Are you an extrovert struggling with self-isolation?
You aren’t alone! No pun intended.
Most people are self-isolating today and it’s challenging for everyone, but more so for people who need to socialize. As an extrovert, you’re used to heading outside and meeting people – something that’s not possible right now. So, how do you cope with self-isolation and having to stay indoors every day? Thanks to technology and a few easy-to-use techniques, anyone can stay mentally healthy while quarantining.
Here’s a look at effective ways that an extrovert can thrive during self-isolation.
Self-isolation and staying within limited confines can have a real, physical impact on the brain. But you can activate different parts of your brain and simulate the experience of going outside by using visualization.
Visualization is the directed use of your imagination where you see and ‘feel’ events, people, and places in your mind. Make it a practice to visualize stepping outside your home every day. Try to recreate your walk to the library or the layout of your office space. This should be easy because spatial memory is one of the brain’s strengths.
In fact, a common and powerful memory technique called the Memory Palace method uses spatial memory to remember other details.
Using your ability to visualize the external world and mentally talking a walk will recreate feelings similar to going outside for real. Develop it into a daily practice to avoid mental fatigue and to keep your brain active.
Employ Technology to Communicate
Aren’t we lucky to have access to free or affordable technology that lets us communicate with others? We have messaging apps, conferencing tools, and social media to keep us entertained and connected.
Don’t hesitate to call friends and do group video calls from time to time. It’s possible, however, for communication in this way to dry out because of a lack of shared experiences. Here’s what you can do to keep online communication with your friends lively.
Schedule calls: It’s helpful to commit a day of the week and a specific time to doing a conference call with friends and family. You won’t go for a stretch of time without human communication because other things came up. Scheduling it is also helpful because you won’t get distracted from work and you’ll create something to look forward to.
Create an agenda: Plan an agenda in advance because you will all have a common topic to talk about. Ask your friends or family to read a book or watch a movie so you can discuss it. Or make other topics that make sense for your social group. In this way, you and your friends will be prepared and will have rich conversations.
Add themes: Make conversations fun by wearing fun hats, wearing color-coordinated clothes, or themed costumes. Small ‘challenges’ like these build excitement and are very enjoyable. You’ll add humor and a great deal of fun to these calls.
We tend to let our normal routines slack when we don’t have to head to a workplace and do chores outdoors. This may feel freeing at first but can easily spiral into feeling restless all day.
The key to long-term happiness and mental health during self-isolation is to maintain a routine at home just as you do during normal times.
Stay organized and use time blocking to manage your day: wake up early, exercise, have breakfast. Create a specific time for work, breaks, and leisure. You’ll feel a sense of order and achievement, and will thrive even when necessarily cut off from social life.
Also, this goes for grooming too. Even if you aren’t going out anywhere, dress well and groom yourself to feel positive during the day.
Join an Online Community
Self-isolation can be the perfect time to explore your interests with like-minded people. Consider joining an online community for Yoga, music, or even to pick up coding.
You get several benefits. One, learning something new, and two, you interact with other people who are passionate about something you like.
An online community such as a forum, social media group, or a membership site will help you connect with others in a meaningful way. You’ll feel like you’re socializing with new people even when you can’t step outside.
Stay Mentally Healthy While Self-Isolating
Self-isolating is hard, but more so for extroverts who love to socialize. You should remember that staying indoors is having a real impact on reducing the spread of COVID-19. Good on you for self-isolating and following protocol.
Doesn’t mean that it isn’t challenging though. Which is why I’ve shared these helpful tips to manage self-isolation. The key is to have a plan and to actually follow the given tips every day. Staying occupied, connecting with others, and learning new things will do more than keep you satisfied – they’ll help you thrive.