I’m very particular about my bedroom. My bedside tables and walls are decorated with ornaments and art given to me by friends and family. My vanity serves as both the heart of my self-care routine and my desk. It’s carefully stocked with a well-curated collection of makeup and skincare products, as well as a drawer for journals, stationary, and pens. There is a place for everything (and everything is in its place).
The only bedding I employ is a fitted sheet, a beloved (and well-worn) comforter, and three pillows, meticulously arranged to accommodate my odd sleeping position. I spend most of my time in bed sleeping, but I also find myself there for two or three hours a day when I’m in need of quiet and solitude. I’ll curl up under my comforter and read or play games on my phone until I’m ready to face the world outside my bedroom door again.
I’m not the only introvert who takes refuge in their bedroom. It’s actually a common practice for introverts in all stages of life, be they children and adolescents, young adults in shared housing situations, adults with partners and/or children, or seniors living in multigenerational houses or assisted living facilities.
But, what is it about bedrooms that introverts find so attractive?
Why Are Our Bedrooms Our Havens?
Most introverts find an abundance of noise and commotion to be both overwhelming and overstimulating. Since introverts are often drained by social situations, we need time alone to rest and recharge. Solitude is our fuel, and it helps us remain sane amongst all the hubbub of daily life.
Just as important as time alone, a private space is an absolute must for introverts to be able to properly recharge. We require a space to call our own; one where we can reflect, hear ourselves think, and simply be alone.
What’s more, this space needs to be truly and only ours. A private physical space is not a want, it’s a need. For introverts, territory is just as much a necessity as solitude.
For many introverts, this personal physical space is found in their bedroom. The moment we close the door (which is a wave of relief in and of itself), we go from being exposed to the world to an existence safe away from prying eyes and ears. We consider our rooms to be equivalent to a sacred temple, a very private and dedicated space free from disturbances — and heaven help you if you encroach upon it in any way.
When introverts hole up in their bedroom, they’re looking for peace, solitude, and no interruptions from the outside world. We may be reading, writing, getting work done, or just contemplating our own thoughts. No matter what the activity, we’re relieved to be in quiet, familiar surroundings, reflecting on life and being our truest selves. This time alone in our safe space gives us the energy we need to go back out into the world and interact with people again.
Tips to Keep Your Bedroom Happy and Healthy
Since your bedroom is your refuge, you’ll want to create a space that works best for your needs. Here are four tips to do just that.
1. When it comes to decor, choose colors and items that make you feel calm and happy. You don’t have to be a minimalist, but you also don’t want your room to be cluttered, because clutter can be linked to increased stress, anxiety, and depression. Find a way to strike a balance by only decorating with the items you love most, and storing or donating items you no longer need.
2. Whatever you do, don’t work in bed. Your bed should only be used for relaxing activities — reading, watching television, and most important, sleeping. Otherwise, you might have a hard time falling asleep, because your mind will begin to associate your bedroom with work, not relaxation, according to the Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard. If you have to work in your room, do so at a desk or in a cozy chair.
3. Invite your pets into your bedroom. For introverts, animals offer a kind of companionship that we can truly appreciate. They don’t drain our energy by insisting upon constant conversation, engaging in small talk, or interrupting us when we speak to them. It’s also incredibly easy to make them happy — their expectations are absurdly low. And, as an added bonus, a study found that people who let their dogs sleep in their bedroom have a much easier time falling asleep than those who do not — as long as they’re not making noise.
4. Make sure you have what you need. If you live with roommates and want to avoid having to make small talk every time you go to the kitchen, keep a stash of non-perishable snacks in your room (e.g. granola bars, nuts, chips, jerky, etc). Make it a habit to fill up a large reusable bottle with water as soon as you get home and take it with you to your room — this way you can stay hydrated without having to pop back and forth between the kitchen. Ensure your bedroom is stocked with personal electronics, books, and all items needed for your hobbies (whatever they may be) before you withdraw for that much-needed time alone. Essentially, do your best to create a little eden of your own, one you don’t have to leave until you’re good and ready.
An introvert’s bedroom is their ultimate safe space. It’s there that they can find the peace and quiet needed to rest, recharge, and face each day with renewed energy.
So please, if you’re the extroverted loved one of an introvert, don’t take it personally when we retreat to our rooms for solitude. It’s in that space that we are brought back to life, and become the friend, family member, or partner you truly love.
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