Are you an introvert? Would you rather stay home with your dog instead of going out drinking with friends on a Friday night? There are hundreds of self care ideas for the extroverts out there, but what about people like us?
How should you take care of yourself and recharge so you can get back out there and take over the world?
Below I have listed 20 different ways for introvert dog moms to practice self care. You don’t have to make everything a part of your self care ritual, but try them all and see what works for you!
There’s nothing I love more in the morning than having a nice long stretch right before I hop out of bed.
Stretching helps to wake your body up, boost your mood, and automatically decreases your risk for injury. Taking care of your body is super important if you are a highly sensitive person. Being more flexible was never a bad thing either.
In addition, making sure your dog stretches with you can help them prevent muscle tears and other issues in the future. Plus, they look super cute doing it.
One of the more obvious self care ideas is to eat a healthier diet. Everything that you put in your mouth has an effect on your body in a positive or negative way. If you’re highly sensitive, your body will feel the effects more than the average person.
Try to cut out as much sugar and processed foods as you can. If it doesn’t come straight from the earth, try to avoid it as much as possible.
As for your pup, look into their food ingredients and learn about how dog kibble is really made. If you don’t like what you see on your dog food labels, consider switching to a healthier brand.
Going for a Walk
If your favorite thing is staying inside then it is good to get your blood flowing by going for a walk everyday. The walk doesn’t have to be long.
Even a walk around the block is enough to give your body a quick energy boost.
I try to walk at least a mile every day with my dogs so we can all burn some calories.
I like to wear this step counter just to keep track. You burn 100 calories for every mile you walk.
If you’re a commuter in a city, there is a good chance you’re already getting in at least a mile every day.
But it never hurts to take a nice stroll and take in the scenery around you.
One of the best self care ideas for introverts is volunteering! There are countless places to volunteer from feeding the homeless to sending care packages to our veterans. You can either pick something in your comfort zone or try something new.
My favorite place to volunteer is the animal shelter. I’m allergic to the cats, but I love taking the dogs for their daily walk, and playing with the puppies of course!
When I’m finished I feel accomplished and fulfilled that I could help another creature in need.
Spending Time in Nature
For thousands of years humans spent all of their time in nature.
In the past few decades people are living in cities more than they are the country.
Cities are filled with pollution, information overload and are severely crowded. These factors make it quite difficult to relax in a city environment for both you and your dog.
Try to take some time at least once a week to go for a walk in nature together. Take in all the fresh oxygen coming from the trees around you and listen to the running water in the stream.
Our brains are happier after spending time in nature, which can result in higher work productivity and feeling more balanced in life. Our dogs love it too!
In the past meditation was not as accepted by society as it is now but we are now starting to see the benefits.
Meditation is the art of clearing your mind and focusing on the breath. It is a wonderful way to decrease stress and anxiety and increase self awareness.
Many introverts meditate to process the energy that they pick up from others. I like to take five minutes in the morning and evening to take a few breaths and clear my mind of any racket occuring. It has helped my anxiety levels immensely!
With all of the running around that we do every day, sometimes the most important thing that we need is rest. Introverts especially can feel drained from dealing with other people so rest is critical for us.
Feel free to sleep in on a Saturday morning with the dog and let the kids have frozen waffles for breakfast.
Make sure you have a mattress that is good for your back and you have a pillow that supports your neck. If the spine is stressed while you’re sleeping, you won’t get good sleep.
If you’re the kind of person that wakes up to an alarm 7 days a week, it’s time to give yourself a day off. You do everything for everyone else all week long. You deserve to be selfish on the weekend and catch up on your sleep.
Your brain is aware when you set your alarm clock. Have you ever woken up five minutes before it went off? Your brain will thank you for the uninterrupted rest, and your body will finally have the time it needs to repair itself.
Say No to Things You Don’t Want
I believe that my generation (millennials) has been trained to say yes far too often.
Our society has been programmed to take more than we can handle, which leaves us constantly stressed and overworked.
We have come to fear that saying no will lead to tragedies like getting fired, or ending a friendship or relationship.
If you feel that you can’t take on another project without being overwhelmed, thank them for the opportunity but let them know that you want to give the best quality work to the projects you currently have and that taking on another project will take away the quality of the other ones.
Most of the time, your boss will respect your decision.
If your significant other wants you to do something that you don’t want, you shouldn’t be afraid to say no in fear that you’ll end the relationship.
Figure out how much you can handle and what your boundaries are and stick to them.
Declutter Your Home
Research suggests that keeping a minimalist lifestyle is better for the brain.
If you’re not ready to go full minimalist, try decluttering the main spaces in your home. Start by getting rid of anything that is broken or hasn’t been used in months.
Cleaning out your closet is a great place to start. The more freed up your space is, the more clear your mind will be, especially if you spend a majority of time there.
