• Introvert Uncensored

"Strategically Stopping"

I very specifically put my title in quotes because I read it somewhere, wrote it down as a potential topic to expand on here, and now forget where I came across the term. Oopsies on my part, but my mantra for the week is "no one likes someone perfect anyway". :-) (Can you tell I am a recovering perfectionist yet?)

I want to cover this topic as it relates to introversion, vulnerability, boundaries, and taking time to process. We are all busy in our own ways. It's never an argument of comparison from one person to the next. We all have our priorities. Right now, my priorities are family, work, friends, 4 organizations I participate in (this part includes God for me because one is church), my blog, reading/podcast-listening to brush up on personal development and learning, cycling/yoga/barre, other self-care habits, travel/experience, and I guess paying my bills (student loans blow). That keeps me plenty busy, but I get to spend my time this way because I do not currently have a partner or children. I'm incredibly thankful for each and every one of these priorities, which is why they exist.

Before I continue, I want to elaborate on the church/God priority. I went on my own long journey with my Higher Power and that journey does not have to look like yours. We can believe in different things and challenge each other as long as it's in a positive, uplifting way.

Within this list of priorities, it becomes imperative that I remind myself to strategically stop, take a pause, and take some time for myself. I realize this speaks to my introverted nature, but I believe in it HARD for everyone. Everyone just may "put it on" differently. I love DAILY alone time. I know plenty of people who can't stand being alone at all and need constant stimulation. That's okay too, I still challenge you to give it a try. You just may need it less often. I need a regular break from stimulation in order to recharge my battery to be who I want to be for the people and responsibilities I choose (I don't choose all of them, because do any of us really ever CHOOSE to be an adult? That'd be nice if it worked that way...) to take on.

So what is strategically stopping? Taking a pause? Time for yourself? What does that really mean? What does that look like? It could be an array of things and everyone is different. I will speak to what I do to get you started with some inspiration. As mentioned, I love alone time. I will sit down, strategically placed looking out windows, and start journaling. This week I had plenty of material from the past couple of weeks. I was asking myself "why?" a lot. Why is this emotion coming up? Why is this negative self-talk coming out? Writing it down was therapeutic. It allowed me to understand what emotions I was feeling and what story I associated with it. I will also take a bath. I will put a face mask on and meditate for 10 minutes (this is just me laying on my bed with my eyes closed before bed, with a cup of tea, and maybe some nature sounds in the background). I also recommend therapy for any outside perspective and professional advice. I will watch my favorite show or read a book to decompress. I sometimes will write a blog post. Usually, those blog posts can turn into the most vulnerable for me. I allow myself to be in the present and work through the emotions live. I also tend to stare at those posts the longest. I end up editing and taking A LOT out. I haven't figured out what feels too vulnerable to share here for the anyone to see. The way I see it, if I'm vulnerable and honest, it allows others to find the expansion to do the same. I can only hope I'm inspiring others to be a more authentic version of themselves.

All of these behaviors allow me to create space for more personal growth. It gives me space to heal wounds. It allows me the ability to process my days, weeks, relationships, and check in with myself and my short-term and long-term goals. It's me plugging in, the way you must charge your electronics. This quality alone time allows me to stay laser-focused on my purpose too. Am I feeling out of alignment? Why? Am I completing my daily/weekly/monthly routines to get to where I want to be in 2 months? 6 months? 1 year? 5 years? It's the foundation of who I am and who I want to be. It's my rock, my stability, and it's one of my favorite things because it also simultaneously creates more space for me to LOVE ME.

I encourage you to love on and take care of ourselves to the level you are able. No one is held more responsible than ourselves for doing so. It's important for our mental health - and May is Mental Health Awareness month!

Thanks for stopping by and checking out Introvert Uncensored this week. I hope to see you back next time, and tell your friends :)

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