Being an introvert has its challenges, especially when you throw a baby into the mix. You know how it goes – being around people you don’t know (or aren’t comfortable around yet) feels like an event. You love being with your friends… in small doses. Being with people all the time is draining. And sometimes you would do just about anything for 5 minutes of alone time. Here are a few tips to help you deal with it all.
Easier said than done, but it’s important! As an introvert, it’s easy for us to get overwhelmed. When you can plan your day, you know what to expect and your mind won’t lock up at the first sign of craziness. There will be days where your schedule goes out the window, just roll with it!
Make time for yourself
“Me time” is arguably one of the most important things to an introvert. We need that down time to decompress and process the day. It can be pretty hard to find alone time as a parent, so you might have to get creative. Try waking up an hour earlier than everyone else – you’ll start your day with peace. If that’s not an option, make an effort to give yourself 10 minute breaks throughout the day (like during nap time or if your partner or a family member can help with care). If your child is a little older, establish “quiet time” where he or she can play by themselves for 30 minutes. It’ll give you a much needed mental break.
Put your headphones in
If you’re not able to break away for alone time, try putting in your headphones and listening to music or a podcast. Load baby in the stroller and go for a walk. Even though you’re technically not alone, your mind will be able to focus on what you’re listening to instead of the chaos around you.
Stay home (if you want)
I definitely have those days where I don’t even want to open the front door and I just want to lay on my couch. That’s fine! We often feel pressured to keep our days packed with activities, whether it’s meeting other parents for a play date or taking our little one with us on errand runs. If you’re having a rough day, stay home. The play dates can be rescheduled and the errands can happen tomorrow. There’s no shame in taking care of yourself! You’re still a rockstar parent even if you don’t feel like socializing today.
... But sprinkle in some friend-time, too
I know it sounds contradictory, but too much isolation doesn’t help either. Schedule a time to meet with friends, go on dates with your partner, go shopping with your cousin – whatever it is you want to do! It’s important to schedule these activities when you’re feeling up to it so it doesn’t feel like a chore.
Go easy on yourself
Repeat after me: it’s perfectly OK to be this way. There are more introverts around you than you may realize. Don’t try to change who you are because you think something is wrong with you. This is your personality and it’s completely normal! Try to focus on behaviors and habits that will make your life easier instead of trying to conform into something you aren’t.
Lean on your support system
When you’re constantly running at 100mph, it’s easy for your mental health to take a toll. If you feel overwhelmed (or you’re like me and just need a good cry session), ask a trusted friend or family member for help. It can be as simple as a phone call or a night where you leave the kids with your partner or babysitter and get out of the house. Your loved ones understand this is a massive adjustment for you – they’ll be there!
Set boundaries with outsiders
This is especially true for new parents. You’re already overwhelmed with #newbornlife, but it gets even more complicated when visitors want to come unannounced because now you suddenly have to entertain people. No thanks. Set boundaries and make sure people know to come over only when they ask first. It’s completely fine to say no to visitors.