Ever since this whole covid19 pandemic started, little jokes about the introvert knowing how to manage in a time of isolation have gone around the internet, repeatedly. I guess, to some extent, it’s true. Introverts do know how to be alone, but this lockdown is much more extreme than what’s considered normal, even for introverts.
Being an introvert during covid19 like we are, I find myself suffering from cabin fever, which is kind of a new concept for me.
I actually miss running errands. I feel my motivation for writing waning, and my ideas are few and far between. I really have to dig because my source of inspiration usually comes from my activity out in the world. Conversations I overhear, things I see in the windows as I pass by, or a feeling I get when I’m people-watching.
The pandemic brought a lot with it. Not only are we facing necessary seclusion, but we were getting ready to buy a home, when my husband lost his job, so we’re faced with some serious financial obstacles. On top of that, my dog of 18 years is going downhill rapidly. These things, combined, have brought on a lot of stress and difficulty….and I know it’s something we’re all having to go through together –
only it doesn’t feel like we’re together.
Connections During Covid19
As an introvert, it’s natural for me to crave deep connections with people, to which I’ve somewhat lost during the pandemic. I can’t go out and meet anyone for coffee due to social distancing, but I can still connect with people in different ways.
I’ve been making a few fleeting connections, through my social networks, and that helps a little, whether it’s just a quick introduction, replying to comments, or helping each other figure out a technical issue. These small interactions make me feel just a little bit more human.
Reaching out to family and friends over the phone or by text helps too. I’m usually pretty averse to things like Zoom or video chat, but this is a good time for me to tolerate it for the benefit of seeing my friends and family’s smiling faces.
In the beginning, I would still venture out to my doctor’s office for visits (I have medical issues) and I was even grateful for the small talk I normally dislike so much, if that tells you how desperate I am for at least some social interaction.
I do live in the Pacific Northwest, so the weather doesn’t always cooperate. Let’s be honest, it rarely cooperates, but we do manage to find days to go out for bike rides or walks, passing by our neighbors, where we briefly say our hellos and how-are-yous, and smile at each other (mask or no mask).
A smile can do wonders in a pandemic such as this one. Somehow, it makes us feel a sense of normalcy, like everything will (eventually) be ok.
“This, too, shall pass”, as they say.
Feeling Grateful, Even Now
On the upside, nobody in my family is sick, and I’m extremely grateful for that. I also feel blessed that we have a little money to fall back on, even without my husband working. It takes a little bit of the pressure off.
Speaking of my husband, I am ridiculously grateful for him during all of this, as it provides both of us with social interaction we wouldn’t otherwise get.
He’s a real talker, and I’m a pretty good listener, so it works out well. Who would have thought you would ever lose access to other people and conversation? Fortunately, we live in a time where we have numerous forms of communication that get pretty close to feeling like you’re in the same room with someone.
I love that my children are now here with us too, as we don’t get to see them as often as we’d like, so I feel thankful that they have returned, for however long they decide to stay with us. They were both somewhat forced to return due to the covid19 threat, but regardless, they bring laughter and more social interaction into our home, which is such a blessing right now.
I think it’s important to remember the positive things in our lives, no matter how small or large. Things like listening to music, time with family (even if it’s only through Zoom for now), getting lost in a good book, enjoying the sunshine, diving into work, experimenting in the kitchen with new recipes, making something, working out, gardening, etc.
Let’s also not forget that we can get in the car and go for a long drive with the windows rolled down and the music turned up. It makes me feel like I’m headed somewhere, but I don’t really need a destination, do I?
There is actually a lot to do and appreciate.
Creating a Covid19 Routine
My youngest daughter is home due to the fact that her college has been shut down, including her graduation this year. Despite that, she has really gotten her covid19 routine down.
She wakes up in the morning, does her homework and chores, eats a late breakfast, then goes for her run, comes back and does a YouTube strength training workout, reads, has lunch, then enjoys the rest of the afternoon with her leftover free time, like playing games with the family, binge-watching a Netflix show, or responding to texts and emails.
She recently spent a whole day creating a beautiful vision board.
My oldest daughter is with us because she ended a long-term relationship and needed a place to stay. She is currently transitioning from working for someone else to working for herself. She is building an online business, which has become a big part of her daily routine.
The power of having a routine is that it can really help alleviate the melancholy and boredom that can come into play in a situation such as this. It also guarantees you’ll always have something to do and provides a backbone for your mental health. Having a routine is something I lack, but hope to incorporate successfully in the coming weeks.
Introvert State of Mind
At the start of all of this, as the covid19 reality sunk in, my anxiety crept in with feelings of fear and of being trapped in my home, but getting outside really helped with that, and I think changing my thought process about this whole coronavirus situation has put a damper on the negative thinking.
Instead of thinking about what I couldn’t do or where I couldn’t go, I started to consider the possibilities of what I could do. I thought about all the times that I’ve put something off because I just didn’t have the time to do them.
Well, guess what? Now, I do.
I have unfinished craft and personal projects, boxes still packed in the garage, paperwork that needs to be taken care of, tons of new recipes that still need to be tried out, and videos that need to be edited.
They’re not all fun things to do, but I have more time on my hands to get them done, and when I do, there will be the lovely side effect of feeling like I accomplished something.
So, I can be the introvert in captivity during covid19, complaining and feeling depressed or I can open myself up to the possibilities this newfound time has to offer me.
What will you do with your extra time?