How To Make The Best Of Social Distancing, According To Introverts

If you're an extrovert struggling with self-isolation during the coronavirus pandemic, introverts have advice for you.

As many have noted, introverts have a leg up when it comes to social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic.

While an extrovert is emotionally refuelled by spending time with others, introverts thrive and feel recharged by time alone. Staying indoors on the weekends or sticking to solo plans comes naturally to the introverts among us.

This makes introverts perfectly suited to share some advice to those struggling with self-isolation and staying home for the foreseeable future. Below, we’ve rounded up 12 tried-and-true tips from introverts who feel at home, at home.

1. Get serious about your hobbies and interests.

“While, of course, a Friday night at home is not that big a deal for introverts who relish them, these are different times, for sure. Speaking generally, I am pushing past my aversion to the telephone and FaceTime in order to avoid getting too isolated, which can lead to depression for anyone, even introverts. But when it comes to that at-home Friday night, I’m enjoying this newfound time to get really serious about the novel I’ve been writing. One of my very favourite things to do these days is getting into bed early with my laptop (and maybe a glass of wine or cup of tea) and write. It feels so indulgent, and making progress feels great.” ― Sophia Dembling from Texas. Dembling is the author of “The Introvert’s Way: Living a Quiet Life in a Noisy World”

2. Embrace a pantsless existence.

“Instead of going out, I like to stay at home, on the couch, elbow-deep in popcorn, braless and pantsless while watching ‘The Office’ for the tenth time.” ― Jamie from New York City

3. Get imaginative. Like, play-Tetris-with-your-furniture imaginative.

“I live in Beijing, and after 43 days at home with my extroverted boyfriend, life couldn’t be funnier. We played Tetris with our furniture and moved the dinner table and two chairs onto our impossibly small balcony just because we refused to spend the day stuck inside. We squeezed onto the balcony with our books and computers, doing what we love. And to keep active, sometimes we’d go into the living room to play soccer (since it’s empty now). Anything is possible with some imagination! Re-arrange the furniture and make space for creativity. Your balcony and your home can be what you make them to be!” ― Marlene Martins from Beijing

4. Remind yourself that you’re a world of your own.

“Being a introvert is about self-love. The average person is programmed to go outside for enjoyment and pleasure, so you’ll first need to reprogram a little: When you look at time indoors as an introvert, you see an opportunity to recharge, read, clean, binge-watch documentaries and work on creative projects like painting. After spending enough time indoors working on yourself and your space, you’ll actually begin to enjoy staying in more than going out for fun.” ― Christopher “The Fall Backup” Dwayne from Georgia

5. Play board games.

“Need something to challenge, take your mind off the lockdown and provide you with lots of fun? Try some old-fashioned board games. Since the beginning of the lockdown, I’ve already been busy (re-)discovering Monopoly, a Wikipedia trivia game and Cluedo. Obviously, this works best if you’re in isolation with at least one other person. But even if you’re not, there are ways of making it work. Think Solitaire ― bonus points if you use real cards. Though if you can’t live without electronics or don’t have any games in the house, online games can still do the trick. Plus, you can play these with your friends without anyone needing to leave their homes.” ― Nele Giese from Germany

6. Stick to a schedule

“I prefer to stick to a schedule and use my time for self-care. My mornings begin with yoga and my nights end with writing. In between, I take advantage of the time to learn instruments and practice music, try home workouts, and recently stream video games. If you’re struggling with finding the motivation for a new activity, begin with doing it for at least five minutes..” ― Tára Gray from Alaska

7. Go down a Wikipedia rabbit hole.

“I’m an only child, so growing up, I had to find ways to stay entertained! I love going down rabbit holes on Wikipedia and learning new things, to see where my curiosity leads me.” ― Shriya Nevatia from San Francisco

“When you look at time indoors as an introvert, you see an opportunity to recharge, read, clean, binge-watch documentaries and work on creative projects like painting.”

