What do you think about when you hear the words “introvert recharge”?
Let me guess…
Yoga pants. Low lights. A good book. A cup of tea. A cat if you’re a cat person and a dog if you’re a dog person.
Right? This is what most of us think about. Even those of us who know this not to be an accurate description of what introvert recharge typically looks like.
Those of us who are not just introverts, but highly sensitive introverts.
For highly sensitive introverts, the word recharge implies drainage. Your batteries get drained, and therefore, they need to be recharged.
And contrary to what some might think, this isn’t just mental drainage. It’s not that you just get bored with the small talk and guffawing and people interrupting each other.
It’s that your whole body is drained of energy and shuts down.
When Your Batteries Get Drained, Crushed, And Buried…
On a recent Sunday, I went to two dance recitals back-to-back. My daughters attend classes at a popular dance studio that has so many students that they stage several recitals divided by age group.
So my day consisted of:
- getting the girls’ hair and make-up done in the morning
- a total of about five hours of loud music, flickering lights, and movement with only a short lunch break between the two recitals
- sitting in a crowded auditorium on a 90-degree day with poor air conditioning
I did All The Things savvy highly sensitive introverts know to do:
- I had all the equipment set out the night before so the morning wouldn’t be rushed.
- I packed a healthy lunch, so I wouldn’t be forced to go hungry or eat junk food.
- I monitored my breathing to make sure it stayed calm.
- I monitored my body to make sure it wasn’t tense.
- I closed my eyes between the performances.
But you know what? Sometimes All The Things are not enough. By the time we were driving home that evening, my head was hurting so bad I wanted to gouge my eyes out. I was all but convinced that someone had slipped vodka in my LaCroix. I mean it totally felt as if. Headache… Nausea… Exhaustion…
I told my husband I felt like I’d been to war. Which, yes, sounded totally out of proportion after a freakin’ dance recital!
But that’s how ridiculously bad it feels to have your batteries drained.
…Here’s What Introvert Recharge Really Looks Like
I did more Things when we got home:
- Warm shower
- Try to relax
- Go to bed early
But I still ended up spending a large chunk of the night sitting up in bed because laying down put too much pressure on my head. And in the morning, the headache was still there.
So Monday went by in survival mode. Feeling like shit but doing what I had to do. Getting the kids ready for school. Doing laundry. Feeding everyone. Trying to get work done but failing. And repeating the Things in the evening.
- Warm shower
- Try to relax
- Go to bed early
And finally! Thirty-six hours after my batteries were officially drained, I woke up Tuesday morning feeling human again.
Why Am I Telling You This?
Some people might think that I’m recounting this story, because I like to dwell in my own misery and feel sorry for myself. And yes, I DO sometimes feel sorry for myself. For the most part, I actually really enjoyed the dance recitals (my girls are awesome!) and I wish these kinds of experiences didn’t have to come at such a high cost.
But that’s not the biggest reason I’m telling you this story.
I’m telling you this story in case you can recognize yourself in it. Maybe for you, too, introvert recharge is less about lounging in yoga pants curled up with a book and more about just getting through the day while you’re waiting for your highly sensitive body to bounce back.
If so, I want you to know that you’re not alone.
I also want you to know that lots of times All The Things do work wonders, especially when coupled with some limits on the duration and frequency of overly stimulating events. (Like maybe just ONE dance recital per day! 😉 )
I’ve resigned myself to the fact that I will occasionally keep overdoing things for the rest of my life. I will keep putting my body through more than it can handle. Some things are worth the cost.
But I want you to know that it’s possible for a highly sensitive introvert to feel well the vast majority of the time. I think this recent recital debacle stuck out and felt significant enough to tell you about, because it’s so rare for me to get that way anymore. My days of chronic overstimulation are firmly in the past.
If YOU are still struggling with way-too-frequent overstimulation or other HSP “issues”, you might be interested in checking out my free HSP guide covering topics, such as:
- 5 Things To Expect When Finding Out You’re An HSP
- How To Be Okay With Being An HSP
- The 3 Kinds of Overstimulation And How To Recover From Each
- 7 Ways To Prevent Chronic Overstimulation
- 5 Signs Your Current Lifestyle Is Not Sustainable In The Long-Term
To get I’m An HSP! Now what? just enter your email address below and then go check your email to retrieve your download. 🙂