As introverts, we need plenty of time in our week to do “nothing” and decompress, especially if we are busy parents.
Have you ever looked at all the things on your to-do list and almost had a panic attack?
How am I going to fit all of this in? How am I going to cope and still have downtime… so I have the energy to do it all over again next week?
As an introverted single mom of three, the constant demands and never-ending to-do list can really take its toll, physically and emotionally.
As we all know, being an introvert means we cherish our alone time — it helps us thrive. This time to ourselves can mean different things to different people, but regardless: We need it.
I am not going to lie to you and tell you I have the magic answer for you, my fellow introverted parents, as I really don’t — and I will admit that I do not always get it right either.
We are all only humans and being a parent (single one or not) is really hard. But after 17 years of being a parent (the majority as a single parent) — plus working, running a business, and trying to socialize (a little) — I do have a few tricks up my sleeve to make things easier.
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4 Ways to Manage a Busy Schedule as an Introverted Mom
1. Use Sunday evenings to plan the week.
This one is obvious. But planning just makes things so much easier — and is one thing we introverts love to do!
On Sunday evenings, once the baths and bedtimes are done, I get out my planner and work out what needs to be done for the week.
I like to have one planner that does everything. My planner consists of monthly and weekly pages, as well as goal-setting and dotted paper. This means that everything is all in one place and I know where I am at.
When planning my week, I make sure that there are blank spaces to allow for downtime. These blank spaces equal no obligations. Most planner-type people will tell you this is counterproductive, as you will just “waste” that valuable time. But in my case, and possibly yours, it is the thing that keeps me going. As a parent, having “me time” is so important!
This brings me to my next point…
2. Make sure to use your “blank space” wisely.
We are a mixed bag of introverts and extroverts in our house, so it is important to me to add activities for the extrovert and rest days for the introverts (so we can avoid burnout).
There have been weeks where I planned everything to perfection. We all knew where we needed to be and what we needed to do. It was great… until it wasn’t…
I had organized so much, we had things to do, people to see, and specific small blocks dedicated to relaxing.
I’d then spend my structured relaxation time clock-watching in case I missed the next block of things to do. I don’t know about you, but if I have a block in my diary that is specifically for “relaxing,” I don’t seem to be able to relax. It seems more like I’m just thinking (and overthinking) and waiting until the end.
This is where, when I am planning on a Sunday, I no longer have rest blocks — I have free space. Free space is where I commit to nothing! Not even relaxing. Just the art of “doing nothing.”
I then use this time to do anything I want without the time pressure. Now, chances are, I will relax during this time. But at least I won’t feel like I have to.
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3. Declutter so your home is as calming and relaxing as possible. The less overwhelm, the better.
This may seem like just adding another job to your to-do list, but I assure you, it will change your life!
As introverts, we need our homes to be a calm and relaxing environment, a place where we can truly unwind and let go. When I have a mess all around me, I feel overwhelmed and less likely to be able to relax.
So I prioritize taking time to clear out every room in my home and remove any extra things that do not need to stay. A clutter-free environment is important for introverts — you’ll see!
Decluttering means that:
- I am more productive while working from home. I am less likely to be distracted when everything has a place and I have a clean and serene space to look at.
- Morning routines run more smoothly. Two of my children are at school and mornings can be a bit of a drag, so knowing that everything is in its place — and I’m not tripping over random things that have no home — makes everything easier.
- When I have those blocks of time that are dedicated to “nothing,” I can relax. I just can’t “chill out” in a messy space. I need clean and calm. And I have a tornado of a child, so it is not always that way, but at least when there is no clutter, things are easier to keep clean.
4. Meditate! That way, your uncluttered mind will match your uncluttered home.
I have to say, this is one of the most important things I suggest to keep up with the never-ending to-do list: Meditate.
As introverts, it can be easy to get stuck in our heads, and sometimes we need to truly immerse ourselves in deep meditation to free our mind.
If, like me, you cannot fit this in daily, then I suggest scheduling it once a week. This will ensure you can go about the rest of your day with a clear, uncluttered mind, to match your uncluttered home.
I enjoy listening to guided morning meditations to start the day on a positive note. Meditation, though, is a skill; the more you practice it, the easier it becomes.
This morning, for example, I put on a guided meditation, as my mind just wouldn’t quit. I was feeling sad and overwhelmed, but in 10 minutes, I truly felt as though I was floating gently in the middle of the ocean.
I also listen to guided meditations at night. Some of them are designed to simply help you move into a deep sleep and others are to enhance positivity or peace in your mind. You can find many on Spotify or iTunes, or through apps like Insight Timer and Headspace.
Meditating has taken me a while to perfect — it takes a while to focus. I have been doing it for years, yet it has only been in the past few months that I have mastered the art of truly letting go. And you can, too.
You might like:
- 5 Hacks to Help Introverted Parents Get Through the Day
- 6 Real Confessions of an Introverted New Mom
- 5 Simple Ways for Introverts to Get More Healthy Alone Time
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