23 Self-Care Tips for Introverts/HSPs/Empaths
Not all introverts are empaths.
Highly sensitive people (HSP) are not necessarily introverts.
And some HSP don’t consider themselves empaths.
But, one thing these three all definitely have in common is their sensitivity.
Whether you are sensitive to other people’s energies, the plight of the oppressed, the state of the world, the weather, sound and light – you feel on a deep level.
As an introvert (INFJ), HSP and empath, I am often overwhelmed by my own internal turmoil and drained from soaking in others’ traumas.
Given this heightened sensitivity, it’s extra important to make sure we take care of our physical and mental health because we tend to burn out quicker – usually from overstimulation.
And as we all know, you have to take care of yourself before you can take care of others – you can’t pour from an empty cup.
So, here are 23 self-care tips for the introvert/HSP/empath to help you relax and recharge.
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1. Walk in Nature
This is something I do almost every single day.
There is a beautiful nature trail with shady trees, babbling brooks, ducks and butterflies about two miles from my house (see above pic ).
Upon returning from my hike, I always feel happier, more resilient and at peace.
It’s amazing how much walking outside in nature and being mindful helps to clear your head and lift your spirits.
Many introverts, HSP and empaths find nature to be healing and restorative, so consider making this self-care tip a habit.
For extra benefits, try earthing – plant your bare feet on the grass, soil, sand or rock to ground yourself and connect with the earth’s energy.
2. Morning Routine & Evening Wind-Down
How do you start your day?
Do you take some time to yourself before engaging with others?
Or are you immediately checking your phone, answering emails, and running around full steam ahead?
As an introvert/HSP/empath, it can be difficult to muster the strength to face your day, especially if you are going to be around other people.
Make sure you’re allowing yourself the alone time you need to get in the right state of mind before diving in.
A nighttime routine can also be helpful for winding down at the end of an overstimulating day.
Here are some things to consider incorporating into your evening routine:
3. Protect Yourself & Your Energy
It is imperative that we “sensitives” protect ourselves and our energy.
There’s a technique I learned years ago that helps me a lot.
I don’t remember where I read/heard of this, but basically it involves visualization.
Here’s how you do this self-care tip:
Envision yourself surrounded by a bubble of light.
I like to picture a bright purplish white colored bubble. But you can visualize any color you like, anything that makes you feel protected.
Imagine the bubble as your shield. It is the barrier that protects you from others’ trauma, negativity and bad energy.
Only what you allow comes into your bubble. Everything else bounces off it, leaving you unscathed.
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4. Clean, Organize & Decorate Your Space
If you’re an HSP or empath, you probably understand the significance of your environment.
Cluttered, dirty spaces can add to feelings of overwhelm.
And if your home is not a comfortable place where you feel like you can relax, you’re not getting the emotional support you need to face the world.
So, self-care tip #4 is to keep your environment tidy and decorate it with things that make you feel happy.
Plants, colorful artwork, cozy reading nooks, fluffy blankets, and dim lighting are all great options!
5. Healing Crystals for Protection
Crystals are both beautiful and functional.
With a variety of colors like amethyst, turquoise, periwinkle, pink and gold, crystals are a wonderful way to decorate your space.
They are also useful for protection.
Black stones including black obsidian, tourmaline and onyx help to ward off negative energy, and protect you from unwanted influences.
You can focus your energy and program your gemstones to assist you in deflecting negativity, not absorbing others’ traumas, or anything else you have trouble with.
I keep my crystals (see above pic) in a clear box and take a few out at a time to keep on my desk, by my bed, etc. depending on my mood and what’s going on in my life at the moment.
6. Digital Detox
In today’s world, we are constantly bombarded with electromagnetic field (EMF) radiation.
Exposure to EMF can cause negative effects such as fatigue, brain fog, insomnia, anxiety, infertility, cancer and other health disorders.
