There’s no denying that a pandemic forces almost everyone to live a more introverted lifestyle. Whether you love or hate it, or fall somewhere in-between, you can still make the most of this period of slowing down.
Many introverts claim they’ve been waiting for this moment their entire lives. What? I can finally stay home with no pressure from the outside world? Sign me up!
However, the reality might be a bit more complicated. Let’s say you’re an introvert stuck at home with loud children, outspoken in-laws, or roommates you can’t stand. Suddenly, being isolated 24/7 doesn’t sound so dreamy, after all.
And, of course, those wild extroverts have watched their exuberant lifestyles come to a screeching halt. It’s like caging a wild animal.
It’s normal to feel peace, frustration, boredom—or a mixture of all of those.
We suggest you just feel how you feel and embrace this time. Find your introverted self, even if it’s buried deep. You can also use it as an excuse to indulge even further and give yourself a break from any annoying quarantine companions.
Because, really, everyone benefits from some serious downtime. So, if your job doesn’t require you to venture out, or you’re not fighting on the frontlines, soak up this quiet, self-reflective time. It won’t last forever!
Take Long Walks
In a world focused on fitness and hard-core goals, it’s hard to justify a simple walk. Like, we’re just going to take a walk around the block? Yup.
A leisurely stroll around the neighborhood gives you time to take in the scenery. Take notice of the budding flowers and plants. If you have kids, consider going for a family walk after dinner. It’ll be a nice way to end the day together, and help everyone unwind before bedtime.
Try to enjoy these walks without music or conversation. Listen to the birds and insects, and don’t forget to breathe it all in.
Perhaps you were too busy to read in your pre-pandemic life. There’s always so much to do, like attending birthday parties, work galas, fitness classes, and other fun hoopla.
Now, though, your entertainment is limited to the boundaries of your home. If you’ve exhausted Netflix, attended video chats with all your friends, and eaten every snack in the house, pick up a book.
Reading reduces stress, helps you sleep better, and improves circulation. Although reading is usually an introverted activity, you can make it a social activity. Why not form an online book club with family and friends.
Or, you can simply enjoy the quiet time and give your brain a solid break from the bombardment of COVID-19 updates.
As people get frustrated with certain food shortages, they’re experimenting and making food from scratch. And what’s at the top of this list, you wonder? Bread!
But don’t limit yourself to bread. You can also make muffins, pizza crust, waffles, biscuits, and more.
Learning to make things from scratch is a wonderful way to slow down and appreciate the hardships previous generations endured. Your poor great-great-grandma didn’t even have the option of buying ready-made bread!
In the past, setting aside time for deep relaxation was a challenge. This was especially true if you worked full-time and had kids. Really, what parent had time for a luxurious bubble bath with wild chimpanzees bouncing around the house?
But now, things are different. Even if you’re struggling to work from home and homeschool your children, you have an infinite amount of time on your hands. Schedule some alone time while your kids do yard work with your spouse or partner. Tell your roommates the bathroom is yours for the next hour.
And don’t feel guilty—we’ve never needed self-care more than right now!
Pause Social Media
Taking a break from social media is the ultimate act of introversion. It’s like publicly announcing you’ve finally given up on humanity—especially since real-life interaction isn’t an option right now.
It doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing choice, though. Stepping away from social media for a day is beneficial for both intro- and extroverts. It allows your mind (and body) to slow down. Take a break from the constant stimulation of what others are doing, what you feel you should be doing, or depressing updates about the pandemic. Don’t worry—it’ll all be there waiting for you when you’re ready to re-engage.
This is also a good time to stop sleeping with your phone. It’s tempting to compulsively check it, but if you turn it off at bedtime, you’ll get a more restful night’s sleep.
Now that you have all this extra free time, pick up a musical instrument, start writing that novel, or finish knitting that blanket. Boredom has a way of sparking new ideas, so be open to what your phone-free time brings.
Starting a garden is a great way to channel any pandemic anxiety or stress you might be feeling. You can play around in the dirt and bring seeds to life while avoiding anyone who’s driving you nuts. Sound dreamy?
Plus, you can get food out of it, which means avoiding the grocery store and saving money. That’s what we call a success!
To get started, take advantage of one of these online courses universities are offering right now.
Start a New Hobby
With endless time stretched out in front of us, it’s easy to become complacent with inertia. Keep yourself inspired by starting a new project! Who knew that hobbies are actually good for your brain?
Stuck at home with your partner? Consider slowing down together with an at-home date. You can work on a puzzle or DIY project together.
Feeling out of sorts during this pandemic? You’re not alone. Even if you’re an introvert who loves extra time at home, we’re all still trying to live through a pandemic. It’s hard to avoid the doomsday news. You might also be missing your favorite excursions, like trips to the library or sipping lattes at your favorite cafe.
Meditation is a healthy way to combat any feelings of stress, uncertainty, panic, or general unease that might be creeping into your life.
We suggest starting with Headspace or another meditation app to help ease pandemic anxiety. They can help you avoid feeling overwhelmed or lost whenever you sit down in dead silence. In the apps, a gentle voice leads you through breathing exercises, positive mantras, and more.
After you gain some confidence in your meditation skills, you can move away from apps and try longer sessions.
Whether you’re an introvert or extrovert, most of us are grieving our lost activities right now. However, if you can embrace this period of downtime, it can be incredibly beneficial.
Who knows? Maybe you’ll discover you’re a skilled baker, painter, or quilter—or just that you love bubble baths.