Surviving “Extroverting”…A Faux How-To Guide

Faux extroverting is hard work. How do I know? I spent a whole year doing it. By the time December rolled around, I was tired in every sense of the word. I literally took December 20th through January 6th off from life. I didn’t go to work. I barely cooked and cleaned up. I took a much-needed break. Most days I was completely shut off from the world. Reluctantly, I got out of the house to go to a few events including a couple of “Ugly Christmas Sweater” parties (that I did not participate in) and a Holiday Pole Jam with my new “friend” (since she put quotations around the word) Pink Gumbeaux. Read more about her craziness here.

We all need a chance to recharge. I know I did. My full-time job requires me to have to speak and engage with a wide range of people from attorneys, to the media, to those who are considered low-to-moderate income. I am privy to a lot of personal information that I do not ask for. It’s easy to become depressed or tired from absorbing everyone’s energy. When you commit to socializing more you stand the risk of polluting your energy. Sadly, I have not mastered the art of not absorbing others energy so day after day I was drained.

Last year, my goal was to be more active and social. I started by reactivating membership with my sorority; joined a couple of professional organizations; and started a new (part-time) job. But, what do you do when you go from having limited engagements to triple the amount?! Outside of crashing, I don’t know either. I survived “peopling” with others at conferences, meetings, socials, and other events all year. My goal, while on my break, was to rest and recharge and start again next year because guess what…I intend on being a lot more active. My 2019 motto is “faux extroverting.” Wish me luck!

Back to the topic at hand…How do you survive a life of “faux extroverting?” Through self-care. Self-care is a popular term that is often associated with pampering yourself, but it is so much more. Self-care is about supporting and nurturing your mental, physical and emotional health. If you don’t take the time to connect with and heal your mind, body, and soul; those things will make you make time. *Cues mental breakdown*

Self-care is continuous work… there is no quick fix… It’s rehab. It’s soul searching and strengthening. It’s about being intentional as you get to know, accept, and love yourself better. In short, it is taking care of the one person that matters the most and that’s Y-O-U!

I don’t have any tips for self-care because I believe it is defined by your individual needs. However, I can tell you what I continuously do and have tried throughout the month of December. Note that these are in no particular order.

