While everyone has their own version of self-care, as an INFP, I’ve found these three activities to be instantaneously therapeutic. 

When you feel stressed out, you’re supposed to focus on an activity that will distract you. But since different personalities deal with stress in different ways, it is important to know how your personality reacts to stress and what specific activities will help calm you down.

No one likes stress, but the INFP, one of the 16 Myers-Briggs personality types, is often a highly sensitive person (HSP), too — which means dealing with stress can be very overwhelming for us. 

INFPs are usually cheery and optimistic, but we can also get anxious, and fast. And then the most stressful thing for us becomes handling this sudden polarity of emotions. Oftentimes, we’ll shut down. And instead of confiding in others for help — it’s difficult for us to open up to people — we may try to fix the problem ourselves. 

While everyone has their own version of self-care activities, as an INFP, I’ve found these three activities to be instantaneously therapeutic. If you’re an INFP, too, these activities may help reduce your stress or eliminate it altogether. 

3 Fun Activities That Can Help INFPs Relieve Stress

1. Create — or go see — some art, whether you paint something or go to a local museum.

Art can be healing for anyone, research has found — and it’s also an activity central to an INFP’s wellbeing. By art, I mean the art of writing, drawing, singing, or anything that you love creating. Some INFPs may not realize that they’re incredibly creative, and using art as an antidote to stressful situations can help your creative juices flow. And because INFPs enjoy getting lost in their imagination, art is a perfect outlet in which to do so.

Making time for creative space is healthy for introverts overall; knowing that I can put my negative thoughts into creating something positive helps keep me calm. And I’m in good company: Shakespeare, Van Gogh, and Coldplay’s Chris Martin apparently all have INFP characteristics.

Aside from creating art, I’ve also found that looking at art is just as therapeutic. The one thing that I look forward to when I travel to new places (back when we could travel) is an art museum. There is just something magical about art museums that makes you want to think harder. Since INFPs love to challenge their thinking, what better way than by looking at masterpieces? 

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, a German writer, gives a good piece of advice related to art, saying:

“One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and, if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words.”

2. Release your thoughts and emotions through journaling.

INFPs are not usually vocal when it comes to our feelings and emotions. It can be hard for us to let people in — and the people we do manage to let in may know just the tip of the iceberg. 

We are very aware of our feelings and those of the people around us, which could be why we sometimes find it difficult to discuss what’s going on in our own lives. This big pile of emotions leads to stress, but talking about how we’re feeling can be a great help. Plus, it’s a way to honor our inner voice, which is important to INFPs.

Due to stress or not, journaling has always been my thing. I have always felt more comfortable writing my feelings down than saying them out loud. (I’m sure other introverts can relate!) 

My favorite introverted writer, Joan Didion, who calls herself a shy, bookish child, taught me the importance of keeping a notebook/journal. She said:

“I think we are well-advised to keep on nodding terms with the people we used to be, whether we find them attractive company or not. Otherwise they turn up unannounced and surprise us, come hammering on the mind’s door at 4 a.m. of a bad night and demand to know who deserted them, who betrayed them, who is going to make amends. We forget all too soon the things we thought we could never forget. We forget the loves and the betrayals alike, forget what we whispered and what we screamed, forget who we were … It is a good idea, then, to keep in touch, and I suppose that keeping in touch is what notebooks are all about.”

Since INFPs are creative, they make great writers, and journaling can also help INFPs improve their writing skills. Because we tend to zone out a lot, we inevitably face writer’s block. But as Charles Bukowski said, “Writing about writer’s block is better than not writing at all.” I agree and think journaling is a great habit.

3. Rewatch your favorite TV shows — they’re like comfort food for your soul.

INFPs can easily get anxious, and for me, feeling anxious is a full-time thing. But a benefit to being an INFP is that it’s easier for us to find distractions when we’re in stressful situations. Since we’re daydreamers, there’s a high chance that we lose interest in the stressful situation we’re in. 

Science suggests that rewatching your favorite TV shows can be great for your wellbeing — connecting to characters we know and love can encourage feelings of attachment — and I couldn’t agree more. My main comfort TV shows are The Office (only while Michael was the manager, of course), Friends, and Parks and Recreation. And I also have a few others, depending on what mood I’m in: Schitt’s Creek (if I want to laugh), This is Us (if I feel like crying it out), and true crime shows (because INFPs know the power of a true story).

I think this distraction works especially well for my INFP self, because when INFPs are stressed out, they need someone to reassure them that not everything is out of control. Going back to my favorite shows and reliving those nostalgic days (when things were not as stressful) always helps. 

I often make a connection with a particular character and see things from their perspective. Some of the characters, like Pam Beesly from The Office and April Ludgate from Parks and Recreation, give off strong INFP energy (which I love). It is always nice to know that your favorite INFP fictional character has got you covered when you feel low.

So if some days look worse than others and everything feels gloomy, you can always let your feelings out through art and journaling. And when that doesn’t work, just curl up in a ball and rewatch your comfort TV shows (and probably throw in some ice cream, too).

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