How to Introvert: 9 tips for social-distancing (Part II)

How are you holding up?

This is all changing. So. Fast. 

A week ago, most of us were living our lives. 

Now … well, everything looks really different.

A lot of us are stuck at home, for one.

(Those who aren’t, deserve the deepest freaking gratitude and respect from the rest of us — medical professionals, grocery store workers, janitors, delivery/mail folks, to name a few. Thank you guys for all you do.)

Me, I thought I’d be totally fine with being told to stay home. And mostly, I guess I am. But even as an introvert, it doesn’t mean I haven’t cried, or cringed at our collective new normal.

Yes, I like being alone, but … usually it’s a bit more voluntary than this.

Here are nine more ideas to do if you’re lucky enough to be at home.

1. SUPERVISE THE PETS

If you’ve got any sort of animal friend, they’re probably

A) excited you’re home and

B) showing you just how much trouble they usually get into while you aren’t home. Did you know how much they scratch the furniture during the day, or drink from your water glass when you leave it unattended? Or … (gasp) … dare to scratch the scarce commodity that is toilet paper?!

(Definitely not speaking from experience on these at all …)

But really, you realize it’s fine. And you hug them. Because hugging them is much more comforting and stress-reducing than being mad at them.

2. MOVE MOVE MOVE

Exercise. No seriously. Moving your body is great for your brain, too. Even when wallowing on the couch seems infinitely preferable — your mind will appreciate the physical activity. 

Search YouTube classes for everything from cardio to weightlifting to yoga. (I love pretty much anything by PopSugar or SarahBethYoga.) Planet Fitness is also offering free live-streamed classes at 7 p.m. EST each day.

3. GO OUTSIDE

We’re still allowed to leave the indoors, so long as we’re not too close to other humans.

So walk out your dang front door. Sit in the sun for a while (even if you still need to bundle up). Do some yardwork. Go for a jog in the rain. Take a hike in the woods or drive to the beach.

Please get fresh air. That, too, is good for your mind.

4. LEARN SOMETHING

Expand yo brain. There are so many things to learn online — from 450 free Ivy League courses to literally limitless classes on YouTube to services like Skillshare, Masterclass and Udemy. (It was actually a Skillshare course that inspired me to start sharing my art on platforms like Society6 and Zazzle.)

(If you’ve got kids, the “learning” takes a WHOLE new meaning. I’ll talk about our experiences with that in my stepmomming column on Monday … breathe, adults-with-kids, breathe!)

5. LOOK GOOD!

Even if you’re stuck at home, it can be fun to dress up (if you like that sort of thing). Paint your nails. Watch a tutorial on how to apply makeup (which has been on my to-do list for years).

Or recombine different clothes in your closet to make up fresh new looks for when you re-emerge into society — and take a picture of your outfit! Instagrammer @StyleDefiner started a #shopyourclosetchallenge with that very thing in mind.

If you’re working from home, they say dressing in “real clothes” (sweatpants and pjs don’t count lol) helps remind your brain that you’re on the clock, too.

On a slightly different note, you can also make (apparently) 33 fun new things by cutting up old t-shirts.

6. REDECORATE

You’re stuck at home — might as well make it look nice! If you’ve been looking for a reason to move things around in your house / apartment / abode, why not now? At the very least, we have to swap out our winter decorations since spring is kinda on its way. And I’m SURE there are closets that could use a good clearing-out…

7. SHOP

Support local businesses. The little guy is taking a hit — but you can help!

  • Order takeout or delivery.
  • Buy gift certificates that can be used later after all of this is over.
  • Look up local artists and see if they have an Etsy store you can shop from (I’m not even talking about mine, here. I’m lucky enough to still have a day job … it actually feels like the newspaper industry is serving a legit purpose in these crazy times; but with lots of art shows being canceled, there are artists out there who depend on those shows for their livelihood, and this ain’t easy on them).

8. TAKE CARE OF EACH OTHER

Just because we can’t SEE other people doesn’t mean we can’t SUPPORT other people.

  • Check in on an elderly family member (with a phone call).
  • Offer to virtually hang out with a friend’s kids (challenging them to a virtual game on the Uno app, maybe?).
  • Plan a virtual coffee with a friend to help keep you BOTH sane (set up a video chat while you both sip on some caffeine in your respective kitchens).
  • If you can, donate to a cause you care about, like Feeding America, or if you’re healthy, donate blood to the Red Cross or locally, Rhode Island Blood Center.

9. EXPRESS GRATITUDE

Remember that at the end of the day, there’s something to be thankful for. As long as we’re breathing, we’ve got a chance to make tomorrow better than today.

BONUS IDEAS (my friend suggested lol):

  • A good binge on Netflix or Amazon Prime
  • Yardwork! Around Providence and the SouthCoast, the weekend is supposed to be glorious
  • Easter will be here soon — decorate eggs
  • Nap! Sleep plays a role in immunity and can help keep you healthy

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