Managing Introvert Burnout: Signs And Tips To Cope

Updated October 7, 2022 by BetterHelp Editorial Team

In general, burnout refers to a state of exhaustion that is emotional, physical, and mental. Burnout is typically caused by excessive and prolonged stress. Those who are introverted tend to be easily overstimulated, especially when required or expected to interact with others. Introvert burnout is a state of all-consuming exhaustion that arises from experiencing social situations without enough time alone to recharge and recuperate.

A few of the main causes of introvert burnout include unclear or unrealistic work expectations, a poor balance between work and home life, and a work environment that requires a lot of socializing. Introvert burnout can also result from an open or noisy office, an emphasis on meetings, unrealistic timelines, and intense work with very few breaks.

What Are The Signs Of Introvert Burnout?

There are many signs of introvert burnout. The following list covers several of them:

Do You Find Yourself Feeling Exhausted After Socializing?
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Distractibility
  • Depression
  • Fogginess
  • Decreased performance
  • Poor decision-making
  • Emotional exhaustion
  • Physical exhaustion
  • Inability to focus
  • Loss of meaning
  • Loss of expressiveness
  • Distancing yourself from others
  • Feeling less capable
  • Lack of motivation
  • High-stress levels that affect physical well-being
  • Physical discomfort or physical symptoms, such as stomachaches and headaches

Overall, introvert burnout is a stress response that often takes place when you are overworked. It can leave you feeling unmotivated and exhausted in every sense of the word. A feeling of decreased self-worth often accompanies introvert burnout.

As you can tell from the list of signs above, introvert burnout can significantly negatively impact mental health. Counseling or therapy is one effective method of coping with introvert burnout. Counseling not only offers an outlet for your thoughts and feelings, but a mental health professional can help you identify and manage triggers for introvert burnout. They can also teach you about various healthy coping mechanisms and effective communication skills that can help you communicate your needs to others.

What Are The Best Ways To Cope With Introvert Burnout?

Counseling or therapy is always an option when coping with introvert burnout. But there are also plenty of actions you can take to help you cope.

  • Identify and manage your stressors. Maybe you know that going out with a large group of friends always leaves you feeling exhausted. You can manage this stressor by limiting the amount of time you spend with the group or scheduling hangouts with smaller groups in quieter settings. Whatever your particular stressors are, identify them and find ways to make them more manageable.
  • Set boundaries. Don’t be afraid to say no when others are making plans. If you know you’re not going to have a good time and are just going to end up feeling burnt out, offer up an alternative plan or decline the invitation. It’s not selfish or wrong to set and maintain boundaries; it’s a method of maintaining good mental health.
  • Spend your alone time wisely. Many of us have a habit of scrolling through social media when we have time to ourselves, which generally isn’t very productive. When you have alone time, use it to your advantage by enjoying activities that help you destress and recharge. This could be exercise, meditation, journaling, painting, crafting–you name it! One helpful tip is to make a list of activities that help you calm down, and refer back to the list when you’re feeling stressed or on the cusp of burnout.
  • Live a healthy lifestyle. Eat healthily, stay hydrated, get plenty of sleep, and exercise regularly. You’ll be shocked to find how much your lifestyle impacts your stress levels and susceptibility to burnout! When you take care of yourself physically, your mental health is likely to improve as well.
  • Reach out for support. It may sound counterintuitive to reach out to others when experiencing introvert burnout, but the key is to only reach out to those people who you feel really “get” you. This is why it’s a great idea to form bonds with other introverts! A common misconception is that introverts don’t want to have friends or be social at all. This isn’t the case. Often, introverts are happy to sit quietly in the same room with others, enjoy a movie together, read, or engage in other activities. Plus, speaking to another introvert about introvert burnout is likely to make you feel heard, understood, and less alone.
  • Organize and optimize your space. Introverts generally enjoy having a space that is all theirs, but a cluttered or disorganized space can actually increase stress levels and potentially make introvert burnout worse. Therefore, it’s a great idea for introverts to keep their space tidy and include furniture and decorations that provide comfort. You want your space to be an area where you feel you can completely relax and recharge.
  • Create a self-soothing routine. If you’re especially prone to burnout, creating a self-soothing routine can be extremely helpful. This routine will vary from person to person, but you’ll want it to be something you can turn to anytime you feel your stress levels increasing. For example, you could take several deep breaths and mentally repeat an empowering mantra to remind yourself that you are strong and capable.
  • Understand that introversion isn’t something to fix. Introversion is a personality trait, not a mental health disorder. The sooner you can accept your introversion as a fundamental part of you, the sooner you’ll be able to develop helpful techniques to avoid and cope with introvert burnout.

How Can Counseling Help With Introvert Burnout?

Do You Find Yourself Feeling Exhausted After Socializing?

There are several signs that you should speak with a mental health professional about introvert burnout. These include behavioral changes, a feeling of emptiness and disengagement, constant escapist fantasies, unexplained physical symptoms, and issues with sleep. A counselor can help you work through the underlying introvert burnout and find effective ways of coping. BetterHelp is one useful option for introverts since you don’t even have to leave the comfort and convenience of your house to speak with a mental health professional. Read below for some reviews of BetterHelp therapists, from people who identify as introverted.

“Carly Hill is a wonderful counsellor, and you can tell that she genuinely cares and wants her clients to be as happy as possible. She offers sessions through phone and video calls, but I often stick to messaging her, as I am not a fan of phone calls. I truly appreciate how Carly respects my boundaries, and never pushes me to do a video call if I am not feeling up to it. As an introvert who struggles with a busy schedule, being able to message my counsellor whenever I need is extremely helpful. It relieves the stress of having to commit to an appointment. Carly always responds in a timely manner, and provides me with resources to help me combat whatever mental health challenges I am facing. I have been using Carly for about seven months now, and I definitely see an improvement in my mental health and coping skills. Would definitely recommend both Carly Hill and BetterHelp to a friend.”

Learn More About Carly Hill

“Erin has been extremely supportive in helping me realize what drives my addiction. I’m very introverted, so it can be difficult for me to talk about what’s going on so I love that Erin is able to drive the conversation and get me to express things that i would normally not let out. She’s given me different methods to communicate and while getting me to open up, i appreciate that she doesn’t push too hard as far as forcing me into a session or topic. She is a great counselor and from what I can tell, a great person as well.”

Learn More About Erin Smith

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