More Americans are discovering rural living. A 2020 study by SatelliteInternet.com shows that two-thirds are considering moving from the city to the country. When asked why, an overwhelming percentage of them say they prefer the lower cost of living and larger living space. However, for the one-third of people who are introverts, the appeal of rural living lies in the ample space, access to nature, and quietness that it can provide.
Moving to a rural ranch comes with its own set of benefits – and drawbacks – for introverts. From increasing the chances of loneliness for introverts to helping them better manage their mental wellbeing, here are a few things to think about when considering whether rural ranch living is right for you as an introvert.
Small Town Living Means A Closer Community Circle
Introverts are not always shy and nervous. In fact, they can be confident and forthcoming with those they are comfortable with – often their close circle. When you move to a rural area or ranch, the community is small. Everyone knows each other, and it is very likely that you will become a welcomed member of that tight-knit community in time.
For an introvert, this can remove the pressures of dealing with large crowds of unknown people and provide some solace that you have found your group. Keep in mind that this feeling is not immediate. It will take an adjustment period for an incomer to feel like they are apart of the community.
As a bonus, however, if you choose to move to a ranch, it can be a great income-generating asset. Some introverts can struggle in their careers thanks to roadblocks in the workplace, such as being overwhelmed by constant interaction, communication expectations, and the need to self-promote. Moving to a ranch can allow you to generate income in a way more suited to your personality.
Ranch Living Can Exacerbate Loneliness Felt By Introverts
It is no secret that living in rural areas can become lonely at times. While living in a small town community can foster a sense of belonging, you may find yourself feeling socially isolated if you opt for living on a ranch.
This could be a bonus if you value your privacy, however. The expansive size of the land often means that properties and residents are spread far apart: Texasland shows that the average ranch property comes in at at least 10 acres, giving each dwelling ample space and privacy.
Social isolation can not only worsen the challenges introverts face such as anxiety, but it can also result in poor physical health. According to Public Health England, social isolation can increase the odds of premature death by as much as 30 percent.
There are things you can do to combat this, however. Research community-led programs like sports groups or book clubs, which can provide a much-needed point of contact with neighbors or surrounding residents on your own terms.
Rural Locations Mean Access To Nature And Better Anxiety Coping Mechanisms
Multiple studies have shown that introverts can be more prone to experiencing mental health issues like anxiety and depression. Social anxiety is common for introverts, and a commonly recommended solution is exposure therapy. However, people with an introverted personality may find this treatment and the pressure of social situations difficult.
On the other hand, exposure to nature (something that rural ranch locations have plenty of) has been shown to improve mental wellbeing. Research suggests that time spent outdoors can reduce stress, anxiety and depression.
With these issues being a higher concern for introverts, having access to nature and the benefits physical exercise can provide can have a calming effect on your anxiety levels as an introvert.
Don’t be afraid of moving to the countryside. While you may face some unique challenges as an introvert, it may just turn out to be the place you feel your best.