Your cousin invited you to her bachelorette weekend in Vegas. With 35 of her closest friends. And you’re sharing a hotel room with two of them. If this makes you cringe, you might be an introvert—someone who tends to prefer quiet and calm, and feels more energized after getting some alone time. Although any calming one-on-one activity will make you feel recharged (think reading, meditating or watching a movie), these three unexpected tips are scientifically proven to help introverts de-stress, fast.
The 3 Best Ways for Introverts to De-Stress, According to Science
1. Cut the Caffeine
When you’re staring down the barrel of a long day full of crowds and uncomfortable social interactions, your first instinct might be to reach for the biggest latte you can find. Not so fast—a study published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science found that introverts who drank one cup of coffee or more performed more poorly on verbal ability tests than those who didn’t drink any, likely because the caffeine made them more anxious. Instead, stick with water (or better yet, herbal tea), take deep breaths and try your best to stay in the moment.
2. Schedule Time to Do Nothing
Reading? Taking a warm bath? Knitting? All fabulous, relaxing activities for introverts. But don’t underestimate the huge benefits of doing absolutely nothing. A study conducted by the BBC suggests that time spent “puttering,” or hanging around the house doing simple chores and activities, is one of the best things an introvert can do to de-stress. So add to your rubber band ball, fold your laundry, paint your toenails and watch Dancing with the Stars with great abandon.
3. Hang Out with (Carefully Selected) Friends
Yes, introverts need time alone to unwind and re-energize. But a study by the University of Castilla-La Mancha and University of Malaga in Spain found that the happiest introverts spent time with good friends on a regular basis. So while your life-of-the-party cousin might only be best in small doses, make sure to schedule regular movie nights with your old best friends from college. You know, the ones who make you feel calm and totally understand you (and your desperate need to avoid karaoke night like the plague).