How Introverts Can Show Themselves Love on Their Toughest Days

A woman reads a book in the bathtub

Give yourself full permission to hermit away: Turn off phone notifications, ignore emails, and abandon unfinished projects.

We all have those days when getting out of bed feels like the hardest thing in the world. These are the days when your energy levels are lower than usual, and being around others, even those you love, feels draining

For some introverts, these tough days may come around more often than we’d like. But just because the world feels like it’s weighing heavy on our shoulders doesn’t mean we can’t find ways to show ourselves a little love and get through it. 

Here are a few ways in which you can show yourself love, even on your toughest days.

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8 Ways Introverts Can Show Themselves Love on Tough Days

1. Unplug, relax, and “do nothing.” 

On days when our social batteries are drained, sometimes the best self-care is to unplug from everything external and be gentle with ourselves. 

You may feel guilty about canceling plans or declining invitations, but it’s okay to prioritize solitary time to recenter yourself when you’re overwhelmed. Give yourself full permission to hermit away with no apologies: Turn off phone notifications, ignore emails, abandon unfinished projects, and clear your calendar. Explain to your friends and family that you need some solo time to recharge — true loved ones will understand.

And don’t feel pressured to fill time with productivity. It’s perfectly acceptable to simply sleep, lounge around, stare out the window, or “do nothing.” Be still and quiet, and give your mind permission to be blank. 

2. Engage your senses as you do soothing activities.

As introverts, slowing down and tuning into our senses is soothing for our nervous systems. You could take a long, hot shower or bath, noticing the soothing warmth and scent of the water. Or give yourself a luxurious aromatherapy massage with essential oils. Afterward, you wrap yourself up in a soft blanket, fresh from the dryer, stroking its comforting texture. 

Next, sip some tea or hot cocoa mindfully — without multitasking — letting the rich aromas and flavors really land. Light some candles and incense, closing your eyes and deeply inhaling their calming fragrance. Or, engage in some “culinary therapy” and cook yourself a nourishing meal, savoring each bite. 

3. Feed your inner world.

For instance, journaling allows us to dump worries from our minds onto paper. Streaming playlists or podcasts, on topics like self-compassion, positive psychology, creativity, or personal growth, engages our passions. List-making can help organize racing thoughts. And meditating, even for just 5-10 minutes at a time, resets frenzied thoughts. 

Creative outlets, too — such as writing, reading, drawing, coloring, baking, sewing, gardening, photography, or playing music — also immerse us in the joyful flow of making. Don’t judge the results: The act of creating is therapeutic. 

If emotions feel bottled up, have a good cry or yell into a pillow. Dance wildly alone to shake off tension. Sing loudly to uncork feelings in a cathartic way. And laugh at funny shows to break the gloom you may be feeling.

Need more ideas? Watch favorite comfort movies. Curl up with an immersive novel. Pull out old memorabilia and photo albums to reminisce on happy memories. And indulge in nostalgia — revisit beloved songs, shows, toys, and treasures from your past.

4. Restore with rest, both mentally and physically.

On low-energy days, resting your body is essential. Get outside for fresh air and sunlight if possible, even if just sitting on the porch or strolling around the block. Bask in the warmth of the sun’s rays, breathe deeply, and listen to birds singing. 

But if going outside isn’t an option, open your windows to let in natural light and sounds. Or sit by a window with a cozy blanket and cup of tea, gazing outside. 

Stay hydrated, too, by sipping water or herbal tea throughout the day. Make healthy comfort foods like soups, smoothies, and fresh juices. Move a little with gentle stretching, restorative yoga, or walking — but honor your body if it truly needs stillness. 

And don’t feel guilty for sleeping in, napping, or going to bed early. Lounging in comfy pajamas all day is perfectly acceptable self-care. As introverts, we need rest to recover mental and physical energy. Don’t fight your body’s signals.

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5. Connect with others in comfortable, introvert-friendly ways.

Loneliness often makes tough times feel tougher. But introverts typically crave connection in measured doses. Texting, calling, or video-chatting with loved ones lets us socialize — without leaving home. 

You can also look at old photos and sentimental gifts from friends, or video-chat while cooking or crafting together. Scheduling virtual movie nights and playing online games together are great “social” outlets, too. Joining online communities centered around your interests will also help you feel less alone. 

But give yourself full permission to minimize or reschedule external social obligations without guilt. It’s okay to preserve your energy for peace and quiet right now. Any true friends will understand your occasional need for solitude. Remind yourself: My needs matter just as much as anyone else’s.

6. Let go of perfectionism — give yourself credit for what you’ve accomplished instead of focusing on what you haven’t.

When we’re already overwhelmed, perfectionism only fuels the spiral. Challenge all-or-nothing thinking by easing up on unrealistic standards. Write down negative self-talk — you know, unhelpful things from your inner voice — then rewrite it with more compassion. Give yourself credit for what you accomplish, rather than judging what’s left undone. Recognize efforts, not just outcomes. Reassure yourself — things can wait. Rest and self-care take precedence when our mental health suffers. Lowering excessive demands isn’t laziness, it’s wise self-preservation.

It’s also healthy to release judgment about our perceived personal flaws and failings when we’re struggling. We all have inadequacies, but they do not define our worth. Instead of harsh self-criticism, treat yourself as you would a dear friend in need of comfort. Offer compassion, not criticism. Remind yourself of your strengths, not just weaknesses: You are absolutely doing the best you can right now.

7. Lighten your mental load by postponing some tasks.

Sometimes, pouring our energy into getting things done only worsens fatigue and anxiety. Give yourself full permission to release the drive for productivity and embrace restorative respite. Postpone tasks for later. Abandon unrealistic to-do lists. Minimize appointments and obligations. 

There is enormous value in simply resting and renewing. The world will not stop spinning if you take time away from grinding busyness. Things can wait. Nourishing your well-being matters more.

8. Ask for help, and seek support, when you need it.

If self-care strategies aren’t easing your emotional struggles, don’t hesitate to seek professional support. Talk therapy helps build coping skills tailored to your needs. There are wonderful online communities, too, for connecting with others who understand the introvert journey. Seeking therapy and community when needed isn’t weakness — it’s wisdom. You deserve support. I know, it’s not in our nature to ask others for help. But believe me, it’s worth it.

With some creativity and compassion, we introverts can usually nurture our spirits through tough times. But the most important act is honoring what our minds and bodies truly need in the moment. By listening and responding gently to our needs, we can ultimately find light within — even on the hardest days.

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