As an introvert, you might be used to the general assumption that we all spend our time sitting at home with a book. If I’m completely honest, that is one of my favorite ways to spend an evening, but it certainly isn’t the limit of my activities or interests.
I’ve compiled a list of activity ideas that are perfect for introverts. This includes ideas for solitary activities, things you can share with a group of introverts, or even fun things to do that will suit a mixed group of introverts and extroverts.
One of the best things about running is that you can do it either alone or with others. Invest in a really good pair of running shoes that are designed for the type of running you want to do (road running or cross country) to avoid injury. Always do your warm-up beforehand and stretch afterward. If you need some distraction, apps such as Zombies, run! (not affiliated) can take your running to a whole new level.
For many of us introverts, there’s nothing more relaxing than curling up with a good book. Bonus points if you have an open fire and a dog by your feet. Books often prompt deep thoughts and surprising insights. If you love reading, consider joining a book club. There you can meet people who share your love of reading and thinking about what you’ve read. Cue many deep and meaningful conversations with engaging people. Introvert bliss.
Drawing or painting can be a great way for introverts to express themselves without needing to interact with others. If you’ve never painted before (or at least not since you were expected to use brushes rather than finger painting), I personally recommend Bob Ross. These are free lessons with no pressure and an infectiously positive approach that even melted my introverted, misanthropic heart.
Meditation offers introverts time and space to slow our thoughts and recharge. Meditation is associated with lower anxiety and stress. There are many different meditation approaches out there, so even if your first attempts don’t feel great, you can still keep trying. Try one of the phone-based apps, such as Calm or Headspace.
Learning a language might seem like an odd choice for an introvert, but it’s actually incredibly freeing. Once you can speak another language, at least enough to get by, you have far more options for traveling alone. You can travel and explore solo, without having to rely on guides or sticking to main tourist areas. I love Duolingo, but there are loads of other online lessons and apps to help you.
Another introvert stereotype is that we all sit at home playing video games, or even roleplay games with our geeky buddies. As much as I hate to fulfill a stereotype, my love of gaming in any format is undeniable. Gaming actually helps to develop a wide variety of life skills. If you’re careful not to fall too far down the ‘just one more turn’ rabbit hole, gaming can be a great way to de-stress alone or with friends.
As a professional writer, I would be remiss if I didn’t suggest writing as a perfect hobby for introverts. Poetry, stories, and even song lyrics can all be profound ways of expressing yourself. If you’re not sure where to start you can find online creative writing courses, but I recommend just getting words onto the page. Don’t worry about whether it’s good. Once you’ve started, you can always make it better.
Going to the cinema can be an introvert’s dream date. Yes, there are other people around, but at least we’re all sitting in a dark room and not talking. Going to the cinema solo takes this to the next level. Try going mid-week or during the daytime to minimize the number of other people. I’ve even managed to get the big-screen experience with only one other person in the room. Sheer luxury!
Despite how we’re sometimes portrayed, introverts usually do want at least some social interaction. Here are some suggestions for social activities that are ideal for introverts.
The great thing about cycling is that you can be sociable without needing to make a lot of conversation. You can go with friends or join a cycling club in your local area. You don’t need an expensive bike or fancy equipment. Just plan your route, make sure you have lights if it’s going to be dark before you get home, and head out.
Dance is great exercise and creative expression and there are more options than you might imagine. If you want something high-intensity and solo, you could try Lyra. Other solo dances, such as Bellydance are easier to learn at home and there are loads of online classes. Even partner dances such as salsa can be perfect for introverts, as most classes have you changing partners regularly and keep you too busy for more than a quick “Hi again”. Social contact with no small talk? Count me in!
Volunteering allows you to find a cause that you believe in and to socialize whilst also doing some good. Whether this is sitting with lonely elderly people, walking dogs at an animal shelter, or helping to pack food parcels, you can choose the things that are most important to you. Look online to find local volunteering opportunities or email organizations that you would like to help out. They’ll probably be glad of the help.
Visiting a museum or art gallery can be an enjoyable way to spend a day, whether alone or with others. It’s usually a quiet space with lots to think about, or talk about if you decide you’d like to. Small, local museums can be particularly interesting and allow you to meet people who live near you. If you want a quiet day out, try to avoid school holidays.
Adult education classes tend to be a great way to meet people in a low-pressure environment. Choosing a skill you’re interested in allows you to meet like-minded people and enjoy yourself at the same time. Local colleges are a good place to start your search.
You might also be interested in some of these online things to do with a friend.
Solo activities can help you to take the time you need to be alone and fully recharge. Here are some ideas for things you can easily do alone that you might find enjoyable and rewarding.
