Creating moments of solitude

countryside-1845693_1920It’s a well known fact that introverts need solitude. Most of the time, I retreat to a cozy corner of my living room, switch on my diffuser, and curl up with a book. But regardless of how you like to spend your quiet time, the important thing is that you get it. Here are a few tips to take advantage of those windows of solitude.

1. Schedule in solitude.
Quiet time rarely just happens. In fact, if I don’t plan for it, I end up burned out and irritable by the evening with no end in sight. I’ve actually written ‘quiet time’ in my daily planner and it’s helped in reminding me to take time to recharge. In order to fit it into my busy schedule, I’ve reduced the amount of time spent online and have dedicated it to quiet time instead.

2. Keep your evenings open.
The majority of my quiet time is spent in the evenings. By limiting the number of commitments I have during the weeknights, it enables me to spend my evenings at home. I will sometimes get together with friends during the week, but I try to schedule my social activity during the weekend.

3. Turn off the tech.
I’ve recently started turning off my computer and phone after dinner. This removes the temptation to constantly check my email, endlessly scroll through social media, or binge watch random YouTube videos. It’s allowed me to focus on the things I need to get done around the home. But it has the added benefit of freeing up more time for quiet time and creative ventures.

4. Go for a walk.
I love going for walks. It’s the perfect way to combine both quiet time and contemplation with exercise. I like to run though the days events as I walk, assess and analyze what happened, and make plans for the coming days. It helps me organize all the thoughts swirling around in my head and leaves me feeling calmer and more recharged.

How do you find solitude?

Busy weekends & small victories

coffee-1031139_1920There’s still a misconception floating around that introverts are anti-social and don’t like people.  Despite the increased knowledge regarding introversion, I still come across people who hold this view. But nothing could be further from the truth. Social activity, in manageable doses and of good quality, is important in maintaining and improving my mental wellness. I need to feel connected to others.

This past weekend was a lovely, people-filled couple of days. I spent most of Saturday with friends and close acquaintances. After a short break, I went over to a good friend’s home and enjoyed in-depth, quality conversation, over a glass of iced tea, for several hours.

I had Sunday morning to putter around at home before getting ready for a workout. I even had the energy to chat with a fellow deadlift enthusiast (though I typically avoid small talk when I’m working out) between sets. After a quick shower, I picked up a friend and we headed to a BBQ, enjoying several more hours of conversation and much laughter.

I was invited to see a movie that night, but as my energy was pretty low, I politely declined. While I felt a tiny bit guilty for saying no, I knew it was the right decision. As a result, I was able to head home for some food prep and time to unwind.

It was a really enjoyable weekend, and I was able to stay true to my nature, so I’m celebrating small victories. I will, however, be spending tonight alone, as I’m still not fully recharged 😉 This is a far cry from previous experiences and it’s encouraging to see positive changes.

How was your weekend?

Escaping the comfort zone

tango-190026_1920Last month, I wrote a piece about introversion and the comfort zone. It’s a wonderful place but nothing grows there.

One of my goals this year has been to embrace change and go after personal growth. I want to take more (calculated) risks, push myself outside my comfort zone, and take advantage of new experiences. I’ve also been working to spend more time with people that energize me, and less time with those who are toxic or draining.

It’s been a positive year so far. I’ve been learning to say no to things that offer no benefit (or if I have no energy). But I’m also saying yes to new experiences. The newest and most exciting experience to come is attending ballroom dance lessons with a friend this summer. I’ve always wanted to learn to dance, yet never had the push to actually sign up. I’ve learned a few basics and several line dances (in school and summer camps) but I’ve always wanted to go further. I’m so excited for this opportunity (and I can definitely use more flexibility and grace).

So here’s to trying new things and going on new adventures. I’ll be sure to let you know how it goes 🙂

What’s something you’ve always wanted to try?