Do Introverts Like Shutdowns Due to the Covid-19 Pandemic?
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Do Introverts Like Shutdowns Due to the Covid-19 Pandemic?

 Discover ways that Introverts are handling the COVID-19 pandemic

 

 

Learn how introverts are coping with the Coronavirus outbreak

 

Starting in Wuhan China, the Coronovirus has affected the entire world. We are aware that social distancing, staying at home, and avoiding public places significantly decreases the spread of the COVID-19 virus according to Johns Hopkins School of Medicine

 

The World Health Organization is giving up-to-date information on the spread of the virus, and how to stay safe. Our healthcare system, and the world, is undoubtedly impacted by the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). After this will emerge a New Normal.

 

Many people are struggling to stay active, find themselves getting bored, are missing socializing with their friends…but perhaps there is one group of people who are thriving…introverts.

 

Of course, it is safe to say that no one is particularly pleased with the health scare at hand. Most of us are ready to resume life as usual very soon. However, those who are introverted may be coping with these social distancing norms and public shutdowns easier than others. 

 

 

 

What makes someone an Introvert?

 

There is thought that there are two personality types: Introverts and extroverts.

 

Introverts are more energized by “alone time” and many would rather avoid large social engagements, if possible. However, there is somewhat of a myth that introverts don’t like people, and don’t like going out and about. They are not antisocial. They just need fewer people to interact with than extroverts in order to feel comfortable. 

 

 

 

 

How do you know if you’re an introvert? 

 

Here are some key signs of an introverted personality trait:

 

  • Downtime/alone time is the key way you “recharge.” You feel energized by days off, time to yourself, or other forms of relaxation. 
  • Small talk, meeting strangers, or large gatherings can feel overwhelming.
    • This does not mean you don’t like people- it just requires lots of energy from you!
  • You like to work independently rather than in groups.
  • Talking to strangers is very difficult.
  • You tend to listen far more than speaking when in groups.

 

 

 

So what makes a person extroverted?

 

 Here are some key signs of an extrovert personality trait:

 

  • Social settings, crowds, interaction with people, etc is what energizes you and motivates you, it’s how you gain energy.
  • You may like to talk out your thoughts, enjoy small talk with strangers, and are often leaders of crowds and groups.
  • You may prefer to work in groups or do work that involves interacting with other people than work you do independently.
  • Talking to strangers gives you high levels of joy.
  • You talk more than you listen when in groups.

 

Whichever category you fall into is completely normal! It is neither better to be extroverted or introverted- simply just part of what makes you..you! Knowing how you recharge, find motivation, and interact with the world around you can be a huge help to navigating choices you make in your life. 

 

 

 

Introversion and Depression (and other mental health issues).

 

So while many introverts may be rejoicing in their newfound increased alone time, we do want to make sure that people are not falling into symptoms of depression. Social isolation is a risk factor for depression according to the American Psychological Association. So what’s the difference between someone who is introverted and someone is depressed? 

 

Introverts may be quiet, but introverts feel.

 

One key place to look is in their energy and motivation. As stated earlier, introverts are energized by downtime. This helps them find motivation to do their work, maintain social relationships, and other tasks.

 

Key signs for those who are dealing with depression include: fatigue, low energy, lack of motivation, insomnia, feelings of worthlessness, difficulty concentrating, and more. These symptoms typically last for two weeks or longer. 

 

It is important to look for those signs in yourself, or others during this time where our daily routines have changed significantly. If you are experiencing symptoms of depression, reach out to your doctor, therapist, loved ones, etc. to get help. (Right now it is best to call to make an appointment with a doctor, before going in to be seen).

 

You can also check out this collection of resources from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and the US Department of Health and Human Services if you believe you are suffering from mental illness or substance abuse disorders.

 

 

 

 

Can your Introversion during the Coronavirus pandemic be problematic? 

 

Social distancing, staying home from work/social settings for 14 days (or longer), and shutting down crowded places, are all necessary actions to flatten the curve of spreading the fever cough virus. However, many of these actions run the risk of increasing loneliness, and symptoms of anxiety or depression. 

 

It is important to maintain connections to loved ones and friends at this time- including introverts. This can be done through FaceTime, texting, writing letters, or even talking over the fence (all while keeping the recommended 6 foot distance!). 

 

Another important way to stay healthy during this time, is to keep routine and structure in your life. Go to bed at the same time each night, as well as getting up at the same time each morning. Keep your routine as consistent as possible day to day. 

 

Even if you are working from home, get dressed in clothes that are comfortable, but maybe aren’t the pajamas you just slept in. Cook wholesome meals for yourself, and keep up with hygiene practices like brushing your teeth, washing your face, and other things that may fall by the wayside when stuck inside. 

 

Routines can keep your motivation higher when there is less social/work structure in your life during this time we as a society are working to lessen the impact of COVID-19 cases. 

 

It is important to remember that if we are taking all the necessary stringent measures now to prevent the spread of this virus, we will be back to socializing sooner rather than later! Perhaps we look to our introverted peers at this time to be a reminder to us that social distancing, and staying at home is the healthiest action for not only ourselves, but our greater community at large. 

 

 

 

What should I do if I am concerned about my introverted friend/loved one.

 

It’s tough when you have someone in your life that you are worried about their mental and emotional health. And it is even harder to identify the best ways to be supportive without making things worse. Below are some things to think about when considering how to be helpful.

 

Have you actually seen problematic behaviors? 

 

One thing to be mindful of is that you don’t want to intrude unless there is something you have actually seen that is unhealthy. Are they just not responding to a text as quickly as you would like, or are they isolating themselves for days on end? Do they seem significantly more depressed as the days go on? If you see something, say something. If you haven’t seen anything, while it doesn’t hurt to ask, consider the other person is just being introverted. 

 

Is the other person usually receptive to help?

 

Some people make it really hard to help them. If this is the case, there is probably little you can do to make the other person not be reactive, dismissive, or defensive. Knowing this, share your concerns with them, and don’t be too phased if they reject your help. If they have a strong reaction, it is probably further evidence that they are not doing well. 

 

Be careful about offering too much help, prying too much, or talking too much. Share your concern, offer to talk about it, and if they don’t take you up on it, back off.

 

If the other person is receptive to your help, hazaa! Ask what kind of help they would prefer. Do they want you to just talk to them, or need people spending time with them? Do they think they need to talk to a therapist/mental health counselor? Do they want to talk to a Psychiatrist or Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner about medication? Maybe they just need some help to get out of the house, socialize, and think about something other than the Coronavirus. Offer help, but let them lead the way when possible.

 

 

 

Consider also helping them do necessary things, like going to the grocery store.

 

Resources for mental health counseling and medication can be found below:

 

The United States Department of Health and Human Services

National Association on Mental Illness

National Association on Mental Illness (Minnesota Chapter)

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

Mental Health Services (St. Paul, MN Non-profit)

Learn more about Introversion here.

For more information about the Coronavirus, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC

 

 

 

Disclaimer: ALL IN Therapy Clinic aims to improve people’s lives through providing effective mental health counseling by passionate professionals. We publish quality material for your own education. Our publications are researched, cited, reviewed, and edited by licensed mental health professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of a qualified healthcare provider.