The key to an introvert-friendly activity is something quiet that won’t be overstimulating.
As an introvert, I need time to myself, but that doesn’t mean I necessarily want to hole up in isolation 24/7. Now that it’s starting to get safer to go out into the world again, I’m finding that I’m reflecting on the activities I do want to bring back into my life. While I don’t exactly want to rush back to pre-pandemic normal — reentry fear is real! — or start filling my calendar with everything I was doing before the pandemic, I do think it’s important to take time to intentionally select activities I actually enjoy as an introvert. These are the questions I’m asking myself:
- What allows me to recharge and utilize my introvert superpowers, like writing and perception?
- What makes me feel energized and included, rather than overwhelmed and drained?
- What do I actually enjoy doing when I have time to myself? What would I choose to do if societal expectations weren’t an object?
Well, it turns out that there are many options! Here are some introvert-friendly activities for your enjoyment.
14 Introvert-Friendly Activities to Do Alone or With Others
1. Travel into another world through reading.
Is there anything better than books? I don’t think so. Books make us feel alive in the best possible way. It’s no surprise reading is a favorite activity among introverts: We love to travel into other worlds, learn about new perspectives, and meet fictional characters. So many books exist, it’s beautifully overwhelming to think about. You can read about fantasy, history, romance, science, culture… there are an endless number of stories out there! Plus, there are plenty of books catered toward introverts, with introvert protagonists and themes.
2. Go to the library and relish in all the quiet.
If reading is an introvert’s favorite activity, what better place than libraries? An entire building filled with books I can borrow for free?! My local library even has signs on the walls informing everyone that cell phone conversations are not permitted, and talking must be kept to a minimum. It’s amazing.
In college, when I knew I needed time to myself to focus and study, I would make my way to the library. Even if you’re not necessarily looking for a book, many libraries have designated quiet areas where you can read, work, or just quietly exist.
3. Try knitting, crocheting, doing embroidery, or other crafts.
There’s actually a whole art to knitting: it lets me sit quietly, think, and do something with my hands. It’s a fun way to pass time and practice making art, and you can make a variety of things, too: sweaters, blankets, scarves, hats… There’s always a new pattern to try or a new stitch to master, and you can feel good for learning a new skill and getting to spend time concentrating on something you’re making with your hands. The Spruce Crafts has some great tutorials for experts and beginners, and Craftsy has great crochet instructions for beginners.
4. Learn computer programming and coding.
Computer programming takes independent focus and concentration, which introverts are great at. Working on a computer is something that you need to do all by yourself. And as a bonus, for introverted students, it’s possible to learn a great deal about coding at home on the internet. What’s more, besides being a useful hobby, programming and coding can make a fantastic career choice: It allows introverts to play to their strengths by using intense focus, thinking through different possibilities, and creative problem-solving skills. (And the pay isn’t bad either!)
5. Take long walks or bike rides.
There’s nothing like a nice long walk or bike ride alone to make me feel like I’ve put my head back on straight. Walking and biking offer great decompression after a long day, and a nice way to jump-start some energy flow in the morning. Physical movement is great for introverts: I personally love spending time letting my thoughts wander while I do some physical movement. And another thing I love: It’s not necessary to have a group, or even to go to a group fitness class, in order to enjoy some outdoor exercise.
6. Go hiking: nature + quiet = a big introvert win.
From finding quiet places away from the bustle of city life to just smelling the fresh air and listening to our thoughts, nature is particularly important for introverts. When I go hiking, I’ll often take a friend or a (very!) small group for safety, but most hikers understand the need for quiet while out and about in nature.
7. Write, whether it’s a journal entry or short story.
Our perception, introspection, and ability to think thoroughly makes introverts strong writers. While I’m pretty quiet in most group settings, my words have a way of coming out in writing — and, like many introverts, it takes quiet and solitude for me to get in the writing zone.
I love writing because I can sink into my thoughts, then watch as they appear on paper. It’s relaxing and healing to journal about my life, as well as to make up fun stories or create a new fictional character. Is writing fiction one of the absolute best pastimes? Yes. Yes it is.
8. Daydream (about anything really).
While my daydreaming mind might not look like much to an outsider, on the inside, my daydreams are filled with amazing content. Introverts tend to have rich inner worlds, which means that daydreaming is actually an important activity, allowing us to engage with our thoughts and inner nature. And daydreaming even has numerous benefits: It helps introverts strengthen their creativity, problem-solving skills, empathy, and even fights stress.
9. Get involved in activism.
There are a ton of social causes introverts care about, from the environment to social issues to animal welfare. While introverts might not necessarily be the loudest ones on the frontlines, we are likely reading up on social causes, finding what aligns with our values, and maybe even educating others through our writing or social media posts. Activism can mean much more than shouting into a megaphone: It can be making a poster or sign, reading up on history, listening to someone who has faced oppression, or even writing a social media post or article affirming something you care about. While you might not find introverts screaming at a rally, you’ll absolutely find us “quiet ones” using our values to make the world a better place.
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10. Meditate to help calm your overthinking mind.
I love my morning meditation. It helps me think clearly and cultivate awareness as I face the upcoming day. But you don’t have to meditate in the morning — do whatever works for you. Point being, meditation invites you to look within, to better see and understand yourself. Venturing within yourself for meditation has many proven benefits for introverts. Because meditation involves silence, introspection, and the beautiful activity of noticing your thoughts without talking to anyone, it’s an ultimate introvert activity. Plus, it’s a great way to relax our overthinking minds!
11. Try yoga to relax your mind and body.
Though yoga classes often involve groups of people, you don’t actually have to talk to anyone while you practice. Most teachers actually encourage a quiet class, in which you can combine movement and mindfulness, heightening your awareness of what’s going on in your mind and body. Yoga can be really helpful for introverts who feel like their thoughts are really loud or intrusive, and it’s also a fun way to incorporate some movement into your day. Yoga is a suuuuuper important part of my personal life, as it helps me to understand and accept myself, and can even help us introverts embrace who we are.
12. Bake — it’s not only soothing, but also allows you to be creative.
When you bake, you get cake. Or bread. Or donuts. Or pie. Need I say more?
I love the quiet, secluded nature of my kitchen. There’s also an art in finding and experimenting with a new recipe. Baking allows introverts to unleash our creativity, trying new flavors, ingredients, and textures. And, baking naturally lends itself to solitude or very small groups — trying to cram too many people into a small kitchen is a recipe for disaster in itself (no pun intended).
13. Garden to connect more to yourself, as well as to the earth.
Gardening invites us to connect to the earth, and to ourselves. What’s more, plants won’t ever talk to you — though you can learn to read the signals that indicate they need more water or sun. Caring for a plant is a really wonderful way to get to feel like I’m making a difference in the world by nurturing something. It’s also relaxing just to take time to look, really look, at plants — they’re so beautiful and intricate! The succulents I keep on my desk make my work space special: I could stare at them for hours. Gardening is a fun way to recharge, and I’m always surprised and intrigued by what plants can tell me.
14. Self-educate, whether it’s through books or the internet.
Ahhhh, the beautiful power of a Google search. Or an encyclopedia entry. Or a library shelf. Introverts tend to be learning machines and we’re often pretty good at finding information. While introverts probably aren’t the ones asking a ton of questions in class, that doesn’t mean we aren’t curious! I’m more likely to store this information away in my mind and then look it up later, when I get home.