Earlier this year, I posted a blog of ideas for allowing to love yourself. I’m hoping to have a series of posts that piggyback off each of those ideas. Here’s the first.
First off, I’m not going to pretend to know what it’s like to be a parent. While I have ideas on how I hope to maintain boundaries for myself someday, I’m sure you had all those hopes and dreams before as well. What I will say is that all the discouragement I hear from busy, overwhelmed moms makes me that much more optimistic!
Motherhood aside, I am working two part-time jobs and have spent most of the past year as a housewife / homemaker / stay-at-home-wife (your pick).
1. Identify what energizes you
Did you know that defining whether you’re introverted or extroverted has extremely little to do with whether or not you’re outgoing or social? It’s actually all about where you get your energy.
Do you get your energy more from being alone or with larger groups? Are you more energized after a one-on-one talk or coming off a day filled with people?
I thought I was an extrovert before realizing what it actually meant. I love people, relationships, and am very social, but I get exhausted after long days of interacting with many or new people.
Identifying your introvert- or extrovert-level is the first key! If you know you’re an introvert, find out what types of alone time or one-on-one’s energize you most. Is it working out or reading a book? Going shopping with a friend or having one-on-one discussion? Watching TV or exercising?
If you’re an extrovert, what social settings do you feel the most refreshed after leaving? Huge events or an intimate Bible study? Meeting new people or does the love of big groups only apply to old friends?
Once you’ve identified what setting you feel most energized and refreshed after, you’ll know how to better manage your energy.
2. Know when you need to be energized
Now you know what give you energy, but when do you find you need it most. If you know you’re an introvert or extrovert, you can basically take the definition of your opposite personality type and use it to define what probably drains you.
We introverts know after a big event or meeting people we’re going to be tired and needing me-time most. For example, I help my husband lead the youth group at our church. We’re both drained afterwards, even into Thursday.
Extroverts, on the other hand, will have to focus their time in a different way. Time spent with multiple friends energizes, so they won’t necessarily feel the need for alone time afterwards. Most extroverts I know pack their schedules because they love social settings so much. But no matter what personality you have, this leads to burnout. It doesn’t mean we dread or dislike it – we love it because we know the value! But it does mean we have to allow for time afterwards to re-energize.
Just as introverts should see value in time spent in larger groups (even when it’s draining), extroverts should realize the importance of time for themselves. It doesn’t have to always mean being alone; it can mean coffee with a refreshing friend, or a call to a family member, but low-key times are still needed to unwind.
3. Define the best ways to make it happen.
So you know what gives you energy and when you need it most. Now for the how.
It has to work for you, your personality type, schedule, and place in life.
But is has to happen.
Because it’s so dependent on various scenarios, the best I can do is leave you with a small list of ideas.
Have a space that’s “yours.”
In your home you have more control over how it’s kept and who can be there (ex. your bedroom or office), but somewhere in your community allows you to get away somewhere that feels unique to you (ex. a certain hiking trail).
Designate a regular time slot.
Maybe it’s a given 15-30 minutes daily or an entire Saturday monthly.
Devote your drive
by listening to an audio book, favorite music, or calling loved ones.
Keep a journal
to reflect on the day, process thoughts, or store ideas. Making this happen naturally forces you to take time your yourself.
Invest in a gym or exercise equipment
if this refreshes and refocuses you.
Schedule regular times to go out – alone.
When I can get to a coffee shop and devote time to writing… I’m in heaven!
Whatever you decide, guard that time/place/situation! It’s something special and absolutely necessary to be the best you for everyone else in your life!