Some common sources of EMF radiation include:
Many HSPs are exceptionally sensitive to magnetic fields the effects of EMF radiation. For this reason, try minimizing your exposure as much as possible.
Digital detox self-care tips: Turn your phone off at least an hour before going to sleep, place protective crystals and orgones around technology in your home and keep electronics out of the bedroom (and other no-phone zones).
7. Deep Breathing Exercises
Deep breathing is one of the simplest self-care tips to implement. It's an easy and effective way to reduce stress.
As an introvert, I need to take time out to just breathe, don't you? It helps to calm me down and the best part is you can do it anytime, anywhere.
I especially love to do this with fresh air while walking. You can time your breathing with your steps so it becomes meditative.
There are many types of deep breathing exercises you can do. Try my simple go-to technique: breathe in for the count of 4, allowing your stomach to expand, hold it for 4, and exhale through pursed lips for 4.
8. Savor the Silence
As introverts/HSP/empaths, it doesn’t take long to become overwhelmed with all the noise.
As the saying goes, silence is golden. And it’s rare – we are constantly surrounded by numerous stimuli.
It’s important for us to take time to savor the silence and reconnect with ourselves.
But, not all sounds contribute to stress levels. Some have the power to heal and give us peace.
I find that to be true of nature. Birds, insects, flowing water, rustling leaves – these are all music to my ears and a welcome addition to the silence.
9. Forgive Yourself
Despite the patience and grace that we show others, we’re not as kind when it comes to ourselves. We can have difficulty turning that compassion inwards.
Many introverts struggle with rumination – basically, replaying uncomfortable events, second-guessing ourselves, and beating ourselves up over things out of our control.
It’s not uncommon for introverts to be perfectionists – both tend to overthink things and immerse themselves in ambitious tasks.
Remind yourself that your best is good enough and that there is no such thing as “perfect”.
Forgive yourself for the things you did in the past – you’ve moved on, learned and grown from your mistakes. You shouldn’t have to pay for someone else’s (i.e. “the old you”) mistakes.
10. Write it Down
Did you have a diary as a child?
I did! Complete with a lock and key.
It always helped me to sort through the events of the day, self-reflect and clear my mind.
This same practice can be just as helpful as an adult. It just goes by a different name – journaling.
I also like to write down my to-do lists and things that are on my mind to clear mental clutter.
Writing things down is cathartic for me, as is checking things off a to-do list!
If you feel overwhelmed by all the thoughts swarming around in your head, try doing a brain dump before you go to bed at night or in the morning before you start your day.
Some empaths have a special connection to animals.
They can sense their emotions, feel their energy, or even communicate with them.
But even if you aren’t an animal empath, you will still benefit from their soothing energy and unconditional love.
I’ve always loved animals and connected with them – often more than I do with people!
Their healing power is undeniable, which makes this one of the best self-care tips. Animals help lower cortisol, increase dopamine and even heal broken bones (and hearts).
I used to volunteer for a nonprofit called Horses and the Handicapped. It was amazing to see how children with special needs responded to therapeutic horseback riding.
If you are able to, adopting a pet from the shelter is one of the best things you can do for yourself (and for the animal – win/win!).
Plants are wonderful to have around even if you’re not an introvert/HSP/empath.
And they’re particularly helpful if you are!
From purifying the air and improving the flow of energy to adding a pop of color, plants provide many benefits.
I’ve had a peace lily for the past three years and I absolutely love her. She provides me with a sense of tranquility especially in times of high stress.
Other great options to consider for this self-care tip include plants and flowers that give off fragrances like jasmine, rosemary, basil and sage.
13. Set boundaries
Many introverts/HSPs/empaths are people pleasers who take care of others first and feel guilty for not doing what others expect of them.
If that sounds like you, then setting boundaries is something that needs to be part of your self-care plan.
As a highly sensitive person, you can get so swept up in other’s needs that you brush your own aside.
This is not healthy. So, one of the most important self-care tips for us is to set boundaries. Allow yourself to get the solitude you crave.
