Community//

Do Introverts Love Quarantine? (Part 1)

As a complete 100% extrovert who at times feels like I am losing my mind, and certainly my energy and joy during quarantine, I cannot help envy my introverted friends. Are they actually enjoying this isolated time? How are they handling it? Is it a dream come true for them, or are they also struggling. […]

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Introverted girl slowing down during quarantine
Photo by Anthony Tran on Unsplash

As a complete 100% extrovert who at times feels like I am losing my mind, and certainly my energy and joy during quarantine, I cannot help envy my introverted friends. Are they actually enjoying this isolated time? How are they handling it? Is it a dream come true for them, or are they also struggling. I decided to reach out to see if they were thriving during this time that seems cut out especially for them or not. (See part 2 for more replies here)

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Emily Chen. Designer/Creative Director & Founder of emcstudioco, LLC

How are you handling quarantine? Are you enjoying it?

I live on my own and have enjoyed this quarantine time to go inward, reset and prioritize things that important for me in the future. 

In this time, I limited the news/social media to things that were helpful and grounded me in the present moment. 

Then I began to focus on what gave me joy and what I wanted to create. We do have to be socially distanced, but that doesn’t mean all fun, future plans, personal growth, and creation stops. 

Instead of focusing on what made me productive in the day, I did what made me joyful (art, interiors, cooking, talking to friends, etc.) and took it easy around planning and working towards the future. If I had answered this question with a yes, then I would say I made my day: “Did I do something joyful for me?” 

Once I felt more grounded, I started an online learning program through Seth Godin that gave me the frame work to re-focus steps towards important creative work I always wanted to do, but had not prioritized, because I never had the time.

This led me to diving deeply into uncovering what motivated and excited me the past three years of my design practice. It helped me eliminate what doesn’t bring me joy and move forward with more clarity and vision towards working with creative brands, health and wellness brands and scientific consumer brands.

I also learned what was important to me in terms of key values both in work and life and starting taking small steps each day to move in that direction which gave me more confidence and clarity.

Any tips for extroverts or those that are having a hard time?

There is a lot going on, and to feel more focused and less overwhelmed, I had to focus my attention and energy on what I could control. For me here, a gratitude practice, meditation, yoga, mindset work, podcasts and books (Deepak Chopra, The Aesthetics of Joy, On Being podcasts are my favorite) are very important.

It was also important to schedule regular friend calls and accountability groups to share highs and lows of the week for both work and personal happenings.

In both work and life matters, these practices make it easier to act from a grounded place, instead of making decisions from a place of uncertainty and panic.

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Jia Wertz. Documentary Filmmaker, whose debut film, Conviction, is currently playing in film festivals. 

How are you handling quarantine? 

The first month of quarantine felt very stressful and difficult to manage because of all the uncertainty. However, as more information and statistics became available, I was able to get a handle on what the best course of action would be to keep my family safe and healthy and that reduced my anxiety and stress levels. 

Are you enjoying it? Or is it hard?

I am starting to get used to this new normal now, and it’s getting easier. Although being an introvert, staying in and even being isolated isn’t hard for me because I am in my comfort zone. I can easily spend significant amounts of time by myself and enjoy it. In fact, I often find it a burden to spend too much time on the phone or on Facetime.

How are you spending your time?

I have been staying extremely busy. Not only because I have a two-year-old son who takes up majority of my time every day, but I have made an exerted effort to spend this time learning new skills. I have completed over twenty filmmaking masterclasses since the quarantine began. The unique opportunity to connect with people around the world has been great and people that I wouldn’t have otherwise been able to talk to, have all been available since we are all at home. 

Any tips for extroverts or those that are having a hard time?

My tip for extroverts would be to immerse yourself in something you love or something new you want to learn. Especially if you can get a group of people together online over video-conferencing who have similar hobbies or work in the same industry. It’s important to engage with others, beyond simply having zoom happy hours. And also to voice any concerns you’re having about loneliness or difficulties isolating since simply discussing it openly can go a long way in feeling better. 

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Kristi Brown. Senior Design Strategist at NYC Mayor’s Office of Operations

How are you handling quarantine?

