Discover What Recharges You By Tracking Your Energy Level

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If you’re familiar with the concept of introversion as an energetic characteristic, and not just a personality characteristic, you know it’s not about being shy or disliking people. It’s simply about how your energy levels responds to interaction.

Defined this way, you’re an introvert if you feel drained when you interact, and you recharge when you’re alone. That’s a simple definition. But there’s a problem if you try to use it as-is to figure out what will best recharge you personally.

Not All Downtime is Alike

Using the description above as a be-all, end-all definition of introversion involves two assumptions:

  • All “alone-time” is alike, so as long as you’re away from other people, your batteries will automatically refuel.
  • All introverts are alike and recharge in the same way.

In reality, anyone who has ever sat up alone until 1 a.m. trying to meet a deadline can tell you that not all alone time is equally recharging. Plus, introversion is just one aspect of the complex tapestry that makes up your psyche.

The result? Something that’s pleasantly re-energizing for one person can be frustratingly boring for someone else. So how do you pick the right recharging strategy for you?

9 Recharging Techniques for Introverts 

Sometimes, you just know what replenishes your energy. While everyone is different, there are some activities that introverts tend to default to – sometimes without consciously realizing they’re recharging themselves. Some of the most common include:

1. Meditating: Both breath-focused meditation and guided visualizations work wonders for energy-depleted introverts. Either option lets you step back from the demands of the world and offers you a chance to simply “be.”

2. Music: Plugging in your headphones and pushing “play” on your favorite tunes can help bring your energy level back to full. Plus, music is one of the most powerful non-chemical tools for managing your mood and state of mind.

3. Journaling: Many introverts describe spending time with their journals – exploring their thoughts and reflecting on life, the universe and everything – as a lifeline when they’re feeling drained.

4. Walking or other solo exercise: Other introverts list going for a walk in nature as a favorite go-to technique when they’re “peopled out.” Not only does walking give you time alone, but moving your body can help clear any lingering stress hormones from your bloodstream.

5. Meditative exercise: Even done in group classes, meditative exercise forms like T’ai Ch’i, Yoga or Qi Gong often combine the re-energizing benefits of both meditation and movement.

6. Taking a bath: Something about being able to sink back into hot, scented water and soak is the ultimate in luxurious recharging for sensual introverts.

7. Art or craftwork: More right-brained introverts often find that some type of art or craft helps them unwind, recharge, and reconnect with their sanity. Options include painting, drawing, sculpture, needlework, making jewelry, scrapbooking, and cake-decorating.

8. Reading: One of the most common introvert recharging techniques, this is my own personal go-to strategy. Sometimes I’ll reach for non-fiction. Other times, I just want to lose myself in a story. Either way, there’s no right or wrong. The key is that I enjoy it.

9. Computer games: Computer games can be the perfect recharger for some folks. You’ll probably find that some kinds of games are better than others. Just be aware of what works for you.

What if You’re Not Sure What Recharges You?

When you scan the list above, you might have some pretty strong reactions to some of the items. Some might prompt a definite, “Yes! I love that and it always makes me feel better.” Others might trigger a, “Nuh-uh. Not even if you paid me!”

Sometimes, though, you’ll want to try something new — something you aren’t sure will work for you. If that’s the case for you, I recommend a technique called energy tracking. This involves trying various techniques, and mindfully observing your energy reactions. Note where your energy level is before and after, and keep an eye out for any patterns.

For a simple tool to help with this, try this free (no opt-in required) two-week energy tracker. It’s available in two formats:

Energy Tracker – Letter format (if you’re in the US), or

Energy Tracker – A4 format (if you’re anywhere else)

Over to You!

Which of the techniques above work best as rechargers for you? Which don’t work at all?

What questions do you have about replenishing your own energy?

Let me know in the comments below!

Spend your free time the way you like, not the way you think you’re supposed to. Susan Cain

Image Credit: Deviant Art

 


9 Comments

  • Megan says:

    Thanks for providing the energy tracker! It will be interesting to use that to see patterns in my energy levels throughout the day. Writing/journaling, walking/running, arts and crafts, and reading are some of my favorite ways to recharge. 🙂

  • Shraddha says:

    Sleeping proves being pretty useful too! Before taking a nap I just sit and think about what social interactions I did, whether the day went boring or amazing, and then drift off to sleep to let my subconscious brain do the recharging for me.

    • Great point Shraddha! Yes, definitely, and the amount of sleep I get seriously affects how much “people energy” I have (as well as how much everything-else-energy I have too)

      In fact, I think it’s really important that just because introverts characteristically find interacting with people draining doesn’t mean it’s our only source of energy drain: how much we’re looking after ourselves physically plays a big role too!

  • Jolene says:

    I love posts that give you ideas of how you can self-help or self-improve yourself! I am an INTJ introvert that have been subconsciously recharging myself without knowing it. Most of the suggestions on this post has allowed me to recharge but the one that has been most effective for me is reading and journaling. I have been journaling since I was in second grade but am thinking of getting back into it. Recently, I have found reading has helped me the most in getting away from the world and calming down the buzz of thoughts in my head. After a good book, I feel less stress and am ready to socialize again. Thanks so much for the post! 🙂

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  • […] Make sure that you carve out some time during the day to recharge. It’s important. You won’t be able to function at your best when your batteries are almost drained. If you want some good tips for recharging your introversion battery, check out this article. […]

  • […] Make sure that you carve out some time during the day to recharge. It’s important. You won’t be able to function at your best when your batteries are almost drained. If you want some good tips for recharging your introversion battery, check out thisarticle. […]

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