The coronavirus pandemic has created a sudden shift of lifestyle, and not everyone has been able to handle social distancing, the decrease of income and the lack of interaction with others. It’s led to depression and anxiety for some.
Interestingly, introverts seem to enjoy their time at home much more than extroverts.
Twenty-four-year-old Florida International University journalism major Dailen Vera is an introvert. Her worries at the beginning of the pandemic were like everyone else’s: money and bills. She lives alone and still hasn’t spent much time with her family.
But, she says, social distancing has given her the chance to practice activities she once enjoyed such as playing the ukulele, painting, singing, reading and photography. Dailen has used this time as a pause from her daily school and work routine. She has always preferred staying home and enjoying hobbies like these, but says that her part-time job and writing homework consumes most of her time prior to COVID-19.
Thomas Schmuki, a 70-year-old portrait and editorial photographer, has felt quite the opposite. Thomas is an extrovert. He’s forged many relationships throughout his life, the lack of which has led to depression during these months of quarantine. Since the beginning of March, Thomas has felt quite alone. He’s used to having friends and family around. Living inside his home without being able to go to a restaurant, the beach or a gathering has increased his anxiety and stress.
Licensed marriage and family therapist Dr. Maria Angelica Mejia explains that extroverts need to have physical touch with others to reenergize themselves while introverts instead use individual hobbies to relax. Introverts don’t need consistent interaction to feel happy; meeting with family and friends once a week or so is enough for them.
Her advice for both personality types during this crisis is to simply find what they truly enjoy and make the most of it, whether it is meditating or having zoom meetings with family and friends once a week.
The pandemic provides time to work more on oneself and what we truly desire, admire and need to feel alive and well. Dr. Mejia says life is about feeling successful and happy, and finding joy is the answer to a fruitful life.