This can be in the form of a “no talking time” with your family members during a certain part of the day like for 30 minutes upon waking up or coming home from work.
Or it can be going on a weekend trip/mini vacation by yourself. Whatever boundaries or rules you need to set in order to maintain your mental health, do it! Those who care about you and your well-being should understand and be supportive.
14. Batch stressful tasks together
There’s no sense in spiking your stress levels multiple times a day if you don’t have to.
Batch similar (and stressful) tasks together.
For example, designate a certain time that you will respond to emails, make calls or run errands.
Task batching not only helps to reduce stress but can also help you to be more productive.
Whenever your brain has to switch gears, you lose productivity. In fact, it takes about 20 minutes to get back on track once you’ve been interrupted.
So, don’t multi-task … batch tasks.
15. Take mini-breaks throughout the day
The daily grind can become too much, especially for introverts/HSP/empaths.
If you try to just power through day in and day out with no breaks just waiting for your next vacation, you will wear yourself out in no time.
Pace yourself and safeguard your sanity by taking several mini breaks throughout your day.
It’s amazing how much just a few minutes of walking, meditating, yoga, or other enjoyable activities can boost your mood.
Try taking a 3-5 minute break every 30 to 60 minutes or 15-30 minute break every 60-90 minutes.
16. Listen to music
Music and emotions are closely tied.
It’s something that connects us all regardless of culture, race, age, even species, we’re all moved by music. Have you seen how cows react to people playing music?
I love classical music the best. It has the ability to shift my mood and calm me down when I’m feeling stressed.
*Some of my favorites: Vivaldi- Violin Concerto in A Minor RV356, 6 Violin Concertos for Anna Maria, La Follia and Albinoni- Oboe Concerto #2 in D Minor Op. 9)
Certain frequencies (432 & 528 Hz) exude healing energy that can help to repair DNA, release emotional blockages and promote relaxation.
As an HSP/empath, you can use this to your advantage by incorporating music into your self-care routine. It doesn’t have to be classical or any particular Hz, just choose music that evokes feelings of peace and joy within you.
17. Take a Bath/Shower
A classic. This is what most people think about when you mention self-care.
And there’s a reason for that – there’s nothing like a bath to relax the mind and body.
*Self-care tip: Try taking a warm bath before bed if you’re having trouble sleeping.
Plus, it’s an activity you can enjoy in the comfort of your own home, in solitude. A real bonus for us introverts!
If you’re an HSP/empath, you’re heightened senses will only enhance your appreciation of additions like bath bombs, salts, bubbles, herbs, essential oils and candles.
I also find showers to be great for detox – physical and mental. As you wash yourself, visualize the water washing all the toxins and negativity down the drain.
Our sense of smell is the strongest of our five basic senses – sight, smell, taste, touch, hearing.
Certain scents can calm you down and transform your mood instantly. For me, that’s “fall” smells – pumpkin, cinnamon & spice!
Others are tied to memories and can transport you right back to that time.
As an HSP/empath, your sense of smell may be heightened or you may experience stronger emotions when smelling certain scents.
So, aromatherapy would be an excellent addition to your self-care routine in the form of essential oil, lotions, candles, room sprays, etc.
Essential oils not only smell lovely but they also have healing properties that help with pain, anxiety, depression, headaches, the immune system, digestion, sleep, respiratory function, energy levels and other issues.
Some of my favorite ones for stress relief include lavender, rose, bergamot, jasmine, frankincense & myrrh.
Self- Care Tips
19. Choose fabrics for comfort
Speaking of treating yourself to things that delight your senses, another self-care tip for the introvert/HSP/empath has to do with our sense of touch.
The kind of fabrics you wear, sheets you have on your bed, and towels you dry with matter.
Scratchy, noisy sheets are not conducive to a good night’s sleep.
I prefer jersey cotton sheets because they are soft but not too hot. You might like flannel, microfiber, or sateen. Whatever you choose, remember that your comfort is key – we spend about a third of our lives sleeping so you should definitely be comfortable!
