For those of us who don’t, actually, enjoy hanging out on the patios or crowded beaches, these days can be a struggle. We see you, introvert. Here’s what you can do to make your summer experience better.
These long summer days and nights along with their constant party circuit can have some of us feeling pretty pummelled. While all of us have those times we need to withdraw from the crowd and just de-people for a while, some need it more than others – always have, and always will.
The definition of introvert, according to Introvert, Dear is ‘someone who prefers calm, minimally stimulating environments.’ An introvert can be outgoing, even have lots of friends, but just prefers less stimulation. Many different reasons. It’s ultimately just a preference. Just like introverts prefer less stimulation, someone who prefers night to day prefers evening hours. There’s no right or wrong way to be.
So, less-stimulation-preferring people out there, you are not flawed. You are someone who knows how to have fun alone, is perceptive to the nuances of things happening around you, and is highly aware of your own, and other people’s responses. This is by no means a bad thing – it could even be a good thing (s/o to the Ted Talk-dominating Susan Cain).
That said: summer, with it’s ample opportunities to go out and socialize, is stimulating. And so, not especially introvert-friendly. Especially if you live in a city, you might find these months a lot to manage. Take the extra care to protect yourself around now so you don’t get burnt out. Here are a few ways to do it.
Be prepared to answer the question: ‘what are your summer plans?’
Because we’re all expected to have a lot of fun and interesting summer plans, right? Obviously though, what’s fun and interesting to you might sound like the most lacklustre thing ever when you say it out loud. So do yourself a favour and have an answer at the ready to avoid anyone trying to act like you’re summering right. Whatever you say, just do it with intention. The thing is, no one cares, really, what your summer plans are. People may judge, but ultimately, no one cares what you’re doing this summer more than you.
You can love your extroverted friends and not be with them.
If you’ve never expressed this to them, now is the time! Friendship is a constant flow of give and take. We need to express our needs and own them, and friendship is a place where we can feel safe to do that. The wise Dr. Seuss said: ‘Those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.’ Voice your needs, hear and receive your friend’s needs, and find ways to meet in the middle.
Do not sign up for activities you hate
Please, don’t sign up for activities you hate! We all have friends who enjoy things we don’t, necessarily, and we all need to compromise, but at the end of the day it’s up to all of us to take responsibility for how we show up – and in order to really show up like we mean it and be present wherever we are, we can’t be saying yes to every old invite we get. Especially if we hate those things! Do not put yourself in positions you want to flee from.
Let us all just do what we actually want to do, own it, communicate it, and feel like we can live our lives without compromising anyone else’s. When we do that, our friendships can be so honest, so authentic, and so genuinely supportive. That’s what we all want, right?
When you must party / socialize / otherwise do things you hate: Anticipation is the worst part
When you must commit to some hated summer activity, know that without a doubt the hours leading up to it are always the worst. It can be an agonizing internal battle, but don’t let it get you down. When you get to wherever you need to go, you typically find that it wasn’t so bad as you anticipate, right? Just put on that playlist and imagine the best case scenario.
JOMO is real and valid. Embrace it.
Many of us feel a sense of restlessness in the summer – like there’s this constant obligation to be out ‘making the most of the sunshine.’ And, OK: it’s only summer once a year and life is short. Yes, we should all enjoy it. However, enjoying summer doesn’t have to mean packing up the car and going on an epic camping trip with a bunch of friends or some other high octane adventure. Enjoying the weather can mean going for a walk in the park and listening to a podcast. Tanning and smoking a j on your back porch. Enjoying the weather is possible to accomplish alone. JOMO – the joy of missing out, is real. Embrace it this summer.
Make self-care a top priority
There’s no way around it. Self-care is super important for all of us, but introverted folks are more likely to really feel it when they put it on the back burner – and summer makes it super easy to do that. Keep it simple with your summer wellness routines. Sleep. Hydrate. Nourish. Move. Unplug when you can. Notice what zaps your energy. At the end of the day, if we don’t feel good in our bodies, life itself just feels harder. Self-care makes you resilient. Introvert, you need it right now.