I didn’t understand why when I felt tired I would want to head into the shower. Sometimes, I would want to take multiple showers in one day.

I would sit in the bottom of the shower with the hot water around me, feeling as if it was warming my soul. I would lay my head against the wall and close my eyes. I could hear the water stream down like magic, and I could feel the inviting steam all around me. I could sense my body recharging.

Then the thoughts would pop back in: “When will I stop feeling so anxious and depressed?”, “Is there something wrong with me?”, and “Why can’t I just feel normal?” I felt as if I needed to step out of my own body and start anew.

But how the heck do you do that?

Little did I know that it was a technique I was using to calm my senses and recharge my energy. I did know about the traits of introversion and high sensitivity for quite a while, but it wasn’t until recently, when I buckled down and started researching them, that it really clicked and made sense. I’m okay just as I am. Yes, I am different from someone who is extroverted, but different doesn’t mean I need to be fixed.

You see, as an introverted and highly sensitive person, I get bombarded with sensory information to the point of being overloaded, and I need a lot of time alone in order to recharge my batteries. That shower was a place where I could sit in the present moment and simply be myself. I didn’t need to worry about anyone else. I could find my little piece of heaven with the hot water streaming down on me.

That realization taught me that:

1. It’s important to find a place where I can sit in silence and recharge.

2. Learning to focus on being in the present moment can allow me to have less anxiety, depression, and feelings of being too overwhelmed.

3. I’m not weird, and I don’t need to be fixed because there is nothing wrong with me!

4. I don’t need to step out of my skin, but I need to step into my highest, truest self by moving inwards and believing in and loving myself.

5. I am not alone! There are lots of other people who feel just as lonely and frustrated.

There is much support now with the online world, and as introverts, we actually thrive on it. We can choose whom to talk to, when to talk, and about what. And, if our batteries are low, we can easily step away for a little while.

This is my story of what I find helpful. What’s yours? Where do you go to recharge when your batteries get low?

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  • Will Richardson

    Chi Qong and Mindful movements are quite good ways of getting started physically in the morning whilst also keeping calm and centre.

  • Hey Tessa, I totally understand your long showers. I can do something similar, but I usually just stare at the bathtub as I find it easier to think with my eyes wide open (however weird it might be). I also found a tremendous comfort in a jiu-jitsu training that helped me get rid of most of my anxiety and anger, as the practice basics seem to me very similar to yoga – you just have to be entirely focused on your body, mind and the present moment. When I was a kid, writing was the thing that helped me to express my intense feelings; and reading was soothing. I also love long walks and going to the mountains; I always come back refreshed and full of energy. Mindfulness exercises made my life much easier, as I’m an HSP introvert, and I’ve been getting crazy anxious after a long day in a busy and noisy restaurant environment. So yes, we’re not alone and we’re not weirdos. 😀

    • Thanks for sharing Adriana Lipa! I never thought of Jiu-jitsu as a form of relaxation but the way you explain it makes total sense. Have you ever thought of starting a blog for yourself and start writing again?

      • Hey Tessa, yes I did, but I’m very slow and irregular. You can see it on the http://www.adziklipa.me, but sometimes I’m afraid to hurt someone by publishing personal things. I’m also trying to make money writing (as I enjoy any kind of writing), however it’s a tough job for me as I’m hopeless in self-promotion. 🙂

  • Danielle Philie Proch

    I read and go to the beach when I need to recharge. I loved your line, “I’m not weird and I don’t need to be fixed.” It spoke volumes to me.

    • Those are great things to do to relax! I’m glad that I was able to connect with that line. 🙂

  • Alfredo

    > 5. I am not alone! There are lots of other people who feel just as lonely and frustrated.

    so if i feel depressed and I want to kill myself because of tired of being the uncommon, when talking with other people who feel the same, who hate life and want to kill themselves too… do you think i’ll feel better then?

    • Mon

      Alfredo, you would be better off talking to a trained councillor/therapist/psychologist/local helpline. This is not the place. I wish you strength and courage.

    • Hi Alfredo, I would have to agree with Mon. I would strongly suggest reaching out to your doctor or any of the other suggestions already mentioned. I wish you all the best.

