Essential. Non-essential. Quarantine. Shelter in place. Regardless of where you are in the world, these words have redefined 2020. Not only are people figuring out how to meet their basic needs, but many find themselves adapting to the new levels of social interaction.
For me, the desires of my heart start at home. Through sentimental moments of homeschool and meal planning, the past few months threw the importance of family in my face. Honoring togetherness has been added to my prayer list, especially since I’m an introvert.
The pandemic brought a new type of normal
Since the fall of 2019, I had six hours of alone time every day. My husband worked, and my kids attended school. I stayed home to write. It’s funny how five short months helped reignite my habit of solitude.
Then, the pandemic canceled on-campus schooling. It also canceled birthday parties. Additionally, Coronavirus canceled appointments, as well as daily grocery store trips, vacations, and salons.
It squished my family and me together, yet it took other outlets away. It was an adjustment for us all.
Honor togetherness as a family
There’s no denying that strong family bonds are a reward within themselves; however, an introvert often needs a break. They recharge from alone time. They must get lost in a book, a quiet corner, or their imaginations on a routine basis. So, how does an introvert find balance? In my opinion, it is through understanding.
Understand your limits.
Understand what refuels you.
And also, understand what your family needs as well.
Now is the time for families to achieve harmony. We have time like never before. The excess jargon of countless activities is no longer there, and sheltering in place puts us all at home.
How can introverts cope during covid?
There are a few basic tips introverts can use while surrounded by their families. These suggestions come with acknowledgement that every family dynamic is different. I understand that we are all under the same storm, even if we are not all in the same boat. Please adjust them to your specific needs.
Furthermore, please note that I am not a medical professional. I’m an ordinary person sharing tips that worked for me.
1. Start with communication
For a family to thrive, each member must understand the rules. What are your family’s norms? What is acceptable behavior? Lastly, what makes everyone within the family comfortable or uncomfortable? Begin by having a family discussion to ensure everyone a good start.
2. Mark off a quiet place
Most introverts find solace in a quiet place. When you start to feel overwhelmed, let your family know that you need a time out. Set a designated area where you can spend 15 minutes by yourself.
3. Practice resistance
In the same way an athlete trains by adding resistance, an introvert can hold out a few minutes longer each time. Hold off on the urge to seclude yourself for five minutes after your initial trigger. Your endurance will strengthen, and your flight mode will subside.
4. Stay active
Adding exercise to your daily routine will cause the release of endorphins. It not only creates a great feeling for introverts to work with, but it also acts as a reset. The adrenaline produced from introvert stress needs to be released one way or another. Try to do it through exercise instead of a meltdown.
5. Do creative writing or journaling
Giving your mind something to focus on can be a useful distraction. Write your feelings down in journal and see where your thoughts go. Who knows, you make unintentionally create your next big novel.
6. Slow down on external connections
If you’ve tried all of the above suggestions and you’re still not feeling relief, try slowing down on external connections. Cut the influence of social media and give casual socializing a break.
Parenting in the age of COVID-19
Parenting as an introvert can seem daunting at times, especially with the requirement of staying at home. While your heart wants to honor togetherness, it’s understandable when your body feels something else.
Remember to give yourself grace, and take every situation one step at a time. I believe we will get through this, together; even if we take a few quiet breaks along the way.