7 Health Tips for Introverts
Amy Tudor | July 31, 2012
If you’re the quiet, thoughtful type, chances are you’re an introvert. And while the world places high value on being gregarious and outgoing, the inner world of an introvert can be a place of profound creativity and deep sensitivity. But introverts have unique challenges when it comes to their health. Read on for tips on achieving balance.
The key to living happily as an introvert starts with understanding that there’s nothing wrong with your temperament. Sure, it seems like the talkative, outgoing extroverts have an easier time navigating the world, but introverts are known for their rich inner lives, their listening skills, their ability to find joy and meaning in solitude and their thoughtfulness.
Play to your strengths
If you’d rather have extensive dental work than attend a Zumba class, or speak up at a group weight-loss meeting, you’re not alone. Many of the best ways to keep in shape are perfect for those who crave alone time, however. Walking, hiking, and other solitary activities have proven to be underrated ways to keep fit in the long term.
Introverts tend to be better listeners than speakers, but this can mean that your doctor doesn’t have a full picture of what’s going on with you. If you find yourself leaving your appointments with unanswered questions and concerns, chances are you’re not being your own best advocate. Try making a list of discussion points before you leave home.
Make your "me-time" count
Families, work and social obligations can take a toll on your private time. It’s tempting to use your quiet hours to recover rather than to grow, but that can lead to stagnation. If your solitude is short-lived, make sure you prioritize and spend your hours in ways that suit you best. That could mean turning off the TV in favor of reading a book, or taking a walk around the neighborhood rather than surfing the net.
Studies suggest that introverts sleep more than extroverts, but it also appears that introverts have more sleep problems than their more socially-minded peers. If that sounds familiar, you may need to pay more attention to your sleep schedule. If it’s a busy head that keeps you up, meditation or other relaxation methods may help you slip into sleep more easily.
Have a plan
Being an introvert doesn’t mean you don’t have a healthy social life, but many of the events that extroverts find fun can be draining for quieter folks. Chances are you’ll still attend more than your fair share of parties and work events that stress you out. Having a plan for when you’ll arrive, when you’ll leave and what you can do while there can be helpful, such as take pictures or keep drinks filled.
Strive for balance
Many of the characteristics that define introversion look like depression to outsiders, but there’s a big difference. Introverts find themselves recharged from spending time in their own company, and this alone-time doesn’t leave them feeling down. If your tried and true methods of communing with yourself aren’t recharging you, however, it may be a sign that you’re struggling with depression.