Updated: Apr 28, 2020
COVID-19 is changing the lives of many. We are seeing more and more people do things that been considered out of character. There could be many reasons for this, folks are forced to stay inside while other jobs have now become critical. That's a lot to wrap your head around.
Who would have thought that grocery store cashiers would be considered essential? Since the coronavirus, it has been very stressful. I am an extravert, and I've shared my personal struggles on my social media. What I didn't realize was that the opposite of extravert was struggling as well.
In case you are not familiar with the terms introvert and extravert, I will give you a brief description. An Introvert gains energy from internal sources. They focus inwardly more than outwardly; they think and consider things before doing it, they tend to keep their thoughts to themselves and will share only when their ideas are fully informed. They understand their world by thinking about it.
Extraverts tend to focus outwardly more than inwardly, they tend to do it first, think about it later, process communally and collaboratively, they think out loud, bounce ideas off other people and discuss our experiences, we understand the world through direct experience and enjoy diving into new endeavours.
The lockdown is causing some introverts to change their routine; they can't visit parks or other natural settings to reflect. My girlfriend Suzanne feels she doesn't have a sense of control and can't reflect the way she prefers anymore. Natural settings are critical to introverts and parks being closed, takes away an environment that they may prefer.
I also read an article in the Tampa Bay Times written by journalist Mari Faiello. She wrote about her experience as an introvert being quarantined. She said she felt like coronavirus has taken away her sense of peace. Even though she loves her family, being forced to stay with them all the time makes her feel like she has to spark conversations and be cheerful. Now, this sounds easy, but for an introvert that can be draining. Keep in mind, introverts get their energy from within, they don't need to speak at all times.
Introverts love routine, but now the method has to change, and it's not on their terms, and that could be hard to take.
Here are some things for a struggling Introvert to try;
Identify which activities you miss the most and find a practical alternative.
Reach out to friends and family, you still need to stay connected. Write letters, contact them on the phone, even virtual coffee dates.
If you are not on social media, now is the best time to start.
Create a safe space in your home to go when the world is overwhelming.
I so admire introverts, their qualities are amazing. Are you an Introvert? How are you feeling?
My fellow extraverts, are you bored yet?
Of course, you are. We strive for social interaction. I feel like I'm in constant mourning, I'm mourning the people I use to interact with on a daily basis. Some of us may be exploring a wide range of feelings, such as loneliness or isolation. Let's explore a way to recapture the feeling of being surrounded by people.
The average extravert requires more stimulation; it's not just about the social contact, so if you're considering a virtual exercise, make sure there is loud music pumping so the extravert can vibe off the energy.
In the first couple of weeks, I was staying inside because I was terrified to go out. I thought I was going to die, but eventually, I got up and took a walk, and it felt great. The fresh air is what I needed. It improved my mood and helped me think more clearly. I still wave at neighbours and try to make eye contact with folks as they pass by.
For my beautiful fellow extraverts, here are some suggestions;
Evaluate your feelings; if you have some unresolved negative emotions, it's a great time to resolve them and move forward.
Join virtual parties, watch Netflix with a group, join groups on Facebook such as Coach's Corner-Shyness Prohibited.
Pump up some music, sing online even if you can't sing.
Now is the time to join social media, Instagram, Facebook etc.
Talk to neighbours from a distance.
If you have young children, play an I-Spy game while you're walking outside because you cannot use parks. It's a great way to get kids interested in going out for a walk.
Now is a good time for Extraverts to move inward and Introverts to move outward with no resistance. Are you an Introvert or Extravert? Take the test at the link below.