As a highly sensitive introvert, I require my share of alone time to recharge and feel like I'm my best self. Taking time away and carving out time to just be alone and retreat is something I need regularly in my life to renew my energy, relax and clear my head, and do the things I enjoy doing solo.
There have been times when life has gotten busy and crazy and I couldn't take my much needed "me time" and boy does it show! I feel drained, I'm moody and cranky, short-fused and irritable, and I even feel a little bummed out and depressed.
For a long time, I found it extremely hard when I was younger to open up and share with friends that sometimes I just really wanted to be alone and sit home and watch TV on a Friday night. I would wind up getting talked into going out into the draining nightlife because I didn't want to disappoint anyone or people thinking I was being lame. It's hard and exhausting trying to explain to people how you are and that you just want to be left alone.
Most people don't get it.
As I started learning more and more about being an HSI, I realized I REQUIRE alone time and solitude. I came to terms with my innate qualities and started taking my personal well-being into better consideration. We need boundaries and there's nothing wrong with that and nothing to feel bad about.
Making room for your needed alone time is the ultimate act of self-care and self-love, plain and simple.
1. Don't be afraid or feel guilty
Telling people that you need your space isn’t wrong or rude. Not everyone understands the needs of an introvert and we can't expect them to. Explain what it is and what your needs are and that it's nothing personal. Each of us is unique and we all have our own needs that others might not totally get. Introverts require this time to recharge and feel your best so you’re able to put your best self into everything you do and out into the world.
2. Dedicate time
Find some time each day or a few times a week to get out and take a walk in nature, walk the dog, or do something outside and get some fresh air. Being outside helps rejuvenate and invigorate your senses, calms and relaxes your mind, and allows you to effectively sort out and process your thoughts.
Even if it’s for 10 minutes, work towards making an effort to get out and soak up the outdoors.
3. Journal Your Thoughts
Create some space where you can go and have quiet time to journal your thoughts. This is one of the best ways as an introvert to get your worries and stress out and recharge.
Grab your journal, computer, or a piece of paper and just let it all out. You can allow yourself to say whatever is on your mind. This way you can work it all out and process your thoughts more effectively. You can see where you’re maybe overreacting or being irrational and can backtrack and reevaluate what’s really going on. Journaling is great for this reason and because you’re less likely to vent or explode on someone if your emotions or anxiety is heightened.
4. Give Yourself Permission to Say No
You’re allowed to say no and it’s allowed to be guilt-free! Sometimes recharging your batteries alone is what you need more than a social event or gathering.
There are times when it’s good to get out and do something different, BUT there are times when you’re drained or a certain situation is highly stressful and it’s better to just skip it and say, “No, thanks. I’m just going to take a night off and chill!”
5. Take a drive.
Hop in the car and take an impromptu ride. Go a different way than usual, but nothing that requires too much of your attention or makes you feel like you can't relax because you have no idea where you're going; Remember, highly sensitive introverts need minimal stimulation. The point is to relax and just go! Crank some tunes, listen to an audiobook or just bask in the silence, whatever floats your boat.
6. Put on your headphones
Go to a spare room, clean the house, or go for a walk and pop in your earbuds and listen to some music or a podcast you really enjoy.
Highly sensitive introverts are more susceptible to outside noises and stimulation, so even if you’re at home and there is a lot going on or it’s too noisy you can try putting in your headphones (or even your earplugs!) to drown out the background noise so you can begin feeling more relaxed and calm.
Carve out some time to read. Try diving into some scripture, or even look up scriptures for situations you're going through right now and dig deeper into them. Or pick out a personal development book you've been eager to read or just submerge yourself in a guilty pleasure and get lost for a little. You know your needs more than anyone else, go with what you really need at that particular time.
8. Take a Bathroom Break
If you're at work or in a hectic situation and there's no time or space for you to retreat try going to the bathroom and breathe! Take a few minutes and focus on your breathing and work on clearing your head. Mediate on some scriptures and affirmations that bring you back into a positive mindset.
A breathing exercise I use that is super effective is 4 seconds inhale through your nose, 7 seconds hold, and 8 seconds full exhale through your mouth. It helps to slow down your heart rate and cool down your body’s inflammatory response to stress hormones.
What you’re doing is taking your short, shallow breathing that has you stressed out and giving your brain more oxygen so you’re able to slow your breathing down and think more clearly.
Give it a try!
9. Find a Hobby
Another great way to find some alone time is to take up a hobby you really enjoy that you can do alone. What is something you're really interested in doing more? Maybe something like photography, running, biking, meditation, exercise, yoga, volunteering, writing, or playing an instrument. Of course, there are so many more than what I have listed, so try being creative.
It can really allow you to escape, so to speak, from the things that are draining to you and help you refresh and recharge.
I'd love to hear if you tried any of these 9 ways to add in some alone time and how they worked out for you, or if you have some of your own you'd like to add please feel free!
Are you feeling drained often or having trouble figuring out how to balance things out so you can feel your best? If so, then you might be a highly sensitive introvert who needs some guidance and clarity around your unique personality type.
When these things aren't addressed they can often lead to an imbalance in all areas of your day to day life, including your self-worth and stress levels.
The first step towards moving through the struggles of a highly sensitive or introverted person is to understand your personality type - let's hop on a complimentary call so I can help you figure this out.