Yoga has loads of great advantages for your body and your mind but, as an introvert, I mostly appreciate that no-one expects me to talk to them during class. There are loads of online yoga lessons but if you’re not sure about your body awareness or technique, you can always book into group classes as well to be sure you’re looking after yourself.
Photography can be as social or anti-social as you like. As an introvert, you may enjoy the feeling of being behind the camera at public events, such as festivals, or you may prefer the isolation of landscape or nature photography. In the past, you might have needed specialist equipment to take up photography, but nowadays (unless you really want to do motorsport photography or something similarly specialist) your phone is probably almost as good as a general-purpose camera.
Journaling is a great way to get in touch with your inner thoughts and feelings. Try setting aside a short time each day to write in your personal journal. Because this is just for yourself, there’s no need to filter. If you’re not sure how to begin, there are loads of blog posts and ideas online.
If you have space in your yard or garage (or don’t mind getting a lot of sawdust in your home), learning basic (or advanced) woodworking skills can be a great time investment. Woodworking doesn’t have to use expensive tools, and I would suggest that when you’re starting out you should stick to just a few basic ones. You’ll also learn a lot of skills you’ll need if you want to make repairs to your home. Check out YouTube tutorials, but try to watch several different videos for each project to learn who gives the best tips.
Knitting, crochet, or dressmaking are all creative and productive. You get to learn a new skill, see your progress over time, and eventually even be able to wear something you’ve made yourself.
Puzzles are a great way to keep your mind active. There are so many options, from jigsaws to logic puzzles or crosswords. You can choose whether you prefer to do your puzzles online, for example on your phone, or using traditional, physical puzzles. Lots of apps allow you to play against others without leaving your home if you prefer a little bit of competition.
The summer is a great time to be outside and enjoy nature. Here are just a few ideas of perfect activities for introverts that are best enjoyed in warmer weather.
Being out on the river or lake is the perfect outdoor isolation. It even gives you an excuse to leave your phone at home. Inflatable kayaks are an inexpensive way to get started but make sure that you have all the necessary safety gear before you start paddling.
For those lucky enough to have outdoor space, gardening can be a rewarding and relaxing activity. No-one really experiences the changing seasons quite like a gardener. If you have a garden, yard, or balcony, container gardening (planting in pots) might an easy way to start. If you don’t have any outdoor space, you can still amass an impressive collection of houseplants. You can also consider taking up guerilla gardening, but be careful to adhere to local laws and regulations.
Not all outdoor activity has to be exhausting. Taking a 15-minute walk near your house can be just the thing to clear your mind, especially on a warm summer’s evening. Longer walks, especially in the countryside, can be relaxing and invigorating, allowing you to explore new places and take the time to really experience nature.
When the year turns colder and darker, lots of us feel the urge to hibernate just a little. We have a few ideas for ways to spend those darker evenings.
Fall is the season where I start to crave home-baked cakes, cookies, and brownies. As an added advantage, “these took longer than I thought to bake” is the perfect “sorry I’m late” excuse for an introvert who just couldn’t bring themselves to leave the house on time. Delicious baked goods are a fabulous treat, whether you share them with your favorite people or save them for a post-socializing reward.
Long, dark evenings always remind me how much I’d love to learn to play an instrument. If you’re an introvert who wants to learn a musical instrument, it’s worth thinking carefully about the best instrument to choose. You might prefer something you can play alone (such as flute, guitar, or piano), rather than something that is usually played as part of an orchestra or band (such as bass guitar or bassoon). There are plenty of online tutorials or apps that can help you learn almost any instrument but do consider getting lessons from an expert teacher.
Here is a list with more ideas for summer activities with friends.
Being an introvert doesn’t mean you can’t also love some more unusual pastimes. Here are my three favorite unusual introvert-friendly activities.
So this one might seem a little out there, but bear with me. Being underwater, you absolutely cannot talk when you’re scuba diving. This means no small talk at all. You’re almost always with another person, for important safety reasons, but scuba diving can be an oddly private, meditative experience. In my experience, scuba diving also attracts a lot of other introverts, who are perfectly happy with you wanting to be quiet or alone when you’re on land. Try to find a local scuba dive club. You might even find your tribe.
Contortion training is the flexibility version of extreme weight-lifting. It’s absolutely not for everyone, but if you work with a high-quality trainer, can have great health benefits and be perfectly safe. I don’t recommend doing this without supervision, but there are some amazing instructors who work online who can help you out.
This is another circus-themed activity which includes poi, juggling, staff work and even working with fire. There are countless online tutorials and most of the equipment is either very cheap or can be home-made. Obviously, please do make sure that you have a good teacher and that you master the non-flammable version of skills before trying anything involving fire.