How can you find more energy when you are an introvert? In this post, you’ll find a two-part approach to uncovering untapped power, so you can find time to do more of what you love.
Why are we so tired?
“I just want to nap,” and “I just want to sit on the couch,” are two of the most common thoughts that run through the mind of an introvert. It seems we have an undeniable connection with exhaustion, and for a good reason. Introverts are known to feel depleted of energy quite easily and from some unassuming sources.
While most people feel tired as a result of working too hard or exerting too much physical energy, introverts are up against additional forces. Talking, thinking, even being in a room with too many people are all things that are known to leave us feeling like we need to crawl into bed.
Can you really find more energy when you are an introvert?
Is this kind of annoying when we have all of these fun, creative things that we want to do? Yes. But as an introvert, I refuse to see this as a disadvantage. I maintain my belief that introversion is a gift, and that we can spin this weakness into a superpower.
So how can you find more energy when you are an introvert? We can’t create more energy, but we can redistribute it and stretch it to work in our favor. And it only takes two easy steps.
STEP 1: Know what exhausts you and what energizes you
This may seem like a silly thing to distinguish, but it’s not when you realize how unique we are. There are the obvious things that make most people tired: not getting enough sleep, overdoing it at the gym or eating an unhealthy diet. There are things that make introverts tired, like the ones I mentioned earlier, such as crowds and overstimulation.
What makes you extra tired?
What are some of your unique triggers that go beyond those generalizations? Are there certain people that you interact with daily that leave you feeling depleted? Are you in a constant state of procrastination with a particular household chore? Is there a part of your job that you dread? These are all energy suckers.
You can start this exercise right away: begin to take mental note of the people, commitments and tasks that leave you feeling drained.
Do you find yourself looking for an excuse to end conversations? Are you making extra trips to the bathroom, just to get a minute to yourself? Are you really good at finding menial busy-work as an avoidance tactic? These are all indicators of overwhelm in your life.
If you’re having a hard time honing in on specific triggers, I recommend using a journal or the notepad in your phone to keep track. It should only take about a week for repeat offenders to become apparent to you. In order to find more energy when you are an introvert, you need to know what’s bringing you down.
What makes you feel invigorated?
Conversely, it’s equally important to pinpoint the relationships and activities that leave you feeling energized.
Again, there are the obvious things that give most people energy: drinking coffee, a vacation, or when someone pays you a compliment. And the introvert-y energizers: Being alone, doing fulfilling creative work, or going out for a walk.
Go deeper, and take notice of what makes you feel your best. Are there certain people who make you feel uplifted? Maybe there’s a person who you follow on Instagram who inspires you to dress your best, or to go after more opportunities. Do you have playlists or songs that are known to boost your mood? Or a podcast that lights a fire in your soul?
Take note, and begin keeping track of the people, experiences, and activities that leave you feeling like you want to do more.
STEP 2: Make lifestyle tweaks based on your data
It starts with elimination. Ideally, you’d remove every person and commitment that’s depleting you of your energy, but that would be unrealistic. Let’s take a look at a couple of scenarios together, to jumpstart the process.
Example 1: The Neighborhood Informant
As you head out to walk your dog each morning, you’re stopped by a neighbor who consistently talks your ear off about the latest gossip from around the hood. Her reports repeatedly leave you feeling exhausted before you’ve even had your coffee.
Walk your dog a little earlier or a little later as to avoid said chatter. Or switch responsibilities with your partner. Could they perhaps take care of the dog walking while you make breakfast? PS, warn them to wear headphones. Or could you take a different route? Or could you tell your neighbor that you can’t spare time in the mornings to chat, but perhaps she could give you her rundown via email?
Example 2: The Social Monopolizer
There is a person who you follow on Facebook who is very forthcoming with their feelings. Their strong viewpoints earn them a lot of attention and their posts are often riddled with responses and reactions, which means that they are often the first to appear in your feed (thank you, algorithm). It’s hard to avoid getting sucked into their rants. This person also happens to be a relative of yours, and unfriending them would undoubtedly yield an angry post of its own, or worse, a phone call.
Use the mute button. An introvert’s best friend. And while you are at it, go through all of your social media feeds and mute every single person and post that negatively affects your energy level or mood. This simple act has the power to help everyone find more energy— not just introverts.
As you address your individual energy suckers, adopt Marie Forleo’s mentality: everything is figueroutable. You may not be able to completely rid yourself of negative energy, but with a little creative problem solving, you can gain back enough to feel an impact.
Find more energy by fueling it
Purging the energy-sucking people, activities, and responsibilities from your life will bring you to neutral ground. Now it’s time to take it a step farther and inject some vitality into your day. Using the notes you gathered in Step 1, find more opportunities to do the things you enjoy with the people you love.
You may want to take all of your favorite, uplifting songs and compile them into an epic playlist. Or schedule a non-negotiable 30-minute walk every day. Or get a monthly coffee date on your calendar with that friend to uplifts and encourages you.
Identifying and utilizing these energy-lifters are like walking with the wind at your back, or swimming with the current. When you do more of what makes you feel good, it’ll organically move you forward, more quickly and with less effort.
I’m so excited to see how these small shifts will impact your work and life in positive ways, and I’d love for us to get started together. In the comments, share just one of the unique things that energize you. I know that your answers will encourage and inspire your fellow introverts to identify even more of their own!