It’s that time of year again! Winter is gone and the warm weather is drawing our extroverted counterparts outside for as much fun in the sun as they can handle.
Meanwhile, most of us introverts are still secreted away in our hidey-holes, just hoping for five minutes of peace and quiet so we don’t completely lose it. It’s in these moments, when the weather is improving yet I still find myself hermited away inside, that a strange sense of melancholy starts to settle over me.
I know I’m not alone in this feeling. Many introverts find themselves a little blue from time to time. Overthinking and overstimulation are often the reason behind our low spirits, and finding a way to banish one without causing the other can be difficult. Fortunately, there are a few ways to boost our mood this time of year without pushing ourselves beyond our level of comfort.
Mood Boosters for Introverts
1. Spend time with your pets.
It’s no secret that a lot of introverts are die-hard animal lovers. Unlike people, spending time with animals replenishes our energy instead of draining it. Why? Because they offer us love, affection, and comfort that goes far beyond words. They don’t judge or badger us for preferring to stay home on a Friday night. The only thing they ask is to be fed, loved, and cared for — and they do all of that on an entirely low-key level. Is it any wonder that we introverts sometimes love our animals more than people?
Now that the weather is nice, it’s the perfect time to mix up your routine by engaging in some fun activities with your pets. Here are just a few ideas to get you started:
Fun Activities To Do With Your Dog(s)
- Visit an off-leash dog park.
- Set up a doggie playdate with a friend and their pet.
- Go on a scenic hike.
- Run through the sprinklers together.
- Blow dog-safe bubbles for your pupper to chase.
- Go to a drive-in restaurant and eat a meal together.
Fun Activities To Do With Your Cat(s)
- Take your (leash-trained) cat to the park and explore.
- Take ten minutes to stare out a window with your cat.
- Build an indoor cat playground with empty boxes and paper bags.
- Make a cat tent with an old t-shirt.
- Plant a large tray of wheatgrass for your kitty to sunbathe in.
Fun Activities To Do With Both
- Lay on a blanket in the backyard together and soak up the sun.
- Take pictures of them at play, at rest, and everything in between. This time of year offers some of the best natural light for photographs.
- Go shopping together in a pet-friendly store.
- Curl up together for an afternoon nap. At my house, we call this “cuddle time.”
- If you’re crafty, you can make a silhouette portrait of your fur babies!
2. Drive your cares away.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed or overstimulated, a relaxing drive may be just what the doctor ordered. Not only is it the perfect way to get some much-needed alone time, it also allows you to disconnect from technology, reconnect with nature, and listen to a favorite audiobook or music.
For me, there’s nothing better than driving on a deserted, winding road late at night in a rural area with the windows down and the music blasting. I can smell the crops in the fields, feel the temperature change as I pass by irrigated farmland, and hear the cows lowing in the dark. Sometimes I’ll even stick my arm out the window just to feel the wind. It’s heaven on earth.
3. Get your hands dirty.
There’s something so beautiful about putting your hands in the dirt, digging, planting, and growing something from seed to harvest. Gardening is one of the best mood boosters out there as it leads to a deliberate mental focus. When gardening, you set aside your problems for a while and live in the moment. The smell of the dirt, the sound of birds singing, the feel of the sun on your face — there’s just nothing better.
Fortunately for both renters and beginners, you don’t need a big backyard or a super green thumb to get started. For those with little space or experience, container gardening is the way to go. Depending on what you want to achieve, simple vegetables and herbs can be fun if you’re looking to spice up your cooking, or native flowers can be a beautiful way to feed the bees and butterflies while beautifying your outdoor areas.
4. Spruce up your outside space.
We introverts are known for carving out indoor spaces that are purely our own. While these sanctuaries are incredibly important for our mental health, we also need to spend some time outside getting fresh air and vitamin D. A great way to combine the two is to create a cozy outdoor space for relaxing and connecting with nature.
Start with a sitting area. Depending on your style and comfort level, this can be anything from a bistro set to a hammock. Rocking chairs and swings are also nice, as the rocking motion is incredibly soothing. Create privacy with an umbrella, awning, or fence.
If you live in an apartment and only have a balcony, use some outdoor fabric to create draperies across the opening. Dress the area up with fairy lights, lanterns, wind chimes, and plenty of flowers and plants. Voila! You have an outdoor oasis perfect for reading, writing, and relaxing in general.
5. Get plenty of sleep.
None of these mood boosters will be much help if you’re not well rested. Sleep has a major effect on our mood. A lack of sleep not only makes us stressed, irritable, and angry, it also makes us more emotionally reactive — meaning we’re likely to snap at our loved ones.
Unfortunately, it can be hard to get enough sleep this time of year. Longer, hotter days make it difficult to create a bedroom environment conducive to sleep. Here’s what you can do to create more restful surroundings:
- Invest in blackout curtains for your windows. Light is one of the factors that regulates our circadian rhythms, so a brightly lit bedroom will make it extremely difficult to sleep.
- Keep your bedroom between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit for optimal sleep. Though this can be a slightly expensive endeavor this time of year, it’s well worth it.
- Switch out flannel sheets for lighter, moisture wicking fabrics.
- A fan is great for circulating air to keep you cool and for creating white noise to drown out any disrupting sounds outside.
The longer days of summer can make it tempting to stay up late, but sticking to a regular sleep schedule will keep you well rested and in a good mood.
Holing up inside our homes is pretty normal for introverts, in fact, it’s just part of what we do to stay sane. However, it’s still important for us to get outside and soak up the beauty of the season. Nature is calling, and luckily, she doesn’t expect you to make small talk.
You might like:
- Help for Introverts Who Are Struggling With Depression
- 15 Signs That You’re an Introvert With High-Functioning Anxiety
- Why Introverts Absolutely Loathe Talking on the Phone
- Introverts Don’t Hate People, They Hate Shallow Socializing
- For Introverts, Why Are Our Bedrooms Our Havens?
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