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An Introvert’s Guide to Re-Adjusting to “Normal Life”

By Rachel Parodneck, LMSW 

As NYC enters Phase 4, it is many people’s worst nightmare. Some are required back at work even amidst COVID-19 cases rising. Anxiety about the re-openings can be off the charts, especially if you’re an introvert.

From what we’ve seen in our clients, introverts seem to be having a much easier, and even enjoyable experience being in quarantine than our extroverted clients have had.

Being an introvert means you recharge your batteries when you have time alone as opposed to extroverts, who recharge by surrounding themselves with others. For introverts, everyday life pre-corona could be an overwhelming experience, so this forced time isolating inside may have been a welcome reprieve.

The anxiety that many feel in social situations and at work is now amplified greatly by the health risks and by the fact that it’s been months since many people have interacted with others. If you’re feeling shy or anxious, you’re not alone. We’ve heard from many of my clients the double trouble they are feeling regarding a return to “normal.”

What do you do as an introvert when you are faced with the daunting task of re-entering society?

1- DON’T: be so hard on yourself. Know that you’re doing your best and if you’re rusty, try interacting with those you feel most comfortable with first. 

2- DO: one thing that pushes you out of your comfort zone every day. This can be as simple as asking your barista how their day is going or giving someone at the office a compliment. 

3- DO: Self-care, self-care, self-care: As your anxiety mounts, self-care has never been more important. Take care of yourself, your needs, and treat yo’ self.  

4- DON’T: compare to others. Everyone is different and there is a wide range on the spectrum between introversion and extroversion.  

5- DO: accept yourself, your flaws, and your limitations. Take it easy, and keep on keepin’ on.