Declutter Your Workspace
It wouldn’t make sense if you decluttered your house, only to come in to work and have a cluttered, chaotic workspace.
Put away any files that are taken care of. After that make a pile of things that need to be handled and another pile of things that you are waiting on other people in order to take action.
Get rid of any broken pens and office supplies. Clean off any dust with some natural cleaning products, and recycle whatever you can!
Listen to Music You Grew Up On
If your childhood was a happy time for you, going back and listening to some of the old music you used to listen to might give you warm fuzzy feelings of nostalgia.
Listening to music from your past is the closest thing you have to a time machine. It can take you back to specific moments and bring up memories you haven’t thought of in years.
One day I found my old iPod Shuffle and powered it up for the first time in years.
Right away I was taken back to all the hours spent with friends that have come and gone.
It helps me put into perspective how far I’ve come and how much I’ve changed. It is a definitely healing experience.
Cuddle with a Pet
One of my most favorite things to do in the world is cuddle with my dogs.
My two pitbulls Cali and Archie are both cuddle bugs and as soon as I lay in the bed, they are right there on either side of me trying to get under the blankets.
I can always feel their loving and protective energy which is really comforting. There is not a moment I feel safer than when I have two huge guard dogs pressed against me, snoring away.
Watch Stand-Up Comedy
With all the negativity that happens in the world, sometimes the easiest way to brush it off is to laugh.
We’ve all heard that laughter is the best medicine. Laughter releases those happy endorphins and reduces stress hormones.
Take some time on the weekend to go see a comedy show. Many of them are free. If you don’t want to leave the house, turn on some Netflix and watch some of your all time favorites.
Avoid Toxic People
One of the best self care ideas you can do for yourself as an introvert is avoid toxic people.
Energy vampires can ruin your positive mood and leave you feeling drained.
Toxic people are always complaining, but never really want a solution to fix anything. Sometimes they can be friends and even family members.
Only deal with these people when you have to. You know how dogs shake off energy? You should also shake off toxic energy you feel has been stuck to you from another person.
Start a New Hobby
If you feel like you do nothing but sleep and work, maybe it’s time to pick up a new hobby.
The list of hobbies to choose from is endless.
If you want to try something easy you can start with a hobby you can do in your home like knitting, cake decorating, or starting a blog! I enjoy picking up a good mystery novel and reading a few hours a day.
Make a To Do List
One of my favorite self care ideas that I use daily is making a to-do list for yourself.
I get very annoyed when I forget to do the same small errands. Eventually they build up.
Every Sunday night I make a to-do list for the week for all of the random things I need to get done that are not part of my normal schedule.
By Friday, I can look back at everything I crossed off and feel super accomplished going into a relaxed, errand-free weekend.
Go for a Drive
This was a habit that I had as a teenager. I never really knew why I did it, but it was always soothing to me.
As an introvert, my lack of alone time can get the best of me and I can get very restless and irritated.
When I was in high school I used to go get a milkshake and some fries and just drive around the windy and hilly backstreets of Rocky Point.
Usually I would end up parked by the beach where I would roll down my windows and listen to the ocean.
If you live in a city, this might not be the best idea. If you live in a more rural area where you can avoid traffic, going for a nice causal drive with the radio on is a good way to ease your mind and get some alone time.
Learn Something New
The best thing to do if you want to keep your brain active and healthy is to learn something new.
Most people stop trying to learn new things after they finish school.
But studies show that being a lifelong learner keeps your brain sharp and decreases risk of diseases like dementia.
Learn a new language. Learn about your hometown history. My grandma just learned spanish and she’s 92.
Udemy is a great learning platform with hundreds of classes to choose from. Never stop learning!
Life can get crazy sometimes and there will be moments where you feel completely overwhelmed.
We can only give so much of ourselves before the pressure becomes too much.
Many of us are told that crying is a sign of weakness so we suppress this feeling whenever it comes up.
Having a good cry can release toxins, stress and bad energy that you’ve been carrying around and lighten your mood afterwards.
Crying also improves vision and fights bacteria, keeping your eyes clean and healthy. Turn on your favorite sad movie and let the waterworks begin.
Take Yourself on a Date
One of the most fun self care ideas you can do for yourself is take yourself on a date!
I did this one day and actually had a blast.
First I got up early and headed into the city to do all of my favorite things. I laid in the park in the sun and read a book, followed by taking myself out to a nice lunch outside.
Afterwards I took a walk on the Highline and went to see a movie that none of my friends or husband would ever want to see.
This is a great idea to do for yourself once a month and a great way to tackle some things on your bucket list.
If you want to take your dog along, you can check out my post on dog friendly date ideas here!
As introverts, we all love curling up on the couch with our dogs and recharging after spending a long day around people.
Most of my self care ideas are things you can do at home, while others like volunteering can push you out of your comfort zone.
What do you do as an introvert to practice self care? Let me know in the comments below!