Well hello there honey bunch. Have you ever wondered why you feel exhausted at the end of a busy day? Do you need your own space? Are you acknowledging your own needs, or are you caught in the maelstrom of what are sometimes opposing demands (work, relationships, family, friends, etc.)? Do you feel like you never get a chance to focus on your own desires? Perhaps you are discouraged because you compare yourself to the social butterflies who seem to always be “on”? Extroverts exude a dynamism and charisma that is so appealing and it can be disheartening to realise that others thrive in situations that render you exhausted. HOWEVER, don’t discount YOUR innate qualities. Introverts have rich inner lives, are often extremely creative and can foster deep, intimate connections with others. Your reflective nature can mean that you are often in demand and others value your perspective and acknowledge and appreciate your insight. Introversion and extroversion are two ends on a spectrum and you may find that you veer towards either polarity, depending on how well you are looking after yourself. Each type offers beautiful resources and enhances others. However, introverts can have a harder time fitting in because Western society often reveres the qualities associated with extraversion. In this post I want to remind introverts to stop discounting their contributions to the world.
Make yourself a priority in your own life.
When you accept that the best way to help others and to honour yourself is to take the time to regroup you can move towards a more authentic, happier life. You will no longer have to struggle or compromise. When you set boundaries (particularly around the people in your life who are energy drains), you free up inner resources that allow you to design the life you really want. Gift yourself with the time to intentionally focus on your own needs and to listen to your inner wisdom.
“But I haven’t got time for that right now!”
Show up for yourself by dedicating this time to self-discovery. If you feel like you can’t carve out an opportunity to engage in this activity, just consider how much time you spend aimlessly on social media. Em, yes, you probably can manage to eke out 5-10 minutes now that you think about it, am I right?! You are important. You deserve to dedicate time to yourself and your own needs. You will gain clarity on what your priorities actually are once you grant yourself permission to challenge your assumptions about what you “have” to do. Block out this appointment with yourself and make it non-negotiable. Switch off your phone. You don’t have to be on-call 24/7 for others. You don’t have to explain your lack of availability. Be very aware that some people will test you. Stick to your guns and you will find that they will quickly adjust.
Break out the gel pens! Treat yourself to a beautiful notebook with an inspirational cover. Take some time to truly reconnect with yourself. Reflect on your deepest longings, hopes and desires. DON’T EDIT! Write in a stream of consciousness and let yourself be inspired by what flows. Don’t worry about neatness, no-one is marking this assignment! Doodle. Use colour. See what comes.
Create a sanctuary for yourself and a ritual for writing. This will help you to enter the mindset of self-enquiry and also foster positive associations with the process of tuning in to yourself. What would help you to feel comfortable? Indulge yourself – light aromatic candles/incense, find a comfy spot, grab the beverage of your choice and let beautiful music reverberate (I love listening to Pachelbel!).
If you’re staring at a blank page, here are some journal prompts:
- what are your passions?
- what fires you up?
- what would you do even if you never got paid for it?
- what areas of your life have you been neglecting?
- what makes your soul sing?
- how would you like to share your light in the world?
- what contributions could you make to help others?
- what makes you incandescent with rage (injustices, disregard for the environment, etc.) and what can you do about it?
- how are you expressing your creativity?
- what are you doing to ensure that your voice is heard?
Remember that the focus is on attuning yourself to your own inner voice, not recounting the events of the day. Occasionally you might find that you glean a new insight into how you discounted your own needs if you reflect on your interactions with others. What lessons emerge? What could you do differently? Self-awareness is the key to change. If you can’t think of what to say, just write about that. Once you acknowledge the block you might just find that it disappears!
Release and let go…
of people and things that no longer serve you. That includes your to-do list! Anything on that mental inventory that is a “should” can be deleted. It’s mentally draining to berate yourself for not doing something. Reexamine your priorities and discard anything that doesn’t reflect your innate desires. There will be practical items that you will need to address, e.g. servicing your car. Just make the appointment and free up your energy for what truly matters to you.
Areas of your life that you can simplify/declutter
- people who undermine you (limit contact if you can’t avoid them altogether)
- subscriptions to services you are no longer using
- grocery shopping and meal prep (online shopping and batch cooking)
- projects that you no longer enjoy
Pare down, strip back and experience relief. The exercise of letting go can help you to become more aligned with the life of your dreams. You will feel better by creating the physical and mental space for new passions. When we hang on to the remnants of our past, such as old bills, half-finished projects and the financial drain of direct debits for services we no longer use, we feel lethargic and our lives can become stagnant.
Fun is fuel for the creative juices
Ah yes, fun, I think I read about it…if this is your reaction, you are in serious need of a fun injection. I will help you to administer the remedy right now. Glasser (1998), had a really interesting perspective on fun that I think works really well for introverts in particular. He identified that learning can be a form of fun, and he also encouraged us to play.
Yep, that’s right, you have been granted official permission to play! Awesome sauce :).
Crank up your creativity
- listen to podcasts/audiobooks (big ♥ to Audible !)
- re-read your favourite books
- bust some moves to your favourite music, play the air guitar and warble along to a power ballad
- get lost in YouTube videos on your passion
- signup for an online course
- try yoga to release physical and mental tension
- hang out with a furry friend/volunteer at an animal rescue centre/become a petsitter
- decompress by trying an adult colouring book
- have a self-care date
- go for a massage – when you relax your body and mind you can often get creative “downloads”!
- have a bath using essential oils/epsom salts
- snuggle in a cozy nook in your most comfortable pyjamas or a onesie
- have coffee/dinner with your besties
- chill with Netflix
- watch an independent film at a small art-house cinema
- visit the library and immerse yourself in all those lovely books
- take a deep dive and explore your favourite blogs
- wallow in Pinterest
- people watch!
Own your quirks, embrace your passions, geek out on what you love. Keep shining x