Monday, October 10, 2016

{31 Days} On Being an Introvert

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.

On Being an Introvert and what an Introvert is Not

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?

25 comments:

  1. I totally agree with you that introverts need solitude in order to energize. I am one of them. And sometimes I need more solitude than the others.

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  2. I totally agree with you that introverts need solitude in order to energize My son is that way. He can only handle people fro so long before he has to zone us all out.

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  3. I can totally relate. I also used to use my free time as work time, but instead of getting more things done, I felt more tired and yes, overwhelmed. Getting a few minutes off for yourself really helps.

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  4. I am totally an extrovert and love being around people, but having my alone time also energizes my soul!

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  5. I love being an introvert but it can be misunderstood. Many people assume bloggers are extroverts.

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  6. I'm an introvert and it is NOT easy at all to get through life. I find that with the kids I am constantly out of my comfort zone.

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  7. I completely agree with you. I find it very difficult not to have time to step back and find a quiet space from time to time. I love being with others, but every now and then you need to recharge.

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  8. I need my quiet time. That is totally okay. I would say I am a cross between extrovert and introvert. It is hard to be stuck in the middle too!

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  9. That's an amazing plan. It's important to have a break time so that you won't get overwhelmed with the amount of stuff that you have to do. This is great and it's nice that it's working out for you.

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  10. I am quite introverted although to others I seem extroverted, having alone time is good when I need to work. To make me happy I crave the company of others though x

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  11. I can be a bit of both at times. But I can totally agree with you here. I do crave company of others. Great post.

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  12. I used to do the same as you. I would set a timer, and when the timer went off everyone could join me wherever I was! We'd hug and laugh and be so happy! The kids went down really easily because they loved the timer! I started at 10 minutes and built my way up to 40. That was about as long as they could go.

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  13. No - no day is perfect. But finding strategies to help make it better is key. I also like the morning routine, and in fact - I need it or else I am not grounded for the rest of the day.

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  14. My boyfriend and I are both introverts with many social friends. We both have to have our "introvert time" where we have our alone time and "recharge". I love hanging out with my friends and all the fun outings we do but it definitely takes a toll on me if I don't recharge.

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  15. I always swear I'm not an introvert but when faced with various situations, I realize more and more that I am. I think these are perfect strategies to keep from getting overwhelmed.

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  16. Thats a good way to look at introvert-ism. Its moreso needing alone time which I think I can be like that sometimes but I know I am an extrovert. I love being around lots of people and get energized off that but sometimes I can be intro too.

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  17. Yes, I prefer to be alone when I'm working to be more focus on my work as well.

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  18. While I am more of an extrovert, my husband is just the opposite. He told me sometime back that he needed some time to himself to rejuvenate. I didn't really understand, but I agreed. I think it has made our marriage stronger.

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  19. Thanks for this post! I am an extrovert deluxe! I hate being alone. My husband is an introvert and we have definitely struggled because of this. He enjoys his quite time and I want to talk ALL the time. It was neat to see things from your perspective!

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  20. I get energy from both but I really need to recharge by myself. I'm an introverted extrovert. Sometimes I can deal with people and other times I can't.

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  21. I would like to think that I get my energy from myself but in reality it may be from other people. I am comfortable in both situations.

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  22. I totally get it! Sometimes I just need to be alone to get my mojo back, but other times I do need to be around my girlfriends!

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  23. It's interesting to find out that not all introverts are shy. I've never been an introvert but definitely have met some over the years.

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  24. Yes, it definitely is important to sometimes take a break when we are supposed to be working. Its always nice for the mind and body!

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  25. I'm an introvert naturally but not shy at all! It's important to find balance. Good read!

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