I feel like I’m generally handling isolation alright. I’m working more than ever, which has helped. I wish I had more time to read and watch things on my list. I think if I had less to do I’d be okay. I’m used to spending a lot of time alone. I live with my boyfriend and he has to go to work (in a hospital) most weekdays, which has been so lucky. If we were both working from home every day I think it would be much harder. I also think if I were quarantining with past roommates or lived alone life would be very different. It’s nice to have a quarantine buddy that isn’t around ALL the time. Also, it’s important to note we don’t have kids, which would change everything. 

Due to the nature of my job, I have a lot of front-line information. It was hard for the first month or so knowing so much about the state of the city. I’ve been sort of depressed, but trying to take it all a day or week at a time. Also B12 supplements help. 

Are you enjoying it? Or is it hard?

I would love more time to read and think about things, but my job occupies a lot of brain space, which is both a blessing and a curse. I’ve been enjoying catching up and having small “get togethers” on zoom and other platforms. More than five or ten people on a virtual hang stresses me out. I don’t like having to compete for air time. I love my boyfriend’s family but they basically all just yell/talk at each other to be heard. It’s hard to speak up vs. just interact as a passive participant. If they ask me a direct question I sometimes panic. 

How are you spending your time?

I mostly work on weekdays and catch up with folks when I can. I’ve been reading at night before bed and trying to work out more to stay sane. Going out for coffee every morning has become a ritual that I look forward to. 

Any tips for extroverts or those that are having a hard time?

It’s hard to imagine not loving the alone time. I always wish I had more. That said, connect with others where and when you can. Lean into the discomfort of being alone and try to understand why it’s so tough. Read “Quiet” by Susan Cain or watch her TED talk. Be kind to yourself and get perspective from others where you can. 

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Lindsay Gordon. Career Coach for Analytically Minded People at A Life of Options LLC

How are you handling quarantine?

Generally, I feel pretty well-equipped to be in my house for months given my introversion  (I can be quite the homebody in normal times) and I’ve really enjoyed entertaining myself.

Are you enjoying it? Or is it hard? 

It’s been a balance of enjoyment and struggle – and I want to acknowledge my privilege of being able to work from home and not having dependents. In some ways, it’s been very freeing to have no plans for the near future and it’s allowed for a lot of time to spend on introverted activities. In other ways, I’ve occasionally been sleeping less well, experiencing reduced brainpower, and finding some tasks harder than they used to be. 

How are you spending your time? 

I’ve gone from having 8+ hours of solitude a day (I’ve worked from home for 4 years) to having zero as my husband now works from home as well. It’s been wonderful to spend more time with him but I also try to carve out ways to still find solitude. I’ll spend hours in the backyard, get up before him and meditate and read, or go for solo walks. 

I also realized pretty early on that zoom calls with big groups were very energy draining and not the right way for me to feel connected. Instead, I set up a weekly Friday night chat with 6 close friends which has been incredible, along with individual catch-ups and time with family.

I’m also continuing to run my business online to help people stop doing what they think is “right” in their career and start doing what’s right for them. The pandemic has a lot of people reflecting and soul-searching about their work and whether it’s really what they want to be doing. It’s an honor to get to support people to feel calmer and clearer during a time of high anxiety and uncertainty.

Any tips for extroverts or those that are having a hard time? 

My mum is an extrovert and she said: “check on your extrovert friends, we’re not ok!” I would suggest you stay connected to the people that matter to you most and prioritize the activities that are giving you the most energy.

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Liyani Rodriguez. Co-Founder/CEO of Raddle, a Virtual Brainstorm Community

How are you handling quarantine?

Over the past few months, I’ve learned a lot about myself – including the fact that I’m way more introverted than I thought! This has been a huge period of finding balance and getting clarity around what fuels me.

Are you enjoying it? Or is it hard? 

I’ve seen this as a reset that I didn’t know I needed and that part has been enjoyable. My schedule has never been consistent – I’m typically on the road, at events, attending meetings, etc. But having structure while remaining as effective as I was pre-quarantine has allowed me to be more present in everything I do. One happy result is that I’ve reached new depths in some of my relationships.

How are you spending your time? 

I’m spending my time on what currently fuels me – supporting our users (small business owners & solopreneurs). We’ve been able to launch, create the structure to fully support them, and focus our collective efforts on what they need without being distracted by fundraising, social events, and other obligatory initiatives. 

