Practicing Self-Care As an Introvert - Things I Do
My best mornings begin the same way. I wake up, say a prayer thanking the good Lord for another day, get out of bed and slip into my coziest house shoes and robe. I head downstairs and let the dog out, then I proceed to make my first cup of coffee of the day. I am usually up before everyone else in the house so I get to enjoy a few hours of silence to read, write or just think. This may seem mundane to some but to me its the best form of self-care.
The great thing about self-care is it can look different to everyone and there is no standard way to practice it. I value my quiet and alone time, it helps me regroup and get prepared for human interaction throughout the day. This is actually common for introverts. We recharge by being alone. So if you are married to an introvert don't get offended!
“The definition of an introvert is someone who prefers calm, minimally stimulating environments. Introverts tend to feel drained after socializing and regain their energy by spending time alone. This is largely because introverts' brains respond to dopamine differently than extroverts' brains. " (Source)
My husband will tell you that getting me to talk in the morning is like pulling teeth. It's not that I am not a morning person, I just simply like to start the day off with silence, trust me I'm a much better person when I do. When my morning quiet time or "rituals" as my husband calls them are disrupted, I am off and a little moody for the entire day, yep, I'm just being honest.
I think it's important as humans to set boundaries around things that we value and that makes us a better person. It's not being mean or selfish, it is actually good for us and everyone around us. If people love and respect you they will also respect things that are important to you, at least that is the way I see it.
You could call me a "cup half-full" kind of person. No matter what the situation and whether it is good or bad I try to find hope in it. I don't like being negative and though keeping a positive attitude is sometimes very hard, I try my hardest to do it. Practicing self-care is one of the ways I am able to keep a positive attitude even when things may not be going my way. Ultimately I know that I am very blessed and things in my life could always be worse. Here are a few other ways I practice self-care in addition to my morning “rituals”.
I reflect on all of my blessings & practice gratitude.
Like I mentioned before the first thing I do each morning (and before bed) is I pray and I reflect on my blessings. When I look at all we have from things like clean running water, food to eat, a place live and even shoes on our feet. I realize that we are very blessed and that brings joy to my heart. Instead of thinking about the bad things that are going on and things that we don't have, I thank God for the things I do and pray for those that have not.
I make time for the things that bring me joy.
I don't believe that God created us to go through life miserable, not doing the things that we enjoy. Not to say that He wants us to be selfish and feed our every desire, but He does want us to enjoy life and enjoy the things He has put on this earth for us. Remember that self-care isn’t and should be selfish. It actually makes us a better person in the long run.
Each day I try to find / make time to do something that makes me happy and brings me joy. This could be reading, writing, working out, having a cup of coffee or spending time with loved ones. I believe that doing something each day that brings joy to your heart makes life more fulfilling.
I recently started watercolor painting, my interest in painting started when I took one of those sip and paint classes. The classes are a couple of hours long and they are the perfect way to disconnect and tap into your creativity and use another part of your brain. I have found this to be an awesome source of self-care. Painting is such a peaceful activity.
I do something selfless.
I don't know about for you, but there is something about doing for others that makes me feel joyful inside. I love to give and I love to see the smile on a person's face when I do something for them unexpectedly. This is even more true when I do for someone and expect nothing in return.
Sometimes the simple act of taking your mind off of yourself and your life/problems and focusing on someone else can bring a joy that is unexplainable. The next time you are finding it hard to find joy in your life, do something for someone else, this could possibly bring you instant joy. Being joyful is also a form of self-care.
Today I want to encourage you to take a little time for self-care. Get your nails done, go to the spa, grab a fancy latte, create a gratitude list or just stare into outer space. Whatever self-care looks like to you, do that. I honestly believe that you'll feel like a better person just by making some time for yourself and by simply making YOU the priority for a change.
Also, remember that practicing self-care doesn't have to be done alone. If you prefer to be around the people you love and to you that is a form of self-care great! Grab your favorite person and invite them along for a self-care day as well.