Curing Your Introvert Hangover
When I first heard the term, 'introvert hangover', I genuinely thought that it meant that introverts had different alcohol hangovers to everyone else. Spoiler: I was wrong!
Unfortunately we experience those kind of hangovers in the same way as everyone else, but we also are susceptible to one exclusive just to us. The introvert hangover happens after long periods of socialising with very little time to recharge. Without time to rest our internal battery, we can experience extreme fatigue or burnout which can lead to a number of symptoms.
How can I tell if I'm experiencing an introvert hangover?
If you identify as an introvert, then it's highly likely that you've experienced an introvert hangover, even if you didn't realise it at the time. We are much more sensitive to dopamine (the chemical in our brains associated with pleasure and seeking reward) so when we are stimulated, we get tired much more quickly that our extroverted peers! You can spot the signs of an introvert hangover using the image below - however, it's important to know that you may not experience them all in one go! How we are affected differs from person to person.
Is there a cure?
Luckily, yes! An introvert hangover comes from too much stimulation so to counteract it, we need to focus on things that don't overstimulate us further. How you feel is valid and you need to nourish yourself in a way that supports your introvert needs!
1. Seek Peace
The most important step in curing an introvert hangover is getting time to rest and recharge. You need to prioritise your alone time and do things that light you up and allow you to restore your social battery. Say no to invites, give yourself and early night or a lie-in and log out of social media apps! It's vital to limit anything that will be overly stimulating and be mindful of how you are spending your time.
2. Create A Sanctuary
It's going to be impossible to switch off and relax if you're in a messy, chaotic room surrounded by other people. You don't need to go out and buy new homeware or redecorate, just make sure you have a quiet, inviting space to retreat to. Have a tidy up, light some candles or incense with a relaxing scent and put on your cosiest pjs. Put on your favourite programme or even listen to some gentle background music! It's all about creating the right environment to help you rest.
3. Get Out In Nature
Spending time outside has proven benefits for everyone, but it’s especially great for introverts. Whilst it can be difficult to get outside every day, especially in the colder months, even a few moments can be enough to help lower stress levels and reset your energy. Take a walk, sit in the park with a hot drink or read your book out in the garden! It's incredible how nourishing nature can be.
One of my favourite ways to cure my introvert hangover is through mediation. It forces you to switch off and lets your body and mind calm down. You don't need to meditate for hours ( I often meditate for 15-20 minutes as any longer and my mind starts to wander) and if you're new to meditation or find it difficult to focus your thoughts, guided sessions are a great option! The apps Insight Timer and Headspace are fab choices as they offer guided sessions or soundscapes.
Prevention is better than cure
The best way to avoid the dreaded effects of an introvert hangover is to prevent it from happening in the first place. Commit to self-care practises that you enjoy and schedule in quality alone time throughout the week, especially before and after socially taxing activities! If you know you have an event coming up that will leave you feeling exhausted and burnt out, you need to prioritise looking after yourself. Listen to your intuition and honour your needs so that you aren't making life harder for yourself and can even be there for others at your best. It's also really important to be honest with your friends and family about what your needs are as an introvert so that they understand why you need time alone and can support you when you need it. This will make them less likely to be upset if you need to cancel or decline an invite and help them give you space when you need it.
Embracing your introversion, protecting your energy and setting healthy boundaries are the driving force behind my monthly membership: The Happy Introvert Club. To find out more about joining, click below.