Guest Writer: Melissa Howard
With the onset of COVID-19, taking care of ourselves mentally and physically has taken center stage in our lives. But still, we often neglect or ignore our own needs. While today’s society tends to champion being busy and productive, introverts need times of solitude to prevent burnout and health issues, including those related to mental illness. Let’s take a look at these essential self-care strategies for introverts from The Antsy Butterfly to stay happy and healthy.
Make Regular Check-Ups a Priority
Preventive health care plays a crucial role in your overall well-being. Most health insurance plans cover screenings for depression, diabetes, hepatitis, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and certain types of cancers and other diseases. Health insurance also typically covers annual physicals and necessary immunizations. For older adults, staying on top of their mental and physical health is especially important, as you become more susceptible to certain diseases and conditions as you age.
Make a Little Money by Yourself
Being an introvert often involves spending time at home by yourself. However, as Entrepreneur points out, you can actually make money at the same time. For example, many people work from home as transcriptionists, actuaries, and customer support representatives, to name just a few. And if you absolutely love spending time with animals, becoming a pet sitter is a wonderful way to earn some money while caring for someone’s beloved pet.
Set an Appointment with Yourself
Your calendar is probably jam-packed with work and family obligations and events. If you can squeeze one more thing onto that calendar, it should be a daily appointment with yourself. Scheduling in periods of solitude will force you to make self-care a priority. You can use this time to enjoy nature, do yoga, read, or do anything else you enjoy alone. Also, try to get into the habit of spending the last 30 minutes of each day in solitude and silence. Go to bed half an hour early, turn off all electronics, and just breathe. This will allow your mind and body time to relax so that you’ll fall asleep easier and wake up more refreshed.
Pay Attention to Your Diet
If you’ve fallen into the habit of eating fast food in place of healthy meals, it’s time to kick those unhealthy choices to the proverbial curb. Not only will replacing processed foods and refined sugar help you lose weight and feel better physically, but doing so will help you address any problems with your gut health. Millions of bacteria call your gut home — both good and bad — so it’s important to maintain a proper balance. In addition to making food-related changes, you can supplement your nutrition by taking a multivitamin, which will help fill any holes in your diet.
Get Plenty of Quality Sleep
Speaking of sleep, one of the most crucial components of self-care is getting enough quality rest. Sleep deprivation can hinder your immune system and increase your risk of depression, diabetes, heart disease, and other health conditions. Getting enough sleep can reduce stress, as well as improve your mood, focus, and brain function. According to John Hopkins Medicine, sleep also impacts your brain’s ability to process what you’ve learned during the day and to store memories. Make sure your bedroom is cool, comfortable, and free of distractions. For example, if your bedroom is very cluttered, spend some time giving it a good cleaning from top to bottom, which can help push out any negative energy that clutter has trapped.
Don’t put your self-care needs on the backburner during the pandemic, which can be overwhelming and draining for all of us. It’s crucial that you carve out times of solitude for yourself, and take care of your emotional, mental, and physical health.
Every suicide is preventable. After losing her younger brother to suicide, Melissa Howard felt compelled to create Stop Suicide. By providing helpful resources and articles on her website, she hopes to build a lifeline of information. Went to school at University of Colorado, Colorado Springs and currently works as an executive assistant.