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An Extrovert’s Guide to Dealing with Lockdown

Engage in these simple strategies to make this time of limited social contact a bit more bearable.

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The global health crisis has changed the way we interact with each other. With the need to socially distance ourselves from others, many people – especially extroverts – are struggling to deal with the inability to socialise and meet people. On the other hand, introverts who yearn to stay home in the company of themselves are more likely to feel a higher sense of motivation to pursue their interests and hobbies – if they are lucky enough to be alone, that is.

What does it mean to an extrovert?

If you’re someone who thrives in social situations or finds it relatively easy to interact with strangers, then chances are that you’re an extrovert. Extroverts find comfort in meeting new people and going out in large groups. They socialise with others with relative ease and are often considered to be the life of the party. Some might argue that extroverts are attention seekers or have a large ego. In reality, they’re social creatures who are happiest when they’re surrounded by a crowd. 

The impact of the pandemic on extroverts

Researchers are studying the impact that the pandemic has had on the lives of extroverted people who flourish in the company of others. Extroverts are now faced with the challenge of adapting to this new way of life; regular get-togethers with friends or meet ups at coffee shops have now been replaced by working from home and essentially, limiting yourself to only virtual contact with others. 

While some extroverts may find it easy to adapt to this way of living, for many, social distancing can be a nightmare. Extroverts might be subjected to a host of mental health concerns that can further make it hard for them to cope with this situation. 

Boredom, loneliness, helplessness, anxiety and even depression are some of the concerns that can arise as a result of restricting social contact. This especially rings true for extroverts who live alone and are unable to even interact with family members at home. 

The good news is that there are a number of things you can do as an extrovert to create a positive outlook on the lockdown. It may not be easy at first, but with time, things will start to change for the better. With the help of these simple strategies, you will be able to learn how to find positivity and strength in solitude. 

Here are some things that might help:

Reconnect with yourself

We could all put in a little more effort to get to know our own selves better – lockdown or no lockdown. In the absence of the usual hustle and bustle of life, you can use this extra time to form a healthier relationship with all aspects of yourself. Spend some time each night journaling your thoughts. You can spend time alone with your thoughts and try to learn new things about yourself. You can also pick up a new skill to learn – like cooking or a craft! To make things more fun, you can even document the process and send pictures to friends and family.

Find creative ways to stay fit

Physical activity is crucial at this time – exercise releases feel-good hormones that can benefit your mood. Exercise also allows you to channelise your energy and can help you structure your day into a routine. If you’re someone who prefers group workouts to exercising alone, you may struggle to stick with your exercise goals. But don’t worry, there are multiple videos you can check out online that can give you a sense of working out in the presence of others – be it yoga, zumba or dance. You can even join online communities to talk to people about your exercise routine and daily progress. If you live with friends or family, you can rope them into giving you company.

Find your space online

Contrary to popular belief, connecting online is a great way to maintain your relationships with others. Be proactive about spending time with loved ones online. Schedule weekly chats with your friends and loved ones – whether that’s a virtual breakfast catch-up with your friends or a coffee date with your partner. You can even host virtual family dinners with games and quizzes to connect with all your relatives and even keep the elderly entertained.

Plan for the future

If you have more downtime now than usual, use this time to plan for the future. Having something to look forward to can keep you motivated and optimistic during these difficult times. Make a list of your goals and make a plan to achieve them. You can even put your creativity skills to use by mapping out your plans on paper with different colour codes. Stick this plan up onto your wall so you can remind yourself to continue working towards achieving these goals each day.

Practise mindfulness

We’re all so caught up with the uncertainty of the future and plans for what we will do once the virus gets contained, that many of us might forget to enjoy the present moment. This seems impossible – but with a little bit of mindfulness, you can learn to appreciate the present moment. Start with something small each day. For instance, when you drink your morning coffee or tea, keep the electronics away and sit with the moment. Savour the taste of the beverage and take the time to reflect on how it makes you feel. 

Don’t hesitate to seek help

If you find that nothing you are trying is helping, don’t be afraid to reach out to a professional. This is a difficult time for you given that you’re used to being in the presence of others so remember to be kind to yourself. A therapist can give you the safe space to express what you feel and come up with strategies that will work for you. If talking to a professional seems daunting, start with expressing how you feel to your loved ones. Let them know that you’re struggling to adapt and take their support to feel better.

Whatever you choose to do, remember that staying in-doors and looking after your health is key to stopping the spread of the virus and making in-person meetings eventually possible. In the meantime, remember that you’re only physically distanced, not emotionally, so use this time to your advantage and you will come out feeling a lot better!

References

Brogaard, B. (2020, March 30). The Introvert Advantage During Lockdown. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/blog/the-mysteries-love/202003/the-introvert-advantage-during-lockdown

Connecting amid coronavirus: Some advice for lonely extroverts. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.ibmadison.com/Blogger/Open-Mic/March-2020/Connecting-amid-coronavirus-Some-advice-for-lonely-extroverts/

Dembling, S. (2013, May 29). Why Extroverts Are So Needy. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-introverts-corner/201305/why-extroverts-are-so-needy

Extroversion | Psychology Today International. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/basics/extroversion

Fader, S. (2018, January 23). Defining Extroversion: What Does It Mean To Be An Extrovert? Retrieved from https://www.betterhelp.com/advice/behavior/defining-extroversion-what-does-it-mean-to-be-an-extrovert/

Moore, K. (2020, March 25). “I Can’t Take It Anymore!”: How To Cope With The Lockdown As An Extrovert. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/karlmoore/2020/03/22/help-im-an-extrovert-working-remotely/#2d51e0fb563a

Moran, G. (2020, April 10). An extrovert’s guide to working from home during self-isolation. Retrieved from https://www.fastcompany.com/90482493/an-extroverts-guide-to-working-from-home-during-self-isolation

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