Extroverts: How to Deal

Quarantine, quarantine, quarantine. Is this another quarantine article? Well…YES. But hear me out.

I was recently talking to someone I’m very close to, who was sharing (okay, okay…VENTING) their desperate struggle with this whole staying-at-home situation we all have now found ourselves in. And this wasn’t the only person I’d heard this from. Other friends who are extroverts have also made comments about how much this is ruining their lives, how every day is the same nothingness, and about how can this continue for another month (at least).

As an enneagram 3 (don’t know about enneagram? Click here! I’m obsessed!), my reaction to conversations like this is to problem solve. To give solutions. Especially when those I love are struggling; my brain thinks, “there must be an answer!”

I must (annoyingly, I’m aware…) go on the record as saying that I have not been struggling with being home during quarantine. Surprisingly. Ask me in 30 days and the answer might be different, but for now…I’m good with it. Now, I have to also say that I COMPLETELY recognize how privileged I am to be able to say that. While I had to clear my work calendar in its entirety for the month, I have the ability to DO that and to reschedule those photo sessions. While I will not have any money coming in for the month, I have some money in savings that should help carry me through. While my kids school was canceled the remainder of the year, I’m able to be home with them. I’m also not a single parent, trying to do this alone. I get that my reality is way different than a lot of peoples’. I totally understand that there are struggles out there that others are going through relating to this quarantine that I haven’t even thought of.

But the realization that this hasn’t been too hard for me…made me think a bit. I’ve always thought of myself as an extrovert. I never have trouble meeting new people and striking up conversations (it’s actually a big part of my job!). I enjoy being around people, and as a family we are always getting together with other families and friends for get-togethers.

However, if I’m completely honest…it’s the days where that little box on my calendar has NO appointments where I feel most at peace. The days I have time to myself, no looming projects to finish, and possibly even a nap softly calling my name (wishful thinking there) that make my heart go all aflutter.

So…does that make me an introvert?

I googled a bit, as we do, and found and took a quiz about it, and got a result that I feel was super accurate! It said I’m an extrovert when I’m in public, and an introvert when I’m at home. Bingo. (Not going into this side of things too much, but this totally lines up with my enneagram 3 – needing to be “on” and put off a certain persona when I’m around others! Love how it all ties together in a neat little bow.)

But back to where we started. People I love ARE struggling. I am a problem solver. This isn’t really a problem I can solve, but you know what? I’m gonna give it the ol’ college try.

I present to you, my tips on how to deal with a quarantine as an extrovert.

1 – Schedule social interactions.

Yes, I know we’re all doing the Zoom thing. Whether it be for work, school, or with friends. However, by putting it on a schedule, you not only force it to be recurring, you also give yourself something to look forward to. Something to LIVE for, if you will.

2 – Bake.

We’ve all seen the memes going around about how many of us are on the struggle bus when it comes to refraining from partaking in the goodies. However, I’m all for gaining a few extra pounds if it keeps your sanity. Schedule Wednesdays and Saturdays as baking days. Try new recipes! Your housemates will probably even end up loving you MORE.

3 – Find online games you enjoy.

On your laptop or phone. Bonus if they’re word games – you can improve your vocabulary! I personally am a fan of coloring games.

4 – Netflix and chill.

Except REALLY chill. Not…that other thing. Or do that too. But that’s not what I’m talking about here. Wow, we are going downhill fast. (How many of you are even understanding this rabbit trail?!) While watching Netflix is obvious to most of us, there are a handful of people out there who aren’t on the Netflix bandwagon yet, and they totally should be – now more than ever. But even if you are already a Netflix believer…I want to say something to you, and I want you to actually hear me: WATCHING TV IS GOOD. IT IS FUN. IT IS RELAXING. (Say that in the “You is kind, you is smart, you is important,” voice from that movie The Help.) These are all things we need in our lives – things that are good, fun, and relaxing. So while watching too much TV has a certain stigma around it…well, we have never lived in such a time as this before. And in this time, TV is GOOD. (There is your permission. You’re welcome.)

5 – Take a walk every day.

To counter out all that screen time from the above bullet point, of course. 🙂 But really, my kids and I have been doing this just about every day of the quarantine and it’s amazing how much fresh air can do for your mood! Plus, when you’re out walking, you’ll undoubtedly see neighbors who are also out soaking up some rays, and you can make conversation (from a distance). Isn’t that every extrovert’s need in life?

6 – Make a play list of absolute, ultimate favorite songs.

Whether it be on Spotify, Pandora, or YouTube even. You can keep adding to it as you think of more songs, and seriously good music does seriously good things to your soul. Then blast that dang playlist as loud as you’re allowed, and sing along even louder, at any point that it’s socially (or anti-socially, as it were) acceptable. I’ll leave a few songs from our play list at the end of this.

7 – Stick with me here: therapy.

Mmhmm. I said it. Therapy gets a bad rap, and while I haven’t gone to therapy myself, I seriously think about doing it constantly and the only excuse I have for not, is not knowing which therapist to go to. My recent obsession with true crime podcasts has solved this problem for me, there’s been an ad I hear over and over during my podcast for betterhelp.com. I have no experience with them however, their whole thing is that you don’t have to GO anywhere. You can talk to a therapist from the comfort of your home (which is…like…a REQUIREMENT at the moment). These are people whose whole purpose is to help us with our mental health and I promise they will give you much better advice than I will.

8 – Send snail mail.

Know any kids? Every kid I know LOVES getting mail. Both my parents and my in-laws have sent mail to my kids during this quarantine and it has been a highlight each time. We have gotten simple notes, stickers, and we were even sent a new board game. About cats. If you follow me at all on instagram (https://www.instagram.com/ginadreherphoto/), you KNOW our cat obsession is real. The REALest. More ideas of things to send: postcards, jokes, and photos.

I really hope these 8 things can be helpful to you or someone you love. I’m no expert, but after thinking through this issue to try to help someone I love, I figured it could help others as well. Now onto what you’re all really here for, the playlist.

The Dreher Family Playlist comes with a few warnings. Keep in mind, this is made by two 30-somethings, a 9-year-old, and a moody 6-year-old. So this showcases quite the variety. Secondly…any bad words that might be in any songs: I usually anticipate and sing over them OR they’re unrecognizable enough that it hasn’t come up yet. Apparently I’m that kind of mom. (But I is kind, I is smart, I is important.) So here you go.

DREHER FAMILY PLAYLIST

Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen

Seagulls, Stop it Now – Bad Lip Reading

You Need to Calm Down – Taylor Swift

In Hell I’ll Be in Good Company – the Dead South

I Just Wanna See – Smashmouth

I’m a Believer – Smashmouth

Grenade – Bruno Mars

Marry You – Bruno Mars

Lift Your Head Weary Sinner – Crowder

Paradise – Coldplay

Something Just Like This – Coldplay

Thunder – Imagine Dragons

Cold as Ice – Blacklite District

Me Against the World – Blacklite District

Walk on the Ocean – Toad the Wet Sprocket

Centuries – Fall Out Boy

Frozen 2 Soundtrack

Lava – Disney Music

Say Amen – Panic at the Disco

Chicken Fried – Zac Brown Band

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