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You at Work

How Introverts Recharge After a Stressful Day

By Jane Finkle

You’ve spent all day at work dealing with anxious clients and extroverted colleagues. You take a deep breath and, like losing the air in your tire, you can feel your energy gradually depleting. You need to restore your energy before jumping back into the stress of work and life.

Introverts Can’t Be “On” 100% of the Time

Taking moments to recharge and unplug from work and technology is essential to maintaining a healthy balance between work and downtime, and improving your overall quality of life. Ideally, you’ll find moments during the workday to recharge. But, since most days at work require you to be “on” all the time, restorative time is likely to be later at home in a quiet activity.

Seven Ways to Recover and Recharge

Here are quick and easy options to help you find peace and tranquility after a hectic day at work. Once you discover your best method for recovering and restoring your energy, you are likely to be happier and more productive at work, too.

  1. Quiet activity. There are simple and inexpensive ways to recharge your energy in solitude. For example, taking five to 10 minutes to meditate will help you to decompress. Reading in a quiet space can transport you out of the mundane into a healing place that encourages your imagination and calms your nerves. And here’s a surprisingly effective (and free) technique: sitting for a short period and doing absolutely nothing. 
  2. Exercise. Exercise triggers a chemical reaction that releases endorphins from the pituitary glands at the base of the brain. The result is a feeling of contentment and renewed energy. Whether you enjoy vigorous exertion or a less intense routine, exercise can release tension after a jam-packed day.
  3. Artistic expression. Channeling creative energy will allow you to remain in the flow — it keeps you in the present and less focused on the things that can go wrong at work. You don’t have to produce a masterpiece to benefit from the quiet and imaginative process of artistic expression. Classes in art, crafts, music, theater or creative writing are often available in your local community. There is no need to put off testing your talents until retirement to reap the benefits of taking a creative mental vacation.
  4. Long drives. If you have had an especially trying workday, you may find tranquility and peace alone in your car. Take a drive to a quiet scenic area where you can enjoy mountains majesty. Lose yourself among the scent of the trees and flowers or be soothed by rippling waters. You may even find it relaxing to tour your very own neighborhood with a less rushed mindset while listening to your favorite music.
  5. Entertainment. Use the universal escape route of movies to slip away from the ordinary day. Music can be soothing medicine and a way to buoy your spirits. Even television can allow you to relax as you lose yourself in someone else’s fictitious trials and tribulations. Brainteasers such as crossword puzzles, or any mind game that presents a challenge, can release you from focusing on troublesome thoughts.
  6. Cafe therapy. Some alone time watching the passing scene at a cafe and warming up with a cup of coffee or tea can be therapeutic. This quiet pastime can conjure up daydreams of travel or novel activities that expand your horizons and fuel your interests.
  7. Unplugging. Introverts tend to prefer communicating behind the scenes, using technology. But this can put you at risk of overextending yourself. For example, you may have a natural aversion to confronting challenges head-on at the time they emerge and find yourself texting or emailing after hours to force the resolution of an issue. To break this habit, make a commitment to turn off your computer and cellphone before dinner or early in the evening. Otherwise, you can easily find yourself floating in cyberspace after hours, losing increasingly more of your time on this planet with friends and family.

Work can be an energizing and powerful way to express your talents, display your skills and make an impact. Just don’t allow work to control your existence and deplete your energy, or you will miss out on the fascinating and enlivening aspects of life that you have every right to experience and enjoy.

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Jane Finkle

Jane Finkle is a career coach, speaker and author with more than 25 years of experience helping clients with career assessment and workplace adjustment. Jane served as Associate Director of Career Services at the University of Pennsylvania where she created and led the Wharton Career Discovery seminar, and served as liaison to recruiters from major corporations. She has been published in the Huffington Post, Adirondack Life, Talent Development and mindbodygreen. Her newest book is “The Introvert’s Complete Career Guide.” Learn more at and follow her on Twitter @JaneFinkle.

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