As we moved into our new school year (at the beginning of August), I thought about being an introvert, and the unique challenges I face as an introvert who is always around people. And not just that I am around people, but that I have people attached to me every.single.day.
I don’t want you to get the wrong idea here, I love being a mom, and I love homeschooling, and I love watching my kids flourish in activities, but it does wear on me big time.
I want to clear up a couple misconceptions about introverts. Number one, we are not all extremely shy. In fact, in groups of people I am quite outgoing. I don’t have trouble speaking to others, and I generally love life. What an introvert really is, is someone who needs solitude in order to energize. So while I love being out with people, I need some serious quiet and alone time in order to recharge.
I haven’t been getting that recently.
I think that is the root for feeling constantly overwhelmed. So while I am writing about all the different steps I am taking to try and combat this feeling, I know that it is only a season, and eventually life with settle down a bit more, and I can find my way back to a bit more balance internally.
I am also a control person. I need to control certain aspects of my life, such as my quiet time, and when I can’t, I often start to feel overwhelmed.
I think that this is human nature though – trying to be in control of everything around you. I know, as a Christian, that I am really not in control of my life, and I really should be celebrating that, knowing that someone is watching out for me and knows what is going to happen next. Instead, I often fight against this, and try to make things work the way that *I* think they should work. This, most likely, leads to even more overwhelming feelings!
The need for control is something that I am working on changing, although I’m not sure how much I can change that. When I start feeling overwhelmed, I cling to what I can do to change the situation, or to change my attitude in the situation.
When I become overwhelmed, I can easily feel defeated, which was evident by my brain dump post yesterday. I will often feel like no matter what I do, things are not going to work out how I want, and it is just a downward spiral from there.
Having the ability to change my thinking in this situation is so so important!
If I don’t make the choice to change my thinking, I will get carried off by circumstances and end up in the corner crying.
Of course, that is exactly what I have been doing the past couple of months. When our schedule gets busy, and I don’t have as much control over the when and the where, it becomes something that I fight against, instead of working with.
Having some strategies to make sure that I am still able to function is obviously important.
My main strategy for a long time was to make sure that I had my morning routine down. Of course, when I wrote about morning routines earlier this month I explained that they were most definitely not working right now.
I really crave that solitude, so instead of having it first thing in the morning, I have started to enforce a “rest time” in the afternoon. I would love to say this gives me a nice long uninterrupted break where I can recharge, but that isn’t really the case. Most of the time I get about 30 minutes between getting Lucy down for a nap and then helping Emma and Jack get settled so I can go downstairs.
Now, I used to use rest time as a work time. Some time to get things done around the house. I still do that on occasion, but I realized that I really need that time for myself, so instead I am sitting and reading a book. I find that it gives me just enough solitude to help out with the rest of the day.
No day is ever perfect, but it is what is working right now. I hope that as time goes on, the kids are able to spend a little more time in their rooms, and perhaps Lucy will take a longer nap. For now, thirty minutes of quiet in the afternoon is a wonderful respite for me.
Do you get your energy from being alone, or from being around a lot of people? What do you do in the seasons where it is more difficult to find that energy?