It’s important to have a dedicated introvert-friendly space to unwind and regain your energy.
When a child misbehaves, often their parents say, “Go to your room!” While my parents said this to me a few times, what used to be a punishment is now a relief for an introvert like me. Go to my room? Gladly!
You see, my bedroom is my haven — I need it to truly relax and unwind.
If you are an introvert, you probably get it. Like me, you only have a limited amount of social energy to expend. Being in a calm environment, like your room, is the perfect place to be alone and recharge. (Extroverts, on the other hand, get energized and charged by being around people.)
However, your introvert bedroom sanctuary may not always be available when you need it most. So here are a few other places to seek out when you get overwhelmed and can’t just “Go to your room!”
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4 Perfect Places for Introverts to Unwind
1. A small space perfectly set up to fit your needs
This is an all-inclusive option to unwind and regain your energy. It’s your very own space, your “introvert zen zone,” where you can calmly spend time on a hobby that you love (hello, knitters!).
It may be a corner of a common living room or work space. Or maybe it’s simply a piece of furniture, like your favorite old armchair that your partner or roommate want to get rid of (because “it doesn’t fit in with the rest of the furniture”). But you love it, and when you’re in it, you’re in your own world (even if someone else is on the other side of the room; that’s what noise-canceling headphones are for, right?). I found my sweet spot on the balcony — I have a deck chair with everything I need every time I go out there.
Or, maybe the only place you can really be alone is the bathroom, where you take a bath or listen to an audiobook for a few minutes to help you decompress.
While it may look like you’re doing “nothing” while sitting there, you’re actually doing a lot, for an introvert’s brain is always “on.”
No matter where you have your introvert spot, the key is to have a regular area (similar to how you have a dedicated work desk when working from home). This way, it’ll help you maintain healthy boundaries with yourself, as well as with others. When they see you at your desk, for instance, they understand you are working and probably disturb you less. The same idea applies when they see you in your introvert spot. They’ll get that you’re having some me-time and will (hopefully) not interrupt.
2. Nature, whether it’s a certain park or walking path
Your introvert spot doesn’t have to be indoors. If you live in the country, lucky you! You have everything nearby that can help you gain your energy back. If you live in the city, it might be trickier, but it’s still possible.
The key is to find a place away from city noise that gives you the sense of calm you’re searching for. Ideally, it’s not far from where you live so you can reach it easily, whenever you need to.
There are many benefits of walking around outside. If you like to listen to music or audiobooks, try not to. Instead, just focus on your surroundings. (I received this advice from my therapist when we started to work on my anxiety, and it’s been amazing. You might be surprised at how many things you never noticed before.)
Do you ever struggle to know what to say?
As an introvert, you actually have the ability to be an amazing conversationalist — even if you’re quiet and hate small talk. To learn how, we recommend this online course from our partner Michaela Chung. Click here to check out the Introvert Conversation Genius course.
3. An introvert-friendly place in public, like a quaint coffee shop
Crowded, loud restaurants probably will not let you unwind, but a place like a quaint coffee shop may do the trick, especially if it’s one you are already familiar with. It probably has dim lighting, is not on a busy street, and has minimal interior design and chill music. When placing your order, you can easily say, “My usual, please.” (Routines and rituals are very relaxing for us introverts.)
Aside from the familiarity of the place, it’s also comforting to have a hot beverage. Personally, I think this is because my mom used to offer me one when I was feeling down, so, subconsciously, I am brought back to that comforting feeling. What type of beverage or place can give you a similar comforting feeling?
4. Staying home… alone
To clarify: It is not true that introverts don’t like other people and always want to be left alone. They just need some time alone to unwind. This need might be misunderstood (or taken as an insult) by others, like extroverts.
I experienced this misunderstanding myself when I voluntarily decided to stay home and not go out with my partner and his friends. I had to explain that no, I wasn’t sick, and no, nothing was wrong… I just needed to stay home. Alone.
However, it is not always about staying home when others are going out. Sometimes you’ll need to ask others for help in order to have time and space to take care of yourself. (Believe me, I know asking for help is not easy for us introverts!)
Living in such an extroverted world, we introverts often struggle to communicate our needs, or we satisfy other people’s needs first — we don’t want to let them down. But the next time you start to feel guilty about something like needing healthy solitude, please remember how important it is for us to take care of ourselves first. Otherwise, how can we be our best selves, for ourselves and for others?