Nutrition, Fitness, and Wellness articles for busy women who want to lead a healthy, fulfilled life they love.
One of my core beliefs is that the best way to make real progress in our health goals is to view our health not as a straight line going from point A to point B, but a triangle consisting of three points: eating, moving, and recharging. In order for positive progress to take place, each part must be present and balanced.
Today, I want to talk about that oh-so-important leg of the triangle: Recharge.
With times being what they are, many of us are feeling mentally, physically, and emotionally drained. This means taking the time to recharge is more important than ever. The tricky thing about recharging, though, is understanding what activity puts YOU at peace—because in our self-care routines, just as in our nutrition and fitness routines, what works for one person might be a total miss for another.
So how can you be sure you’re selecting activities that will actually recharge your batteries, rather than activities that just sound like solid self-care habits? It really starts with understanding yourself and what makes you tick.
Perhaps it’s an obvious thing to say, but depending on whether you identify as an introvert, extrovert, or ambivert, you’re likely going to prefer vastly different self-care activities. If you’re not 100% sure which of these categories you most likely belong to, start by thinking about what activities make you feel energized and what makes you feel drained. For example, does being in a room full of people sound like a way to relax . . . or does it sound like a chore of its own?
If you find that you feel the most recharged after some quality alone time, you’re most likely an introvert. This means that you’ll exert more energy when in a crowd and prefer to be alone while recharging.
On the other hand, if hanging out in a room full of people sounds like the kind of activity that would leave you feeling super high-energy and recharged, you’re most likely an extrovert. This means that you get your energy from others, so being social will help you to recharge rather than drain you more.
Those are the two extremes—but what about for the rest of us? For many people in the world, hanging out in large groups of people sounds like a fun activity, but not necessarily a rejuvenating one. You might really like being around people, but at the end of the day, you really need to be alone or with a small group of close friends and family to recharge. If that sounds like you, you’re what we’d consider an ambivert.
Personally, I identify as an ambivert. I love working with people and being in crowds, but I also draw my energy from an array of solo activities, including a great exercise session, time spent with a book, being outdoors, and enjoying a glass of wine and tapas out on my deck.
Why Does This Matter?
Knowing whether you’re more introverted, extroverted, or a combination of both is really just a practice in self-awareness. It helps you better understand your own needs. Once you’ve identified yourself as an introvert, extrovert, or ambivert, you’ll have better insight into what activities will get you the most “bang for your buck,” to speak, when it’s time to recharge.
Since we’re social distancing, you might think that this time would be easy for introverts.
After all, if alone time is what leaves them feeling refreshed, they must be in paradise, right?? Interestingly, this isn’t exactly true. While we might not be going to be events like concerts or festivals, time spent with our family doesn’t necessarily count as true alone time. Because of this, it’s important for introverts to make sure they are finding time away from their family so that they can recharge and be the best versions of themselves.
Conversely, we can all probably assume that extroverts are struggling right now.
If you’re an extrovert, you’re likely stressed out by all this time indoors and all your missed opportunities for social engagements. While extroverts might appreciate the extra time with their families, they’re likely really craving that external socialization. In this case, it’s important to get creative with your social hours. Try planning activities like Zoom hangouts or even a socially distanced walk when you really need in-person socialization.
If you’re an ambivert, you will of course need to find the right balance for you.
Spend a little extra time checking in with yourself throughout the day. One afternoon, you might really need a long walk by yourself. A different day, you might benefit most from having a Zoom coffee date with a friend. Don’t be afraid to be vocal about your needs—your need for variety isn’t flaky or indecisive, it’s simply a sign of knowing what you want.
You might be really surprised by what helps you unwind! If you’re an extrovert, give yourself some occasional space for quiet reflection. If you’re an introvert, don’t negate the value of a great conversation with someone you haven’t spoken to in a while. And if you’re an ambivert . . . Keep going with the flow. :)
However you identify, I want to take an opportunity to invite you to my online community made up of women with ALL KINDS of different personalities and interests. Never Diet Again is my free Facebook group for women who want to make healthy changes for a lifetime, not just for a moment in time, and we’d love for you to join us. Click here to check it out!