  1. Naps (lotsa naps) – There are only a few things better than taking a nap…One is cotton candy!
  2. Journaling – This is one of the best ways to “get it out”… whatever it is!
  3. Exercise – blah! But it’s good for you or whatever.
  4. Yoga – Peaceful movements, deep stretches, laying down…I really enjoy yoga. I haven’t done yoga in months because my yoga teacher moved to New York 😢, but I started back over the break and I’m trying to get back into the habit of it.
  5. Long baths/showers – I love water. I am sure I was a mermaid in a previous life! But it was good to just chill in the water and not have to rush to get dressed and go.
  6. New experiences with new people – As I mentioned before, Pink Gumbeaux and I went to Pole Jam which was a 2-hour pole fitness class. She tried to cancel on me but she decided to come along and she brought a friend, who brought a friend. I also brought my sister/bestie so it ended up being a mini girl’s night out. Yay for new experiences with new people.
  7. Cut the TV off (sit in silence) – For someone who has a hard time going to sleep without the TV on (I’m not saying that is me), I do enjoy sitting in silence. I like to sit quietly. It helps me to think clearly without any distractions since I already have a short attention span. I spent some time just sitting quietly.
  8. Meditation – This is a daily must. I meditate each morning for at least 5 minutes. It helps me with my patience, breathing, and focus. If you have not meditated before and would like to try, check out the Insight Timer app. It is amazing and free. You can use the app or YouTube to look for a short guided meditation focused on “Body Scans” or one-minute breathing exercises. These are great to start with when you need direction and something to focus on instead of complete silence.
  9. Declutter – You probably cannot tell if you have ever visited my home or office, but I dislike a lot of clutter and junk. I wish I could do better but I don’t know what to do with everything. Throwing out old stuff definitely feels good and feels like you are starting new and this goes for shoes, clothes, papers, etc. When things aren’t in order or are junky, so are my thoughts and my mood. With the extra time off, I got a chance to purge, and start collecting junk in the new year.
  10. Detox my timeline – Shout out to the mute and unfollow buttons on social media. I had to use those a couple of times to block out anything dealing with the “Kartrashian’s” and “Arra” Kelly….just to name a few. As my sister said, “sometimes you have to disconnect to protect your peace.” Instead of leaving social media, I left the things that bothered me most. Y’all weren’t about to worry me with your wrong ass opinions. (Lol but seriously)
  11. Drink more water – Blah, but why not?! I got a chance to rehydrate. It was the best time to do it because the more water you drink, the more you have to… you know the rest.
  12. Aromatherapy/candles – It’s something about a pleasant scent that will put you in a good space. My latest obsession is essential oils. I love them. I love a good floral scent like jasmine, rose or geranium at night and a good uplifting scent like ylang-ylang in the morning.
  13. Music – The right music can take you to another place. There is really no more to add. Music is a mood. From sound healing to rap, music will take you to the mental space you need to be at.
  14. Set boundaries – I’ve been notorious for letting people get away with a lot of shit. I would let people’s personal problems affect me. I decided that I can no longer do that. My self-care is about protecting MY peace.
  15. Rest – If you truly know me, you know I gets my rest in. If you text me after 9 pm, then you won’t get a reply until 5 am. I’m going to get at least 7 hours of sleep in! Although I was out for a break, I still went to bed early… And sadly, woke up just as early.
  16. Enjoy nature – I like being outside…I just don’t like the bugs, pollen, and animals that come along with nature. I primarily enjoy nature from my window or my car. Lol! I enjoy the beautiful flowers and watching the clouds pass by. I enjoy watching nature do its thing whether its watching turtles swim or squirrels fight. It’s a simple joy!
  17. Practicing gratitude – I just started this and so far so good. I downloaded an app that prompts me to write something good that happened to me that day. Sometimes I have to think really hard about it, but it is a good exercise. Hopefully, it will help me look at things differently and be more positive and grateful.
  18. Be selfish – I have been called this a lot and I do not think that I am selfish… at least not selfish enough. When I say “be selfish” I really mean do one thing for yourself. Some people get a “Pamper Day.” They may get a massage or get their hair done. I simply take an hour of my day to get my nails done. That is the one consistent thing that I do for myself twice a month. My nails are an extension of my personality!
  19. Remove toxic people from your life – This is self-explanatory. I am team #cutthemoff which is to a fault. I am affected by people’s moods and attitudes so if I don’t have to deal with it, I won’t. If you do not mean me and my family any good, then you have to go. This doesn’t come with a warning. ✌
  20. Learn a new skill – I enjoy learning new things…the sad part is that I cannot retain a lot of the new things I’ve learned. My memory is bad. Over the break, I started learning to code for websites. I learned this through an app. I have finished HTML coursework. I am going to move on to CSS soon. #nerdalert
  21. An intentional girl’s night – After months of trying to coordinate our schedules, I finally got to meet up with my childhood girlfriends for drinks. It was refreshing to see my “crazies.” It was a couple of hours of drinking, catching up, laughing, and talking shit! It was a mini vacay on my vacay.
  22. Laugh a little or a lot – I spent some time watching some funny scenes from my favorite movies and watched every Will Ferrell movie that was aired on TV. Laughter = temporary joy and you can’t beat joy. What’s better than laughter…oh yeah, cotton candy and naps!
  23. Read/listen to a book – In the theme of learning and strengthening my mind, I listened to “Becoming” by MY First Lady Michelle Robinson Obama. Great read/listen. I felt like I got the tea on the White House and on real presidential affairs. Sidenote: I miss her.
  24. Make/create something – Because I did not want to spend money and since Pinterest is my best friend, I made a jasmine vanilla sugar scrub. I am not creative in the sense of creating products so it was fun to create and use the thing that I created. Plus it made my skin so smooth and I smelled delightful.
  25. Try something different – I did a couple of new things…I started watching Dexter. Yes, I know I am years late. It is a good show. And, I also cooked Christmas dinner. I do not like to cook. I only like to just eat. I tapped into my matriarchal-ness to create a real family meal…that people actually ate. I cook often, but this time I cooked real-life soul food. Cooking wasn’t that bad of an experience either. It was almost relaxing except for the fear that it would be nasty. Will I do it again? Hopefully not! Yay for new experiences and new things!

My self-care activities aren’t anything extravagant, they are just a few things that make me “feel.” I took some time to do some things that I like (not exercising, that is more of a must) to show appreciation to myself. Enough about me… what are some things you like to do for self-care? Tell me below!

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