What’s Inside: How to stay sane while staying at home during lockdown. This is the extrovert’s guide to surviving quarantine.
For introverts, the idea of staying at home and self-distancing from others might sound like a dream!
No more school drop-offs! No more appointments! Goodbye after school activities and sports practices!
Now you get to spend all of your time in your favorite place: home! You can get meals and groceries delivered right to your door or even spend hours playing the latest Animal Crossing game without anyone judging you for it.
BUT for those of us who are extroverts, the very idea of staying home sounds like a downright nightmare. After spending over a month at home, it’s hard not to worry about what’s next…
How to Survive Lockdown when You’re an Extrovert
As an extrovert myself, it took spending nearly an entire month at home self-quarantined before I had come to terms with it.
For those of you who are stressed out and always worried about what’s to come, I hope that this provides you with a little bit of peace of mind during these difficult times.
1. Learn to be content with what you have
When I wasn’t working, I found myself wanting to fall back into my usual habits.
I wanted to go shopping or hang out with friends. I wanted to go out into the world…but I couldn’t.
After waiting a month for an Amazon order of nonessential items to finally reach my doorstep, I realized that I didn’t even remember ordering it in the first place! I couldn’t remember what was on it’s way to me because it had been so long since I ordered it!
Since items were taking so long to get to me, I stopped buying things.
Because I was trapped at home and stuck with my current surroundings, I started sorting through the boxes of unpacked items in our home. In just a weekend of decluttering, we donated at least two full boxes to Goodwill, and that doesn’t even include the bags of trash that went to the dump.
I stopped needing more stuff because I had so much around me. I just needed time to realize it.
2. Embrace simple living
When I first heard of the idea of “simple living,” I immediately thought about Little House on the Prairie. However, it never occurred to me how fulfilling the idea of doing and wanting less could be!
For the first time in probably forever, I had nothing on my schedule.
So I started baking more. I spent more time with my husband. I stopped scrubbing my home from top to bottom.
In wanting less and doing less, I found that I already had so much.
3. Fight cabin fever with small (safe) outings
After about two days in isolation, I had to get out of the house.
As long as you can practice social distancing safely, you can leave your home. It doesn’t have to be a big deal and you don’t even have to go anywhere special. Simple errands or even just a drive can do wonders for the soul.
One night around 1:30am, my husband and I decided on a whim to drop our trash off at the landfill!
Who would have thought that a short drive to the garbage dump – of all places – would be just what I needed to feel refreshed.
A few times, we’ve ventured out to support a local restaurant by ordering takeout. Occasionally we drive around the neighborhood just to drive. I’ve even set foot (safely) into a Costco to get groceries.
Go for a walk when no one else is out or step outside to get some fresh air for a minute or two. Just because you have to stay at home doesn’t mean you can’t venture out safely.
4. Prepare for the unexpected
Waiting on extra money from your tax return or from a stimulus check? Instead of using that chunk of money to book a vacation or buy more stuff you don’t truly need, consider using it to prepare for the unexpected.
Put that money into your savings account to build an emergency fund or pay off a debt.
With so much uncertainty in the job market and economy, you’ll never regret being prepared. During this time, when it feels like there is nothing you can do, you can prepare for the unexpected!
5. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself
Just because everyone else seems to be productive, doesn’t mean you have to do everything they’re doing.
You may have seen friends on social media posting about virtual tours and learning new skills with online courses. People are reading new books and starting home improvement projects.
While these can be a great way to pass the time, don’t feel like you have to do any of it!
If you don’t have time between working and taking care of your family, then don’t! This isn’t a productivity marathon or a competition — it’s a time to stay at home and keep your family safe.
There have been plenty of weeks where the only things I got done were keeping my family fed, dishes, laundry, and sleep.
And that is OK.
That is enough.
6. Remember your why
It wasn’t until we got our Stay at Home order from the state government that things became real. We knew and accepted that we’d be spending a long time at home.
Funny thing: once we were finally told we had to stay home, all of a sudden, the only thing I wanted to do was leave the house!
There are so many people out there who have no choice but to leave the house. They have to go to work and provide food to families out there, they have to go into the hospitals and treat people.
But we don’t have to. We can stay at home and do our part to help flatten the curve.
During the times when I’m worried about finding toilet paper or when I’ll be able to leave the house again, I remember WHY we’re staying at home in the first place.
I listen to the stories on social media and from people who’ve had the virus. I remember that we remain at home to protect ourselves and others.
Keeping this why in the forefront of our minds helps make our time at home a little less bad.
What’s coming next?
I live in a tourist hot spot, which means that stuff has already started to open back up where we live.
While I may worry about the next time I can see my niece or my friends and family again, I know that the right thing to do right now is to be home.
Instead of wondering when I’ll be able to leave again, I look at the next day ahead. I do what I can, and I’m grateful that I’m able to stay home with my family and that we’re all healthy right now.
What’s next isn’t the kind of thing you can plan. I didn’t realize my last monthly grocery haul would be one of the last real stock up trips I’d be able to have for a while. So while you are home and worried about what’s to come, I encourage you to the following:
- Rest and recover.
- Take this time to enjoy your home and all that you have.
- Embrace what you have around you and live a simpler life.
- Worry about the things you can control like what’s for dinner tonight and how much Tiger King you’ll watch.
As the days being stuck at home continue to tick by, instead of worry about the things you can control inside the four walls of your home.
Remember that this won’t last forever, and you’ll be able to hug your loved ones again soon.
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