Extroverts in a Quarantine, COVID-19 at Thriveworks Counseling in Colorado Springs

It’s been over two weeks since you’ve gone to your normal happy hour with friends. Walking your dog has become a solo, quiet activity. You always thought days to binge Netflix was what you needed, but not like this. Not when you’ve started talking to your plant and have succumbed to watching a strange Netflix show about crazy tiger breeders.

The coronavirus outbreak and social isolation has hit everyone hard. Stress, anxiety, depression, and other mental health concerns are becoming more prevalent in our community. But even then, there’s some people who joke that they’ve been preparing for this their whole life.

Usually it is said with books in hand and tea brewing. Usually, it’s an introvert who jokes that they’ve been socially isolating before it was cool.

But what if you lean more towards an extrovert? Undoubtedly, social isolation affects us all negatively. Humans are social creatures and meant to interact, even in small amounts. But as an extrovert, this might be especially hard.

The core of an extrovert is deriving energy from being around people. They love to go out, meet new people, and experience new things. An extroverted mentality and personality mean you’re comforted by the security of friendships and talking things out. Constant social stimulation could be as important to you as water.

But now, you’re inside all day. You might be alone all day. You certainly can’t engage in your normal social activities. It can start to feel like you’re going crazy. One extrovert who is living alone with her dog says it like this:

“I used to go out with my girlfriends about 5 times a week. And now I don’t. You start to feel a little coocoo. I started talking to my dog!”

Colorado Springs Thriveworks is compiled of extroverts, introverts, and everyone in between. We understand that as an extrovert, you’re probably struggling. Not only is your main source of energy taken from you, but so is your comfort, outlet, and stress relief.

“There’s so much to be said about face to face interaction that causes a sense of security and comfort.”

Thriveworks Colorado Springs wants you to know that you are not alone. You are strong and we can find a way to come out of social isolation stronger than before. As an extrovert, you probably miss ranting to your friends and releasing all the pent-up energy in social situations. A counselor will never be a replacement for those friends and social gatherings, but we can take the pressure off through online counseling. Check out our website for more information or call (719) 266-3919.

How to Stay Healthy as an Extrovert

As an extrovert, what else can you be doing to stay happy and healthy? Our counselors have found these to healthy coping strategies:

  1. Keep your routine. On the weekdays, get up at the same time every day. Exercise, take a shower, and eat breakfast. Or, find what works for you! Some people meditate in the morning. Others walk their dog. Building your day around unchanging, comforting actions can give a sense of stability and productivity to your days.
  2. Get a lot of exercise! Extroverts can hold a lot of energy, both negative and positive. Usually social interactions are a healthy outlet for that energy, but without it you might be feeling like you’re about to explode. There’s so much you can do to stay physically active. Even reorganizing your house can be enough to take the edge off! Find things to keep your body less anxious and less like you’re going to explode.
  3. Sit in the quiet and think! Wait, what? Just sit and think? If you’re an extrovert this may be an uncomfortable activity for you. That’s okay! Use this social distancing as a way to come back to yourself and your goals. Explore your thoughts and emotions. Reconnect with yourself on a deeper level.
  4. Find healthy habits you can do around the house! Have you ever baked a cake? Planted a garden? Made a table? There are so much we can do to stimulate our brains. Just make sure these new hobbies are healthy. It can be easy to slip into using alcohol, drugs, social media, and TV as a crutch. There’s nothing wrong with having a glass of wine at the end of the day, but make sure you’re keeping your habits in check so you can stay happy and healthy.
  5. Reach out! As an extrovert, this is the number one thing you can do to stay healthy during the coronavirus pandemic and social distancing. It won’t be same as meeting face to face, but it will be hugely beneficial. Facetime, skype, text, call!

 

“We did a facetime, all four of us, and we sat and had wine together. As someone who needs that constant stimulation it was so nice to chat and talk and catch up. It’s such a difficult time for everyone. Whatever you can do to help you feel more normal, I think that’s the most important thing.”

What will help you feel normal? Is it scheduling a nightly call? Three nightly calls? With morning facetimes? That’s perfect! Do what you have to do during this uncertain time.

Working Past Mental Blocks

Of course, Thriveworks Colorado Springs understands that it’s not always easy to reach out. When you’re already feeling drained and down, finding the energy to overcome the lies your brain might be telling you is hard. We’re here to help. Here are three lies you might be telling yourself that are not true!

  1. I’m going insane! Not true! You’re reacting in a perfectly rational way to having your schedule turned upside down with your main support system taken out from under your feet. Quarantine is hard. Self-isolating is not fun. Social distancing is going to negatively affect your mental health. The question that remains is what can we do about it?

“To anyone who starts talking to your plant or spoon or animal or fish, just do it! It doesn’t mean you’re going insane or having a huge mental breakdown. It just means you need someone to talk to, and that’s okay!”

  1. I just need to be stronger. Definitely not true! It’s easy to slip into the thought pattern that since everyone is going through this you just need to suck it up and stop complaining. Colorado Springs Thriveworks wants to stress that you are never weak for reaching out and being honest with how you’re feeling. It’s a sign of strength!

“I should just be fine with this. Everyone is going through it! I just need to pull up my bootstraps and get through it. I felt like I should just be over it and I didn’t need help and I was weak for feeling alone.” 

  1. I’m bothering people! Most people are self-isolating in some way, and although we will all respond differently to our situations, almost everyone is feeling lonely. We’ve all had friends who we can no longer see face to face and plans that we’ve had to cancel. Reaching out to your loved ones and even acquaintances to check-in and engaging in vital human contact (even if it is virtual) is a huge mood boost and can help everyone during this time.

“You know what? I need this, I’m going to reach out to friends. And I found at they were going through the same things I am. It’s fun, communicative, and it’s how we’re there for others.”

You are allowed to feel grief over the lifestyle you lost. You’re allowed to feel angry and sad and depressed and empty and lazy. You’re allowed to have days when you sit and watch Netflix all day and days where you aren’t sure what to do with yourself.

Just remember that there is always another day and that next day has the potential to be amazing.

It’s not going to be the same, but this is very temporary and if we can just hold on and do our civic duty, we can still be awesome extrovert selves! It doesn’t change who we are.

To reach out and talk to someone, contact:

719-266-3919

Support.cosp@thriveworks.com

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