Contrary to popular meme-based belief, introverts aren’t having a field day being under lockdown.

I mean, in the time of the global pandemic, are there really any field days to be had?

Admittedly though, as an introvert, the announcement of Metro Manila being placed under Enhanced Community Quarantine did bring some sense of comfort that I’d be able to go through the motions of the ECQ in the comforts of my own room.

Absolutely not in a way though, that I would wish to be put in this situation again if given the chance, but more of finding comfort in knowing that I wouldn’t have to face the whole situation while having to deal with other people or instances that I would if society were to operate normally.

A few weeks into the quarantine though I began to feel the all too known weight in my chest, pounding migraines, and thoughts going a mile a minute. The situation which I initially enjoyed turned sour because aside from the general worry and anxiety caused by the pandemic and irresponsible authorities, I felt my bubble had been invaded.

What once was my place of refuge from society now became a place to connect with people, to work, to socialize all at once.

I am aware that there are bigger problems we must face outside of our bubbles but we are only as good a helping hand if we ourselves are keeping sane and sound of mind.

These tips that I’m about to share with you have been tried and tested. Compilation of this list was brought about as an alternative to seeking professional help which everybody advocates nowadays- and rightfully so–but may not be the most comfortable option for those of us who are weary of sharing feelings with strangers.

1. Find your circle

This might not be necessary if you already have one but even as an introvert it is necessary to have your social circle because loneliness is also a pandemic. It doesn’t have to be more than 5 , you can even have just 2 other people in your circle. In the event where you feel like bursting at the seams, these are the people to turn to.

2. Meditate

It doesn’t have to be the formal deep-breath-nature-sounds kind of meditation, it can just take place on your spot in the house. As you eat your breakfast, set down the phone and just take in your surroundings til you finish your meal. It helps if it’s quiet but there’s no need to.

3. Volunteer to get your necessities

As we’re naturally social creatures, even the most introverted of humans when under lockdown for so long, need to see other people to take in the largeness of the world beyond your door and essentially, yourself.

4. Subscribe to entertainment

But don’t make it your sole escape. Mix it in with other activities that can get the endorphins rushing. Go on a deep listening session to your favorite album for 30 minutes, watch a lighthearted movie or a horror, and jumpscare those anxieties away. (You may wanna check out The Best Films And Series Coming to Netflix This June)

5. Leave Your Door Open

If you’re living with family or friends in a house, literally open your door wide even when you’re inside your room if you don’t have to close it. Try it for a day or even just a few hours, just hearing other human beings go about their day will honestly keep the loneliness at bay.

6. No, you don’t have to be online 24/7

Even if the internet is a gateway to endless connections 24/7 you are not required to always be available for other people especially if it wasn’t established.

If you’re working from home, make sure you and your employer have a fair understanding of the hours you’ll be available. If you’re talking to someone about all manner of gossip feel free to excuse yourself and come back when you’re ready to talk again. Set your boundaries and be guilt-free.

7. Assess your New Normal

We hear the new normal being thrown around here and there these days, but while it’s important to note how society will function in the new normal, we’re all different so it’s important that you relearn how you yourself are going to operate within the new normal. It may be weird to have to orient yourself on things such as that but, trust me, it will feel like getting thrown in the deep end if you don’t.

When all else fails and you have come to the conclusion that you’ll never be okay, just remember that maybe the problem lies not within keeping your bubble intact, but slowly inching your way out of it exhausting all means possible each carrying a bit of your effort and with it, a load off your back.

Keep in mind, as Joyce Pring’s song goes, we could be alone in this, together.

What have you been doing to cope during this pandemic, transitioning into the new normal?

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