For some introverts, the requirement of social distancing across the nation seems like the norm or a blessing. For extroverts, this serious increase in isolation and lack of socializing can have detrimental effects on mental health. However, this required isolation as a response to the COVID-19 epidemic in the US and across the world can be harmful to both introverts and extroverts.
Extroverts thrive off of social interaction, being out of the house, and out and about. But right now, they quite literally can’t because it would be harmful to their health and the health of others. So, what is to be done about this issue? There are other ways of communicating than face-to-face contact and conversation. For starters, pick up the phone and call someone. To get more of that face-to-face contact, log-on to a video calling app such as Skype or FaceTime. Throw it back old-school and write a letter! Or as a faster alternative, have an email pen pal! Maybe even get more into blogging and commenting on our posts here at SOVA!
Introverts who have harmful tendencies to isolate themselves can also struggle as a result of currently required isolation. It is often recommended that those who struggle with this use the “opposite to emotion action” skill. This skill encourages one to act the opposite (social) of your urge (stay isolated). If one can literally not socialize, they can suffer from only sinking further into isolation and depression. Pick up one of the ideas listed above—phone-calling, emailing, writing letters, video-calling—to start getting engaged. Practicing social interaction from a distance can be a life-saving measure for your mental health at this time. Plus, this can be a good start to developing your socializing skills and interaction for beyond this time of isolation.
Whether you are introverted, extroverted, or somewhere in the middle of those extremes, you need to stay engaged to keep your mental health sustained. It’s vitally important to not completely shut down just because the businesses, restaurants, and other locations may be shutting down. Stay active, stay connected, stay healthy in these isolated times to the best of your abilities.
Have you seen a change in your social skills and how you interact with people? In what ways have you been reaching out to people that you are not living with?