The Introverts Downside to Social Distancing: Why Quarantine Sucks for Introverts Too

While everyone instantly assumes that social distancing is something the introvert is made for, that is a bit of an exaggeration. Of course, introverts are better suited for spending longer periods of time alone, as this is how they recharge and energize themselves. The introvert requires distance and some space to recuperate after they have been around social settings for too long, as this is how they gain their energy. While they do benefit from a lot of time to themselves, this doesn’t mean that being forced into a self-quarantine is something which brings the introverts a sense of joy and peace. The best part is not having to make excuses for distancing themselves, but even introverts can become emotionally exhausted from being shut inside for long periods of time. There is a difference between peace and quiet, and being told you shouldn’t leave your home for reasons beyond your control. 

While there are many ways in which introverts are equipped to handle social distancing, there are also many ways in which this quarantine can be hard on them as well. It is important to consider the many angles of the situation, and to not instantly assume that every introvert is doing just fine through these major changes in their lifestyle. Here are some reasons why introverts will likely struggle with social distancing, and a few helpful ways for them to cope with those emotional struggles they are likely dealing with during the process.

Their Minds Never Stop Churning

Introverts often have very active inner minds, which can be why they need this time to themselves so frequently. Being someone who has an overactive mind which never seems to calm down, is actually something which can make this quarantine a real struggle for introverts. While being away from people is not necessarily the worst thing, constantly worrying about the state of the world is likely something they cannot escape. Being stuck inside and unable to distract themselves with loved ones, can actually make this much worse. They will likely find themselves going over so many different scenarios and potential “what ifs” and this is something which fills them with worry. The introvert can struggle to manage these thoughts sometimes, and will run over these ideas constantly until it makes them feel anxious about the situation around them. It can be hard for them to silence their inner minds, especially when they don’t have the same outlets for it. Sometimes just exploring their usual spots like their favorite book store, movie theater, or restaurant, can actually help calm the introverts’ worrying mind. Without these outlets they have to resort to things within their home, and sometimes that makes it challenging to really quell the anxious thoughts.

Some Introverts are Stuck at Home With Extroverts

While being alone and having the time of social distancing isn’t the world thing for introverts, not all of them are stuck at home by themselves. Some introverts might be married to or living with extroverts, and at times this can make the time cooped up inside much more challenging for them. This doesn’t mean that there is anything wrong with the extroverts they live with, and in many situations introverts deeply cherish the company of their extroverted loved ones. At the same time, having to be stuck at home with an anxious extrovert who needs social interaction, can be a bit exhausting for introverts. Being stuck inside with someone who is constantly needing interaction and is feeling a bit stagnant from lack of socialization, can be something which makes the experience much harder for an introvert. When they do actually need some peace and quiet, they find that it can be hard to obtain this.

They Need Connections Too

 While being alone or being inside their home isn’t the worst thing for the introvert, there are so many ways in which mandatory social distancing is actually something which takes their peace and sense of comfort. Not only do introverts find themselves overthinking the stress of the situation, they also need to feel connected to people as well. If they live alone and cannot get some time to hug or feel close to someone special, it can be upsetting for them. Just because they are introverts and need time to themselves, doesn’t mean they want to be kept from the people they love constantly. While they can find ways to interact by video chatting or texting, some introverts crave a sense of physical touch as well. Just because all introverts do need time alone to recharge, not all introverts are made exactly the same. For some not being able to hug and physically connect with their loved ones, can be a very upsetting thing.

Ways for the Introvert to Cope with Social Distancing

Something which can benefit the introvert during this time of social distancing, is maintaining some sort of schedule. They can find it easy to become caught up in a loop and disconnect themselves from the world, and so having a daily schedule can be useful to prevent this from happening. Learning to take in the positive things around them, and even journaling can be helpful tool for the introvert who is struggling with feeling trapped by quarantine.

Self-care is also an important tool for the introvert who is stuck inside, and not feeling bad about treating themselves to something special. Occasional indulgence is important when something this serious is happening, and being able to take pleasure in those little things around them. While it isn’t always an easy process, learning to enjoy things and keep a positive state of mind is really vital for the introverted personality. It is important for them to look at each silver lining, and be sure to find things which bring them even the smallest sense of joy. While living in the moment isn’t easy for everyone, it can be the only recourse during difficult times.