Being an introvert and a small business owner can present unique challenges. There is a requirement for constant social interaction, such as attendance at networking events, and high-pressure situations can drain your energy and leave you feeling overwhelmed. This means that self-care strategies for introverts are crucial if they are to maintain their well-being and thrive in their businesses . In this blog post, I’m sharing some effective self-care strategies for introverts to help you to navigate the world of small business, many of which I use myself.
1. Understand and embrace your introversion
You know what? As an introvert myself, I absolutely recognise that being one is a super-power, not a disadvantage. Instead, it’s a unique characteristic that brings valuable strengths. We tend to excel in things like deep thinking, listening skills, and building meaningful connections with others. So instead of hiding away from it, embrace your introversion and acknowledge your superpower, and in doing so, let go of any self-limiting beliefs that may hinder your confidence and hold you back.
2. Create and maintain boundaries
In terms of self-care strategies for introverts, this is a crucial one for me. Establishing clear boundaries is essential for introverts to protect their energy and maintain work-life balance. It’s important to learn to say no to excessive social events or tasks that may overwhelm you. When working with others, communicate your needs clearly to colleagues and clients. Let them know that you’re not shy or withdrawn – your working style is just that of an introvert.
3. Schedule alone time
If you’re anything like me, you value time alone to rest and reset. It’s how we process things and recharge our batteries. So make sure you schedule regular periods of alone-time. You can set aside specific breaks during the day to do this and spend the time taking a walk, reading a book, or in some sort of mindful activity. Once this becomes part of your self-care strategy, you’ll find that it will also enhance your productivity and overall well-being.
4. Plan and prepare for social interactions
As business owners, we know that social interactions are non-negotiable whether they be networking events, meetings, or presentations to clients. But for introverts, this kind of activity can be particularly draining. An vital tool in an introvert’s self-care strategy is therefore, to prepare for the interactions in advance. You take take some time to research the attendees so you know who you’ll meet before you get there. You can rehearse your talking points, like the 60 second introduction that many networking events require. Think about arriving early so that you have time to get comfortable and adjust. The latter is a big favourite in my own self-care strategy! You can also find more of my tips on networking for introverts here.
5. Technology is your friend
If you find the face-to-face aspects challenging, why not take advantage of digital tools and platforms to connect with others? This is something many of us became very familiar with over lockdown, but online networking and social media activity can be hugely helpful in enabling you to build professional relationships without the pressure of face-to-face interactions.
6. Prioritise self-care
Self-care strategies for introverts is all well and good, but a good strategy is only as good as its execution! Therefore, make self-care activities a non-negotiable part of your routine and in doing so, engage in activities that recharge you and bring you joy. Whatever your self-care activities of choice, ensure you set aside dedicated time for them.
7. Practise effective communication
If you’re reading this as an introvert, you probably know that you excel in one-on-one conversations, so turn this to your advantage. When communicating with colleagues or clients, choose methods that allow for more focused and meaningful conversations. Things like emails, video calls, or small group discussions can be effective tools, but also ones that allow you to maintain your comfort zone.
8. Delegate and collaborate
We know that being an introvert can be a superpower, but being an extrovert can be one too. Whichever category you come under, recognize that you don’t have to do everything on your own. Learn to delegate tasks that are better suited for others’ strengths or collaborate with colleagues who complement your own skillset. By doing so, you can free up your energy and focus on tasks that align with your own strengths, experience and areas of interest.
To conclude, practising self-care is crucial for your well-being and success. To start to build your own self-care strategies for introverts, take some time to understand your introversion, set boundaries and prioritise and schedule alone time, make good use of technology and other resources that support your working style. In doing so, you can embrace your status as an introvert, and you and your business can thrive! Finally, remember, taking care of yourself is not selfish; it’s an investment in your long-term growth and happiness.
And if you’re not sure whether you’re an introvert or extrovert, and to find out more about your personality type in general, here’s a quiz that will help you figure it out.