As an introvert, you can recharge yourself in just a few minutes if that's all you have.

You Don’t Need Permission—or Lots of Time—to Recharge Yourself

When you need to recharge yourself as an introvert, go ahead and do it! You don’t need to seek permission—and you don’t need a lot of time, either.

When a friend of mine ordered my book The Introvert Manifesto a while back, she asked me to write a specific message inside of it:

To my dear closeted introverted friend [Name]: It’s OK to take time in the closet to recharge. Sincerely, Peter.

I couldn’t tell how she was really feeling when she sent this request.

Was she just asking for a friendly 
reminder she could turn to on 
a difficult day sometime in the future?

Was she in crisis now and 
in effect calling out for help?

Was it both? Somewhere in between?

Yes, Think About Others—but Think About Yourself, Too

All of this was still on my mind a few days later, as my wife Adrianne and I sat by the fireplace of the Jon L. Wanzek Center for Scouting in Fargo, North Dakota. We were waiting outside a conference room to see if our son Isaac would become an Eagle Scout. (He did.)

As I sat there wishing the fireplace was actually lit during what was then one 
of the coldest evenings of the winter, I looked up and saw a banner hanging from the ceiling. On it were the words of the Boy Scout slogan:

“Do a Good Turn Daily.”

I’ve always loved this simple axiom, along with the simple way the Scouts view it: as “a special act of kindness,” big or, more often, small.

The slogan implies, not unreasonably, that you should do a good turn daily for someone else.

But when my friend came back to mind, I couldn’t help wondering …

How come we don’t think about doing a good turn daily for ourselves?

Well, we should.

Not instead of doing a nice thing for someone else, but in addition to it.

You Can Recharge Yourself in Minutes

If you’re an introvert and you want to feel good and stay healthy—physically, psychologically, emotionally, spiritually—make a point of doing one little thing each day to take care of yourself.

Among the many introvert-friendly possibilities:

Take a quick walk. If you have breaks or a lunch period at work, 
for instance, use 10 minutes of it to take a short walk, preferably outside. If you can sneak in some nature—
a grove of trees, a nearby lake or 
river—so much the better.

Take a short break from electronics. You don’t need to take a long break; that may not even be realistic, especially if you’re working.

But even five minutes away from all the rings, pings, and dings will help you as an introvert, in two respects: You’ll temporarily stop losing energy in response to those stimuli; and you’ll be able to briefly recharge 
and thus regain some of the energy you’ve already lost.

Take a short breathing or meditation break. “Breathe” can sometimes sound like ridiculous advice; I get it. But deep, slow, controlled breathing from the diaphragm has science behind it; numerous studies have demonstrated its benefits.

As for meditation: You don’t have to be hardcore about it, and you certainly don’t have to meditate for a long time. Just a few minutes can slow down your runaway thoughts, feelings, and/or anxiety.

Recharge Yourself As You See Fit

My friend seemed to be asking for permission to simply be who she is.

She doesn’t need it.

Neither do you. Or I. Or anyone.

When I mailed my book to her, 
I wanted her to know that I had a message for her beyond the words she had asked me to write inside the book’s front cover. So I wrote her 
a card, too.

I don’t remember exactly what I said, but in essence I told her the same thing I’d like to tell you now:

Your introversion is a normal part of who you are. You don’t have to justify it or explain it. You just have to respect it. Go ahead and give yourself what you need when you need it. Just be you.



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