Why Self-Care Is Not Selfish but Essential for Empowering Others: My Tips For Introverts

Tips to Recharge and Taking Breaks

Do you also love helping people?

I do and sometimes it’s overwhelming.

I learned the hard way that I need to prioritize self-care first before I can help anyone else.

And as introverts, it’s crucial to take time for ourselves for:

  • quiet times
  • solitude
  • reflection

I had times when I was at work the whole day, and then I went on to meetings and get-togethers from my student organization.

It drained my energy. Especially if I then went on weekend events with 100 participants.

I should have known that my body was telling me I needed breaks when I was sick after those weekends.

As I learned from those mistakes I want to give you some tips to get the time you need to recharge.

“Self-care is giving the world the best of you, instead of what’s left of you”

— Katie Reed

Be Alone at Lunch Breaks

Sometimes we have so much to do that we don’t find time for solitude.

Then the best time to take a break is at lunchtime. You (usually) don’t have any plans and you are expected to take a break.

You choose how to use it. Instead of chatting with your co-workers: why don’t you go for a walk alone or find a quiet place to eat?

You will gain energy again for the afternoon and your evening plans.

1 Evening For Yourself Each Week

We tend to overbook ourselves with meeting friends, volunteering, or spending time with loved ones.

Especially during the Christmas time we have a lot going on.

I’m consciously taking a break at least once a week to be by myself:

  • watching a TV series
  • watching a fun movie (at the moment Christmas movies 😉
  • reading a book
  • relaxing, thinking, and reflecting
  • doing something fun alone

Whatever charges your energy is allowed those evenings.

Some will say “boring evenings” but you need them to get the energy and motivation again to have “not boring evenings”.

Take a conscious break from everything and everyone!

It’s so worth it. You are free from distractions and other people’s opinions, and you can actually hear your thoughts again.

This is the best time to reflect and think about your goals and dreams.

I gained clarity by sitting by myself and just thinking.

“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you”

— Anne Lamott

What if You Have a Problem Finding The Time?

Life can be busy and it feels like you cannot find any time for self-care.

Here is what I’m doing if I don’t find time for self-care:

Make self-care your priority

Not having time means it’s not your priority.

  • Instead of going out with friends the whole weekend:
    skip a night to take care of yourself because it’s more important now.
  • Instead of scrolling through social media right after waking up:
    leave your phone off, meditate or journal for a few minutes.

That way you are also signaling your brain that you prioritize your self-care, and it will show you more opportunities to get time.

You should be your number one priority!

Learn to say no

If you are too busy, and you are like me: you are saying yes to too many things.

Saying no can feel bad because you want to help people.
I get it.
But if you don’t take care of yourself first, you will not be able to give 100% of your energy to someone else.

You have to think long-term.

If you don’t eat or sleep properly today, you will be sick faster than you think, and then you can’t take care of anybody.
They will have to take care of you.

Saying no to something (that someone else can do too) means saying yes to you.

You are important, and you are the person you will spend the rest of your life.


Self-care is an important part of a healthy and successful life.

But we tend to skip it and prioritize everything else.

Thinking long-term this will cost you your health and your success.

To give your best to the world you have to have 100% of your energy to give.

Taking breaks and taking care of yourself will feel like a waste of time in your busy life. But this is short-term thinking.

You have to think long-term, and I know taking care of your health feels like a waste of time when you are young. But the best way to stay healthy longer is prevention.

As soon as you are sick (physically or mentally) it’s too late.

“Taking care of yourself doesn’t mean me first; it means me too”

— L.R. Knost

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(c) Karina Ahrer

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