The 5 steps to rocking Toronto as an introvert

An introvert is somebody who feels drained after spending too much time in social interactions. Do you retreat into alone time in order to recharge yourself? Then you might be an introvert.

The thing is, city life is one filled with social interactions. Whether it’s direct conversation, asking if a seat is free on the TTC, ordering a coffee (here’s a great selection of shops for that), or simply sharing the sidewalk, we are constantly relating with people in one way or another.

This continual demand for human interaction can be exhausting for an introvert living in Toronto, but it doesn’t have to be. Actually, with a bit of mindfulness and exercising the art of self-care, a life in Toronto can be rejuvenating and undemanding for the introvert.

  1. Take ‘me’ time. Make your alone time a priority every day. This means setting aside the time and committing to doing what feels best for you. This could mean making a delicious and nutritious meal. It could be exercising, making art, reading a book, or simply resting. Whatever happens, don’t let anyone guilt you for taking this time. You are your own top priority.
  2. Silent digital notifications. The digital age has us so accessible to our social networks that countless conversations are always happening at once. Work e-mails, family Skype calls, friendly Facebooking, Tinder matches… The list goes on. Rather than letting your digital life demand your attention and your energy, put your notifications on silent. Choose when you look at your messages when you feel like connecting. You’re not obligated to be available to everybody at all times of the day.
  3. Build an epic playlist. Put together a playlist that really improves your mood and has you feeling inspired. Throw on some headphones and hit play when you step outside of the door. Social protocol dictates that headphones signal: “don’t talk to me.” Your own private soundscape keeps you in your own space even while you navigate busy walkways and subway stations. There’s even small-time Toronto musicians you can add to the roster.
  4. Get comfortable. Being introverted doesn’t mean you don’t enjoy socializing. It can get a little tiring being in a group setting for too long, though. When this happens, focus on making yourself physically comfortable. This will help you relax on every level – physically, emotionally, and mentally. If you’re physically uncomfortable than make it your mission to be at ease and we promise you’ll feel better.
  5. Remain honest with your needs. This is absolutely key. Remain honest in any given moment about how you are feeling and what you need. Then, follow that intuition and honour your self awareness. Sometimes you may want to stay talking in a group even though your energy levels are dropping way below par and you’re called to chill on your own for a while. That’s ok. Follow your needs over your wants and you’ll find that you’ll actually be happier for it.
Erin Cardone

Born on the Prairies, Erin Cardone grew up knowing there was more to life than canola fields and AAA Alberta Angus. So she escaped, living in Europe and Australia, white-knuckling it through plates of calf brains and raw horse meat, and learning languages she can't remember anymore. After a stint as a jaded, skeptical journalist, she changed tack and began writing rather awesome blogs and showing businesses that advertising is dead, so long live social media, with her businesses Legendary Social Media. She now splits her time between various Canadian cities, Costa Rica and wherever else the wind blows.

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