rises when you learn to be productive. The introvert list looks like you have no other life. It seems slow and blissful (like one has time for that) or it reminds me of someone who is depressed and needs to nurse themselves back to health.
I would kindly suggest that based on your response here, you are more an extrovert than introvert. If these seem like the characteristics of someone in poor mental health to you, I observe that is often the perspective of the extrovert. To an introvert, these are necessary and often neglected self-care routines that we too often forego because of the pressures of the extroverted world that suggest that these are unhealthy when they are,in fact, sound and solid self-care strategies.
Why is “Reach Out to Someone” on the Introvert Self-Care Checklist? Seriously, I rarely want to reach out to someone.