During this pandemic, many people have had to adjust their everyday lifestyle. For some, that meant merely changing from working at the office to working at home, but, for extroverts, it meant adapting to isolation.
Extroverts thrive on the company of others and often use social interaction to enhance their mood and stay motivated. With the onset of stay-at-home orders, more home office days, and requests from the government to celebrate holidays virtually, extroverts may find themselves never leaving their comfy loungewear and falling into a low mood. If you’ve been feeling this way throughout 2020, follow these tips to get yourself out of your slump and stay busy, even if you’re stuck at home.
Make a Schedule
If you’ve moved to a home office, you may appreciate some of the perks, including no more uncomfortable office wear, a 30-second commute, and a home-cooked lunch. However, if you suddenly have more flexible hours, it might be challenging to keep yourself motivated.
The best way to adjust to a work-from-home situation is to maintain your previous schedule. Set your working hours and act as though you’re at the office. You don’t need to spend an hour on your hair and makeup to work off-camera, but you should change out of your pajamas, take a shower, and only take breaks when your schedule allows.
The schedule can also apply to your non-work life. On weekends, set a time for exercise, virtual socializing, and exploring a new hobby. It’ll make your life feel more structured and mean less time spent scrolling social media, increasing your low mood.
Focus on a Hobby
Have you always wanted to learn French or start playing the piano? If you have a dream that has always seemed out of reach because of a lack of free time, now’s the time to get started.
Many language schools have moved online and involve several hours a day interacting with other students and your teacher on Zoom. Look for a school that has native speakers. If you prefer to get started by yourself, you can join Duolingo for free. They have lots of language options, from Spanish to Hebrew to Klingon, and every time you choose a correct answer, you win coins and points.
Any hobby can help take your mind off the global situation, but, if you’re craving human contact, look for one with a thriving online community. Many hobbyists are happy to help beginners and host online tutorials to make new friends. Start by Googling your hobby and seeing what online resources there are available.
Get a Pet
Pets are a fantastic way to boost your mental health, get you out of the house, and encourage exercise. Many mental health professionals recommend getting a pet to help decrease loneliness, promote socialization, and improve depression symptoms. Especially if you’re working from home, it can be challenging to ensure you get outside every day. A dog will force you outside for a walk, where you’ll benefit from the exercise, fresh air, and vitamin D.
If you’re not sure you’re ready for a long-term commitment but have experience with animals, you can also register as a dog walker or sign up to foster through your local shelter. Fostering will give you a sense of purpose and keep you busy taking care of an animal in need.
Schedule Virtual Meetups
You may not be able to head down to your favorite bar for trivia night, but you can still meet up with your friends and family virtually. Schedule a Zoom meeting for Friday night with your best friends and arrange in advance what type of food and drink you’ll all make.
Whether you want an Italian-themed night with pizza and beer or prefer to schedule a virtual wine-tasting, you can coordinate with your friends and have a fun, shared experience. If you love dressing up for a night out, choose your favorite dress or jumpsuit, do your make-up, and wear some bling for your virtual meetup.
If you enjoy playing board games with your friends, there are many options available online. For those who love word games, there’s an easy-to-use version of Codenames online for free. If you prefer more traditional board games, Tabletopia has over 1,000 classic games available. You can also play card games and chess through apps available on both Android and Apple phones.
Being stuck at home can take a toll on previously active extroverts. If you used to have a running group, did Crossfit, or took yoga classes, you may have had to cancel your usual exercise activities.
However, that doesn’t mean that you should quit exercising. Exercise produces endorphins, which help boost your mood and encourage productivity. If you’re a runner, connect with your running friends on an app like Strava. You can even schedule your runs at the same time and compare times and distances afterward.
If you prefer yoga, search for online yoga classes to participate in, or reach out to your local yoga studio to request an online option. There are also multiple yoga apps and Youtube channels that regularly post new routines for yoga enthusiasts of all levels.
Another great option is getting away from the city for an overnight camping trip. As long as you socially distance, you and some friends can set up camp, cook over a campfire, and go on a few hikes. Interacting with others is safer outside than inside, and you’ll get some great pictures, build fitness, and make fantastic memories. Ensure that you research potential campgrounds before you go, as many national and state parks remain closed to the public.
Be Kind to Yourself
2020 has been a long, tough year for many. Even if you follow all these recommendations, you may still have days where it’s tough to stay motivated or get out of bed. When you have one of those days, it’s okay to give yourself permission to stay in bed and binge Netflix.
However, try to push yourself to stick to your schedule, stay active, and maintain your social connections. Unlike introverts, extroverts gain energy from interacting with others. If you’ve noticed your social calendar has emptied, try to fill it with online interactions and new hobbies.
Images from Isolation by Clay Boutté – See the full story here