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