How to Navigate the Workplace as an Introvert

Navigating the Workplace as an Introverted Parent

Being an introvert in the year 2020 is hard enough. Getting through work and parenting is exhausting, but employers expect you to always be on today. You need to be able to communicate on Slack, toot your own horn on LinkedIn, and then manage your own social media because your ‘personal brand’ and career are increasingly intertwined.

Then, there’s the new open concept offices, reinforcement of collaboration culture, and the good old fashioned need to constantly be a ‘team player,’ whatever that means. How should introverts recharge their batteries, particularly as our children’s lives also become more complicated and social?

We feel the pain of small talk but know we can’t always avoid it. So we put together some tips for balancing work and home life and supporting your need to switch off.

Why Introverts Need Self-Care

Everyone needs self-care. It’s a fact, but for introverts, self-care can get lost in the shuffle, and a lack of self-care can begin to show its effects earlier than for our more extroverted counterparts. As introverts, we are at our best selves when we feel rested, ready, and confident in our mindset. Once that mindset slides, it can be a slippery slope toward burnout.

Self-care for introverts can be anything you want it to be. It can be as simple as reading a book or magazine, listening to music, or taking a short walk before breakfast. Sometimes, it means finding a way to get outside of your own head: writing can be a huge help for introverts.

At the same time, a big part of self-care is focusing on your health, and it becomes even more important if you’re a mother. Pregnancy and motherhood can be rough on every aspect of your life, from oral to mental health. You must go out of your way to cover the basics, including dentist appointments, doctor’s appointments, and therapy sessions. Not only do they give you a little bit of ‘me-time,’ but they protect your baseline health which is fundamental for deeper levels of self-care.

How to Recharge as an Introvert at Work

Working as an introvert is a challenge in itself. But that doesn’t mean you should avoid opportunities to contribute or advance your career. Although introverted personalities tend to stop people from being openly ambitious, many workplaces, like the healthcare industry, are sorely lacking in leaders, particularly female leadership and leadership from introverts. They make great leaders because they’re more focused on quality and productivity in places where it matters.

Being an introvert means you must do things differently at and after work to escape the overstimulation of the modern workplace. A few great options can include going for a walk on your lunch break, recharging by calling your best friend or partner and engaging in a meaningful conversation, or doing something creative, like crafting or journaling. These options don’t just give you a break from the unending stimuli of the workplace, but they’ll recharge you so you can come back feeling brighter and ready to take on the world (quietly).

Finding a work-life balance is important, but we all know that work-life only means so much when you have kids and more labor to go home to. So let’s talk about how to avoid burnout from your home life.

How to Preserve Your Sanity at Home

One of the many things about parenthood that are not discussed enough is how draining it can be if you don’t thrive among children. Being exhausted by your own children isn’t a personal failing: it’s a basic biological reality. But that awareness doesn’t always make us feel less guilty about it, and it certainly doesn’t mean anyone feels less tired.

Introversion can contribute a lot to your parenting: you thrive in one-on-one connections with your child, teach them that it’s okay to spend time alone, and are more likely to be in tune with their nonverbal communication. As it turns out, the same appreciation for quality over quantity that makes you a good leader at work can also help you structure your home life.

Creating structure is one way to keep sane at home. When everyone knows your expectations, it’s easier to meet them even if it doesn’t always happen. Finding quiet activities like puzzles and reading is another great way to bond with your children while giving you the mental space to retreat. And, of course, alone time is vital. We tend to use babysitters strictly for social obligations. Still, sometimes it’s nice to treat yourself to a babysitter so you can go grocery shopping in peace and grab a coffee afterward.

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help

Being an introvert means finding the right balance between work and relaxation is even harder because it takes so long to not only come down from all the stimuli but also recharge. By knowing your limits and finding coping mechanisms that work for you, you can avoid burnout and be the best employee, parent, and person you can be.

Don’t be afraid to try something new, either. If you’re a parent and no longer pregnant or breastfeeding, consider trying supplements like CBD, which can help you manage stress and anxiety naturally and allow you to make the most of your time away from the office and once the kids are in bed.

No one can avoid all stress all the time. But remember that it is manageable. If you feel like you’re struggling to cope, don’t be afraid to ask for help from a friend, family member, or professional!