Any tips for extroverts or those that are having a hard time? 

My tip would be to see this time as a reset. I don’t think it’s realistic to try to sustain or re-create the ‘old-normal’. It’s worth taking the time to identify what fuels you in this new environment and prioritize making that happen while still staying safe (ex: Neighborhood dance party!). Find a new-normal rather than waiting for the old one to return. 

Anything else you want to add? 

Change is ALWAYS hard and we are in a period of rapid, dramatic change. We all move through life at our own pace and this isn’t much different. Take time to feel your feelings, reset what you need to, and identify what fuels you. 

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Rosario B Casas. Co-founder (all), CEO (XRA), Managing Partner (BCP) at XR Americas (transitioning name from VR Americas), Business Creative Partners and Four Dimensional Quotient.

How are you handling quarantine?

The quarantine found me in Colombia, my native country.  This has advantages, like having my mother and sisters close by.

My husband and I decided to cancel all travel plans and we stopped going out since March 16, 2020. Starting that moment we completely adapted the studio to work and made sure to be connected in a very productive way.

I should confess that we are working more than ever, especially trying to support the small business owners to adopt digital tools and learn how to be productive to keep their businesses operating.

Are you enjoying this time? Or is it hard?

I really love being at home, without going to meetings and events, and instead attending the above through video conferencing. I am a Thousand times more productive! And I’m using my energy for product development… Not commuting or socializing. I’m also using more time to read, and learn. And 2 or 3 times per week I visit my mother and one of my sisters, as they live 2 floors above our place.

How are you spending your time?

I am very organized… I allocate my time into blocks of specific things every week: Working in product development, doing administrative work, following my learning plan, reading specific books, and of course spending time with my husband. By coincidence, he just joined our company – BCPartners – and I am really loving it! He’s my favorite person and spending time building together is wonderful!! I am doing very few commercial meetings and I am participating in key events in my industry industry happening these weeks.

Any tips for extroverts or those that are having a hard time?

1. Create a nice environment for work. 

2. Create a weekly plan including your job – of course – but also including the time to learn something you love or something you need to build the product you love. For example, I am strengthening my developing skills – Java, Python, and C# for Unity – because those are the key tools for my product.

3. Enjoy yourself! Cultivate yourself! I meditated since I way 7 years old, ao I know how to spend time by myself.

4. Be sure to have the correct people surrounding you. I can’t be more fortunate to have my husband, mother, and sister close by. But honestly, I am also grateful by the people I decided not to have close to us. Both are decisions we can take, and are very important to take seriously when we are sharing time and space as we are doing now.

5. Cultivate a hobby! I do calligraphy and when I have free time, I practice my hobby, cleaning the dip pens, mixing inks, trying fonts, etc.

Anything else you want to add?

As an introvert, I was trained to to manage meetings and attend events. I took 6 years of theater classes in order to improve my relational skills. I enjoy the speaking engagements – virtually and in-person – because it is like a theater play, to spread your purpose and help others! You can be an introvert with great social skills, but definitively, for an introvert, having time “inside” is way better to be productive, calmed, and happy.

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Stephanie Thoma. Author of Confident Introvert 

I am handling quarantine by translating my usual in person activities online and taking more alone time in the form of walks or runs since I no longer have alone time at my apartment. My days are similar to how they used to be, working from home, however, I am no longer the only one in my household working from home which has felt like an adjustment. My New Year’s resolutions were to hike and cook more, and who knew the circumstances today would be more conducive to those activities than ever?  

I’m warming up to regaining a sense of normalcy with social distanced and masked meetings with a few close friends. I’d recommend that extroverts take this time to define goals and value, not only for “when it all goes back to normal,” but for this new normal. If you typically get your energy from people, as an extrovert, perhaps activities with a pet or over zoom can become ways to energize. For introverts who are cohabitating and having a hard time with less time to truly be alone in a space, take refuge in nature. For introverts who live alone and are feeling isolated, get standing zoom dates on the calendar with your friends on a weekly or bi-monthly basis to stay connected and have something to look forward to.

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(See part 2 for more replies here)

By Elizabeth Entin @ WTF Just Happened?!

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