Same thing goes for clothes. Get yourself a luxurious bath robe, soft socks, a cozy sweater – choose fabrics that feel good on your skin.
Some HSP/empaths believe that you consume the vibration of the food you eat.
Certain foods have higher frequencies than others like organic fruits and vegetables, raw herbs, cold pressed oils, and ancient grains.
They not only nourish our bodies, but they also have the power to change our mood and lift our spirits.
Other foods are not good for our bodies or our minds like fast food, processed food, refined sugar, and wheat flour.
I eat mostly:
And I generally avoid:
There are many different kinds of yoga – power yoga, ashtanga yoga, yin yoga, hatha yoga, kundalini yoga, vinyasa yoga … the list goes on!
Yoga was originally designed as a way of life – part of a method by which one could achieve inner peace through the mind-body-spirit connection.
But today many practice yoga for different reasons, like exercise or dance, and there are variations that incorporate those aspects.
You may want to look into all the options so you can decide what kind of yoga is right for you.
As an HSP, you may prefer one of the more gentle types like hatha yoga, which utilizes breathing techniques and meditation.
In the foundational book, Yoga Sutras, written between 200 B.C. and 200 A.D., the author tells us that, “Yoga is the cessation of the fluctuation of the waves of thoughts that distort peace in the heart and mind.”
I just started practicing yoga a couple of months ago and it has already made a huge difference! I can’t even go a day without doing it now because it helps my mood so much.
22. High intensity exercise
In her groundbreaking book, The Highly Sensitive Person, Elaine N Aron, Ph.D. explains that HSPs have higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
Although exercise does temporarily raise cortisol, it helps to lower overall amounts in the long run.
Plus, when you don’t use up cortisol it builds up in the body and causes anxiety. So, sometimes the only thing that really helps is burning up those cortisol resources with high intensity exercise.
If I’m having a high anxiety day or I feel like I might fall into the clutches of depression, I’ll do some intense exercise and it always makes me feel better.
Use your body, sweat, breathe heavy, exhaust yourself physically – it may be just the sort of self-care you need.
23. Lovingkindness Meditation
Did you know that lovingkindness is a word?
Best. Word. Ever.
According to Merriam Webster, it means “tender and benevolent affection”.
It’s also a word found in the Bible, roughly meaning “loyal, steadfast love”.
Lovingkindness, or loving-kindness meditation, is a wonderful choice for HSPs/empaths because it focuses on sending warm, compassionate feelings to others.
In addition to the traditional benefits of mediation, you also reap the benefits of spreading love, expressing gratitude and reducing negativity.
The idea is to generate kind, non-judgmental, compassionate feelings for yourself, those you love, and even your enemies. It is not based on merit or opinion, but rather on unconditional love.
In pouring forth this unconditional love, you wish others the same strength, health and safety you wish for yourself.
You can keep directing this love further and further out until you’ve extended it to all humans, all animals, the world, the universe even.
What a wonderful way to utilize the amazing gift of being an HSP/empath while healing yourself and expanding your own capacity for forgiveness, self-acceptance, and stress management.
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A Final Note on Self-Care:
If you’ve tried self-care tips like these and they just don’t seem to be working, you may need something more intensive.
You can do all the yoga and deep breathing in the world but if you have underlying limiting beliefs, you don’t know who you truly are & what you want out of life, or you are stuck in a fixed mindset, you will feel overwhelmed and unfulfilled.
You’ve got to get to the root of the issue. So, if you’re struggling to understand why you are overwhelmed, read this article: Why Am I So Overwhelmed? 10 Common Reasons
If you think you’re headed for burnout and you’re ready to overcome overwhelm once and for all, check out this simple three-step system to regaining control of your life, your time and your emotions.
Over to you … do you have any other self-care tips for the introvert/HSP/empath? Tell me in the comments!
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