Introverts commonly feel drained or exhausted after too much social interaction. So much so that it can be an introvert hangover. Re-energising normally means taking time out for recovery. Is it possible to speed up that recovery?
Spending a lot of time socialising can leave introverts feeling drained in one of (or more) the following ways:
- Emotionally drained: The simple act of losing all one’s “people energy” by spending time with people. This is the primary problem and is where introverts differ from extroverts. It can leave you feel shattered and not willing to do anything.
- Mentally drained: Can easily occur at the same time, depending on the event and the amount of thinking you had to do. Spending time facilitating a large client event leaves me emotionally and mentally drained,
- Physically drained: It’s quite possible that after time with lots of people you did very little physical activity, although this isn’t always the case.
7 tips for active recovery
Having some time to recover from socialisation is good, active recovery is quicker, more effective and you’ll feel better.
- Minimise the problem: During the event(s) that are causing the exhaustion, take some mini breaks during the day.
- Plan for recovery: Know when you’ll feel exhausted, plan to do nothing, or very little, on the day after
- Get sleep: Don’t let anything get in the way of a good sleep discipline. Being sleep deprived plus emotionally tired will make matters worse.
- Get active: Chances are you’re emotionally and/ or mentally tired, but not physically tired. Get out, walk, swim, run, do whatever you do; but get some exercise and fresh air. Your body will then be more in sync with your mental / emotional state. It makes sleep and recovery easier.
- Get meaningful: What adds real meaning to your life? How can you integrate (some) of this into your recovery time?
- Clear your head: Your objective is to recover, feeling guilty prevents recovery. One of the biggest issues reported to me about taking time out, is worrying about things no done. So, pick 2-3 simple, non-people related tasks that bug you and do them. Having a clear head will help recovery.
- Drain your brain: If you’re feeling emotionally drained, not mentally, is there something you can “solve” that involves hard complexity? Some respondents spent time on Sudoku, I (if I can) spend time coding.
- Avoid Facebook etc. When mentally and emotionally drained it’s easy to keep referring back to Facebook (and the like) checking, reading and not writing (after all you don’t have the energy to engage!). Most people admit (eventually) that they’re looking for the small dopamine hit of seeing a like on their posts or looking for something recognising them on their friends posts. In reality, its draining and demoralising. Get off of social media while you recover, it won’t help you.
Recovery is good, active recovery is better!