Managing Introvert Burnout: Signs And Tips To Cope
Burnout often refers to a state of exhaustion or stress that is emotional, physical, and mental. Burnout is often caused by excessive and prolonged stress and can occur in anyone — whether introverted or extroverted. However, introverted people often report becoming easily overstimulated, especially when required or expected to interact with others. Introvert burnout, in this context, is a state of all-consuming exhaustion that can arise from experiencing social situations without time alone to recharge and recuperate.
What Are The Signs Of Introvert Burnout?
Burnout is an individual experience, ranging in severity and manifestation. However, several common symptoms and experiences exist among those living with introvert burnout. These can include but are not limited to the following:
- Decreased mental and physical performance
- Poor decision-making
- Emotional exhaustion
- Physical exhaustion
- Difficulty focusing
- Loss of meaning
- Loss of expressiveness
- Distancing yourself from others
- A belief that you are “less capable”
- A lack of motivation
- High stress levels that affect physical well-being
- Physical discomforts like stomachaches and headaches
What Are The Best Ways To Cope With Introvert Burnout?
Counseling or therapy can be a helpful option when coping with introvert burnout. You can also take plenty of action at home to help you cope. Below is a glimpse at some of the most commonly used supportive strategies that introverts can take to reclaim their quality of life.
Identify And Manage Your Stressors
Perhaps you know that going out with a large group of friends always exhausts you. If so, you can manage this stressor by limiting the time you spend with the group or scheduling hangouts with smaller groups in quieter settings. Whatever your stressors, you may identify them and find ways to make them more manageable.
If you notice the symptoms of burnout beginning, consider saying “no” when others are making plans. If you know you won’t enjoy an event and will only go to appease others, consider offering an alternative plan or declining the invitation. It is not selfish or “wrong” to set and maintain boundaries; it can be a method of maintaining mental health.
Spend Your Alone Time Wisely
Some people may experience a habit of scrolling through social media alone, which may not be productive. When you have alone time, choose to use it to your advantage by enjoying activities that help you destress and recharge. These activities could include exercise, meditation, journaling, painting, crafting, or anything that gives you a sense of refreshment and enjoyment. One way to start is to list activities that help you self-control and refer to the list when you’re stressed or on the cusp of burnout.
Live A Healthy Lifestyle
Eating healthily, staying hydrated, and getting plenty of sleep can help you effectively reduce the effects of burnout. When you care for yourself physically, your mental health may also improve.
Reach Out For Support
It may sound counterintuitive to reach out to others when experiencing introvert burnout, but the key to this strategy is to only reach out to those people who you feel really “get” you or fulfill you. For this reason, you might try to form bonds with other introverts and people who enjoy the low-impact activities you like to do with others.
Organize And Optimize Your Space
A cluttered or disorganized space can increase stress levels and potentially worsen introvert burnout. It can be helpful to keep your space tidy and include furniture and decorations that provide comfort. This way, your space can be a place where you can completely relax and recharge.
Create A Self-Soothing Routine
If you’re especially prone to burnout, creating a self-soothing routine that you use daily may be helpful. This routine can vary from person to person, but try to make it something you can turn to whenever you feel your stress levels increase. For example, you could take several deep breaths and mentally repeat an empowering mantra each morning to remind yourself that you are capable during times of stress.
Talk To A Therapist
Therapy is one effective method of coping with introvert burnout. Counseling offers an outlet for your thoughts and feelings and may help you better identify and manage the causes of burnout. Your therapist can also teach you about various healthy coping mechanisms and practical communication skills to help you communicate your needs to others.
If you face barriers to meeting with a therapist in your area due to social anxiety, a busy schedule, or burnout, you can also meet with a provider online through an online therapy platform like BetterHelp. Online therapy allows clients to choose between phone, video, or chat sessions and personalize how they receive support.
Online therapy has been scientifically suggested to be a helpful resource to combat the effects of introvert burnout. In a recent scientific study, participants of the test group found significant and lasting improvement in symptoms of stress, depression, and comorbid anxiety. The study offers promising evidence for using online therapy to treat various mental health conditions and challenges, including and beyond introvert burnout.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Below are a few frequently asked questions about introvert burnout.
What Is Introvert Burnout?
Introvert burnout is a state of physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion that often results from engaging in social situations without sufficient time to relax and recharge. Introvert burnout can significantly affect mental health. A few causes of introvert burnout include poor work-life balance, a noisy or open office setup, and work environments requiring significant social interaction. Some signs that you’re experiencing introvert burnout are fogginess, difficulty focusing, decreased performance, lack of motivation, and poor decision-making.
How Can An Introvert Avoid Burnout?
Introverts can avoid burnout by identifying and managing the causes of their stress, setting and maintaining boundaries, and scheduling alone time as often as necessary. Allowing themselves the time to recharge can be essential, and stress management techniques like exercise, journaling, and meditation can also be helpful. While it can be tempting at times, it might not be healthy to avoid social interactions altogether. Instead, try to focus on interactions in which you feel comfortable and heard.
Why Do Introverts Feel Drained?
Introverts often require reflection and introspection. They may use their time alone to recharge because they are easily overstimulated. Overstimulation can strike without warning and may lead to exhaustion. The sense of being drained is often referred to as introvert burnout.
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