    • Will Richardson

      Plenty of people feel that way so they are not alone.

      What helps you when you feel that way?

  • Susan Vincent

    The tub! A nightly soak has been my habit for years. I used to wonder if I should take up meditation, but then I realized that I already do it every single night in my tub!

    • Cathy Miller

      this is me too; at one stage when work was very stressful (I lived near by) I would go home in the middle of the day for a bath!! cant do without it at night, its an essential part of my relaxation schedule; now added short 10 meditations to my work day, 2 if possible (too far to come home and bath!)

      • Sorry to hear you’re not able to get home anymore for the bath – it sounded like it was really working for you. But good for you for adding in the short 10 meditations to your day! I hope you find this relaxing.

    • I love that you’ve done this for years! And you’re right it is a form of meditation. I’m glad it’s worked for you. 🙂

  • Cathy

    It is so helpful to me after 61 years of thinking there was something wrong with me and being told I needed to quit being so sensitive and to GET OUT THERE! Sitting in my chair and listening to my mantle clock tick is the best way for me to recharge.

    • Yes, it’s funny how those little sounds can actually be calming. I’m also a huge fan of listening to hair dryers and vacuums! Thanks for sharing and I’m glad that you have finally found a place to call home. 🙂

      • Will Richardson

        When I was on sick leave with work related stress anxiety and depression I found an app that had a grandfather clock tick tick quite soothing and grounding.

  • Marlana Sherman

    yoga, meditation, journaling

  • Thank you for sharing your story, Tessa. It’s crucial to find quiet time. I recharge by reading, taking walks, and doing restorative yoga.

    • Those are great ways to recharge! I’ve never heard the term restorative yoga though – would love to hear more. 🙂

  • GlassMask

    Yes to showers, and definitely yes to creative practices. My primary creative activities put me on stage with a small group of others, so I feel like I’m simultaneously aggravating and soothing my introversion, which is just as interesting a feeling as it sounds… ^_^

    • When you say on a stage – do you mean acting?

      • GlassMask

        I do a lot of things: acting in plays and occasional films & commercials, improv comedy every weekend I can, storytelling, and I host/MC things sometimes too. I know it doesn’t sound very introverted, but performing is what I do, introvert is who I am, so it works for me… ^_^

        • Amazing! Introverts are actually great at public speaking and acting. Thanks for sharing 🙂

          • Will Richardson

            I think it’s the observation reflection attention to detail and creative empathetic put oneself in another’s walking shoes that’s incredibly powerful in drama and performing arts.

  • Liberty

    I am also a Highly Sensitive Person, introverted (INFP/INTP), with anxiety disorder and depression. I’m finding solace in my creative practices. Mainly guitar, and Belly Dance. Through my dance practice I have also cultivated a love of Yoga, and found the peace that can come from mindfulness meditation. None of this is an overnight quick-fix to the anxiety and depression, and to be honest, I don’t know if one exists. But I have made my well-being the main focus of my life for the last several years, and through these practices, have found the creative outlets for the overwhelming feelings are becoming more effective, the more I practice them.

    Thank you for sharing your story. As a child I was sometimes teased by siblings for taking very long showers. In a family of 9 kids (often with only one working shower in the house), there weren’t many places I could go to be alone, so I used my showers (unknowingly) to center myself and recharge.

    • Laurie

      Thanks for this post, Liberty. Sounds like you are starting to reap rewards for the good work you’re doing. When I was a 14 year old INTP/J I too discovered a love and need to play guitar and learn folk songs and old Child ballads. (My faves were quite dark and morbid. I’m convinced it made me happier!) : ) Now, decades later, chi gung and bodywork are like personal retreats. And whatever “meditation” happens, as I can’t say I actually meditate. But I like it. I don’t think I’m highly sensitive, unlike many who post here. Just very introverted, enneagram Five.

    • Loving this thread! Music can be a huge emotional outlet. And I can totally relate to the more sad and depressing songs at times can actually be relaxing. I tend to think that whatever can mirror my emotions at the time tend to be the one’s that speak to me.