I have spent a lot of my weekends wishing for my usual trips to different cities, visiting friends and socialising. I am a textbook extrovert meaning I am energised by spending time with other people – this has made lockdown a challenge for me!
On the flipside introverts may be finding lockdown easier, being allowed to spend time alone to recharge without constant social commitments that can cause stress or fatigue. I caught up with one of introverts in our team; we spoke about how odd it would be if the roles were reversed and they were forced in to a state of persistent socialising with no way to remove themselves and recharge. It got me thinking about what I’ve found useful to keep me sane in isolation.
Here’s my guide on how to survive as an extrovert in lockdown:
1. Maintain contact with your colleagues/friends. Even virtual communication is a source of stimulus for us extroverts. Feeling connected with others can lift spirits and quell that feeling of loneliness. Get creative –have a themed zoom meeting or a Netflix Party with friends to replicate what it might be like if you were together.
2. Plan time to catchup. We are used to having water cooler conversations in the office and a flat white in the local café. . Catch ups can help to split up the day and gives you something to look forward to. You don’t need a reason and agenda – it is fine to just give people a call to catch up.
3. Reach out to fellow extroverts. Often extroverts are expected to be ‘up’ all the time, but in lockdown this may not be the case with less human contact. Reaching out to other extroverts may help give a mutual boost of energy. Two extroverts bouncing off each other over Teams could be what the doctor ordered to get the morale back up.
4. Let an introvert show you the way. TLearn from the introverts I have had many conversations with my introverted friends about the benefit of slowing down and recognising that life doesn’t have to be go go go all the time.
5. Collaborate. Working together on a document, presentation or deliverable, discussing ideas out loud and providing constructive challenge, makes all the difference.
6. Journal. It may sound cheesy but writing down all the thoughts in your head instead of chewing someone’s ear off may help. It will get you off social media which can be damaging or give you a feeling of FOMO (fear of missing out) – a common trait of an extrovert’s personality.
7. Get outside. It can be so tempting to stay inside for days on end. However, I have found it useful forcing myself to go out for some reason where there is a chance of human interaction – whether that be a smile from someone you walk past in the street or an encounter with a shop assistant in your local store. Whatever it may be, a change of scene can give you that energy you may have lost sitting inside all day.