- Christopher “The Fall Backup” Dwayne

8. Test out a new skin care routine.

“I’ve tried to take advantage of this time by learning about skin care and makeup on YouTube and using up samples. I’ve collected a lot of Sephora samples over the past few years, but day to day, I usually stick to my routine, so when I have a lot of downtime, I try those samples and see if I like them.” ― Nevatia

“I take the extra steps, like using serums for my acne and putting on clay masks. I also exfoliate. I get to pay attention more to my problem areas. When you’re busy with school, work and life, you don’t really get to reflect on your health and how that usually reflects on your skin. It’s fun to do skin care because I get to know my self more and appreciate myself more.” ― Alie Felizardo

9. Remember that social distancing doesn’t mean being antisocial.

“Being an introvert does not mean you have to be antisocial. I still talk to my friends on a daily basis, but I just like being on my own and having my own space. The happiness people get from being around others I can get by just being by myself, and it’s awesome. So one thing to do is stay in touch with everyone. Find something that you love to do that can include your friends. I play my PlayStation with my friends and we can talk and play for hours.” ― Brian Griffin from Pennsylvania

“I pretty much just chill with my dog and drink wine (so cliché). But I’d also like to include a warning: Quarantine life doesn’t mean an introvert has to become even more introverted. I’ve committed myself to at least one to two group video chats per week with friends where we ‘wine and whine.’” ― Jemma Wilson from Paso Robles, California

10. Start journaling.

“I journal anytime I can get a peaceful, uninterrupted half hour or a few hours. Since starting Morning Pages (Julia Cameron’s method of journaling three pages of longhand stream of consciousness), I have come to see journaling as a time to hang out with and know myself better. The magic is in the process.

First, it enables a ‘brain drain,’ giving you a place to put those top-of-mind thoughts and worries instead of leaving them unacknowledged. It rids you of blockage and allows you to get at the inner voice that is truly you. Second, writing allows you to clarify and articulate your ideas, your thoughts, and even your own life story. As Ingrid Bengis famously expressed, ‘words are a form of action, capable of influencing change.’

So, where to start? Use a pen (the slayer of perfectionism) to write three pages in stream of consciousness: ‘I am writing Morning Pages. I’m not sure what I’m supposed to write, but here I go. I’m sitting in bed right now after another day in quarantine … Finding it hard to concentrate lately with corona, but here’s why I love journaling…’” ― Annemarie Allen from Alaska

11. Get your life organised.

“I organise. It’s relaxing and very versatile because you get to decide how big of a task you want to make it. Don’t want to spend any more than 30 minutes? Go through a drawer. Want to spend a few hours? Go through your closet. I don’t organise just to get organised, I also do it to familiarise myself with my belongings. Organising a bookshelf might lead to hours of browsing through old books. There’s something wholesome about that. To add to the experience, put on some music or a podcast, depending on what mood you’re going for. I like putting on ‘spa music.’ I’m serious.” — Lana Blakely from Stockholm

“As an introvert programmer/entrepreneur, I like to tie up all of the ‘loose ends’ in my life when I get a chance to myself. I like the fresh feeling when I wake up and know that I don’t have tons of backlogged tasks that obstruct me from starting a new venture. I’ll organise my files, back up data, catch up on bookmarked web articles, get my finances and budget sorted and understand my retirement plans and investments. Sometimes it’s not immediately apparent what ‘needs to be done,’ so I will take long walks, removing any distraction (no listening to podcasts), so that I can just ruminate on loose ends in my life and reprioritise as needed. ― Patrick Shyu, who lives in the Silicon Valley in California

12. Learn choreography at home.

“I’ve been having a lot of fun learning choreographies from dancing studios on YouTube. They’re fun and challenging. I’ve recently been practicing ‘ON’ by BTS. I think it involves just the right amount of movement and I also really enjoy the rhythm. Others I love are ‘Say So’ by Doja Cat and ‘Roxanne’ by Arizona Zervas.” Aya from Morocco

“One thing that always brightens my day is dancing. That’s why I recently started doing dance challenges on Tik Tok. Like a lot of introverts, it’s easy for me to get in my head and start overthinking if I focus only on cerebral activities, like reading. Dancing gets me into my body. Learning short, easy routines to share on social media is a fun and satisfying challenge!” ― Michaela Chung from Ottawa, Canada. Chung is the author of “The Irresistible Introvert” and creator of introvertspring.com.

Responses have been edited for clarity and style.


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