Shelter-in-place has been very difficult for me because I am an extrovert; I took a free online Myers Briggs test and I got “ESFJ” the “E” in “ESFJ” stands for extrovert.
I was born and raised in the Bay Area — All my life I have been in a very diverse and urban environment, and I love it. I am an outgoing person, I enjoy meeting new people, making friends and meeting up with them. Even though I am a very independent and self-sufficient person, I like having the choice of being able to go out when I want to go out and meeting up with my friends. This shelter-in-place situation means I don’t have those opportunities anymore, and that has been very difficult to deal with.
What I can say to all the extroverts out there who are struggling with not being able to go out and hangout with people is: You are not alone. I understand how you feel. If you Google “shelter in place as an extrovert”, there are a lot of articles on the topic of being an extrovert while sheltering in place. This will help you realize that your feelings of anxiety are normal, and again, that you are not alone.
If you are feeling anxious or overwhelmed, please reach out to people who you can trust and talk about these feelings, because they are normal feelings. It’s important for you to reach out and get support.
I emailed my professor letting her know that I have been feeling overwhelmed and so submitting assignments has been a struggle. I have reached out to my classmates and let them know how overwhelmed I have been feeling. Even though it was hard to open up, I felt a lot better when I did, because it felt like a huge weight had been lifted off my chest. I got so much support, and it made me feel less isolated.
Extroverts, when you are feeling stressed, do what you do best: Communicate to the people you are close to, because we get energy from being around others, so reaching out to others and talking about your feelings will make you feel better.
Another tip is to arrange times to call friends and loved ones, over the phone or over the internet. Instead of having an in-person dinner party, you can have a virtual dinner party during which you Zoom your friends while you are cooking dinner. You can even dress up, wear makeup, and do what you would normally do in person, but while using Zoom.
If you need to exercise, YouTube has a lot of exercise videos — My favorites have been some of the yoga videos, because not only do they make you sweat, but they also help ground you in the present moment while in each pose.
If you have found that you have tried to reach out but that some people are not responding at all or are responding in unhelpful ways, don’t take it personally. It is difficult as an extrovert, but everyone has a different way of dealing with shelter-in-place, and it doesn’t mean there is anything wrong or abnormal about you, it just means that you need to reach out to different people, ones who can give you the support you need.
A great book to read is “The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz — a self-help book that gives you advice on how to deal with negative feelings.