The one true thing that we know for sure about the difference between introverts and extraverts is how we get our energy. Introverts re-energise internally, through time spent alone, and extraverts gain their energy externally, around other people.
The introvert/extravert spectrum means that everyone sits at a different point on the scale and that determines how much quiet time or people time we need to feel our best – I guess, at the optimal energy level.
In the past, it’s been harder for introverts to really explain why we need this time. The Western world, especially, has evolved to what Susan Cain refers to as the ‘extrovert ideal’ and so for a long time people were quite dismissive of the needs of introverts – including introverts themselves.
Anyone out there ever pretended to be more extraverted, thinking that was the only way to get friends, a promotion, or a partner?
But, the problem is, even when you’re trying to be more outgoing than you are, eventually the switch flicks and you just want to go home for some quiet time, am I right?
You might be out and about having a good time, but that switch goes and it’s all over. It’s time to leave.
If you’re still trying to work this out for yourself, we’ve compiled a list of the best down time activities to re-energise.
1. Have a nap – seems obvious, but do you ever feel guilty sleeping in the middle of the day? Do it. Guilt free.
2. Read a book – preferably an easy read or something fun.
3. Box breathing – breathe in, count to three, hold for three, breathe out for three, hold for three, repeat.
4. Have a bath – add epsom salts for an extra energy hit of magnesium.
5. Go for a walk – preferably in nature (not on the treadmill).
6. Listen to music – low tempo or instrumental to get your nervous system nice and relaxed.
7. Netflix binge – something light and enjoyable, avoid horror movies or really heavy themes.
8. Lie on the floor with your feet up a wall – this brings the blood back to your vital organs for a hit of extra energy.
9. Aerial yoga – same here, hanging upside down flushes your system and allows your blood to circulate better.
10, Sit in a cafe, library, or book shop – being around people without actually having to talk can be energising.
11. Write a letter to a friend – it’s time the art of letter writing made a comeback.
12. Go to the beach or somewhere by the water – there is something relaxing and energising about the ebb and flow of water, if you can lie in it, even better.
13. Try some energy medicine for major restoration – kinesiology, reflexology, reiki, or acupuncture are all good ones.
14. Stare out the window – seriously, it sounds silly until you try it. Watching clouds works too, so do stars if it’s night time.
15. Lie on the grass – again, getting down with nature is something we don’t know we need until we get it.
16. Float – either in a pool or a float tank.
17. Get some sun – especially if you’re usually an indoor kid, you might be deficient in vitamin D, 10 minutes a day should do it.
18. Journal – getting all your thoughts out of your head will ease a busy mind.
19. Create your own ritual – this might include using smudging sticks (sage) to cleanse your area, lighting a candle, taking deep breaths, whatever feels good to you.
20. Listen to meditones – these are specially designed to recalibrate your brainwaves for extra relaxation.
21. Play with crystals – clear quartz is a great one to start with for balance and black tourmaline for creating a protective shield from negative energies.
22. Drink herbal tea – there are so many different kinds of teas with all sorts of health benefits but I always find mint teas are great for energy.
23. Call your energy back – all day, we’re sending our energy out to different people and places we encounter (or worry about), lie down, close your eyes, and just call out to your energy to come back. It will do you the world of good.
24. Draw or colour – this is a form of active meditation and it allows you to focus on something, switch on your creative brain, and ease out of (draining) overthinking.
25. Have some one-on-one time with someone who soothes you – it might be your mum or that friend who you can just sit with in silence if need be (it is possible with the right person!).
26. Get snuggly – I don’t have any proof of this other than my own experience, but I always find snuggling under a warm doona feels safe, protective, and energising (not so much in summer unless the air conditioner is super cold)
27. Find a scent that eases you – similar to tea, you might have a certain smell that relaxes you and helps you re-energise that you can defuse, have in a candle, or spray around the room to bring you back to relaxation mode (lavender, every time)
28. Meditate – either in silence, with music, or a guided track.
29. Make a list – I know I get drained when I’m thinking of too many things I need to do. Get it out of your head and onto a list.
30. Create something – it doesn’t matter what, but sitting quietly and creating can be one of the most exhilarating things you can do!
Okay, that’s 30 things. Have you got anything else that you love to do when you’re feeling drained to re-energise and get back to basics? Leave a comment below and let us know!
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