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Wellness

Coping with COVID-19: An Introvert’s Guide to Self-Isolation

With COVID-19 cases on the rise, and the World Health Organization (WHO) declaring it a global pandemic, a great number of the population—given they can afford to, and have the capability to—are currently staying indoors and practicing self-isolation. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Protection (CDC), the best way to avoid COVID-19, alternatively known as the coronavirus, is by avoiding any kind of exposure. The virus itself is thought to be spread from person-to-person, through both close contact and respiratory droplets (i.e. coughing, sneezing). For that reason, it is all the more important to avoid contact with others. 

 

Even though older people are at higher risk of severe illness, people of any age can spread the virus. You may not show any symptoms at all and still spread it to other people, those of which may go on to unknowingly spread to others, and so forth, and people who are immunocompromised may be exposed along the way. This ease of spread greatly intensifies the health risk. No buts about it, social distancing is integral. Like an indoor recess throwback, we have to wait it out until there is an assurance of safety out there… And as an introvert, I am here to help you cope through it.

 

Well, more accurately, I am an ambivert –  AKA, an extrovert and introvert in-between, a sort of best-of-both-worlds (hey, Hannah Montana!) personality type. However, just because part of me misses in-person socialization, that does not mean that another part of me is not enjoying the solitude. I am far from being a stranger to taking some time for myself. What can I say? The introvert in me jumped out. 

 

So, let me impart some of my knowledge to you: here is an introvert’s guide to self-isolation.

Get back into a hobby

Amidst the school cancellations and campus shutdowns, it is the perfect time to get back into a hobby. Yeah, I’m looking at you. Writers, I know you have some works-in-progress that needs some attention. Musicians, I know you’re itching to pick up that forgotten instrument. I know y’all have games to play through, cookies to bake, books to read. 

 

Bonus recommendation: just for kicks, you can even explore new hobbies! Like dabbling in trying out a Bob Ross tutorial. I’ve done that with a friend before, and I can say from experience that it is very fun (Protip: don’t be afraid of pausing and rewinding – ‘ol Bobby paints as fast as he talks). 

 

And maybe it’s just me, but I think Bob Ross would be proud of us for getting back into the things we love to do and making do with what we’ve got. As he himself said, “Look around. Look at what we have. Beauty is everywhere – you only have to look to see it.” 

Binge a series.

Have you been eyeing a new Netflix show for a while now? Is there a movie series you have never seen, and everyone and their mother has been recommending it to you for ages? What about that other TV show your friend just told you about yesterday?

 

Good news, you’ve got time on your side (and if you’ve stocked up, a pantry full of snacks to eat while watching it all). 

Break out the board games.

Everyone has board games inside their house. Now, every night can be game night!

 

Well, maybe not every night. Please don’t play Monopoly every night, your family will thank you. Monopoly just hits different, you know: don’t say I didn’t warn you. 

Video chat with your friends.

Not being able to see your friends in person does not mean you can’t see them at all! We are in the information age; all kinds of technology are at our fingertips. Remember that you can still video chat your friends, self-isolating shouldn’t involve losing touch after all. There are also some cool options out there that allow you and your friends to sync movies or shows with one another, so that you can all watch and chat together while still in the comfort of your own home. 

Deep clean your room. 

Though this may be fifth on the list, this was the first thing I personally did: there is just something about a fresh, newly cleaned room that makes the mind feel so clear. Besides, there is no need for it to feel like a chore – you have plenty of time to do it! With that in mind, there is much more you can do than the everyday “tidying up.” 

 

So turn on some music, a podcast, or have a show play in the background, and make that room a whole new sanctuary. 

 

Some ideas: 

Rearrange your furniture. Something as simple as rearranging your furniture can make your room feel like an entirely new space. Plus, now you have the opportunity to make it your dream room. Want to push your bed against the wall for more floor space? Do it! Want to move your desk towards your window so you can have natural sunlight when you study? Go for it! It’s all up to you. 

Go through your closet. Take the time to go through all your clothes, etc. and get rid of what you don’t need anymore. Separate the clothes you want to keep from what you are willing to give away or donate, leaving behind a closet full of clothes you actually use and love. And if you are so inclined, take it beyond your closet too – go through your things, and decide what to keep, throw out, or donate.

Put things up on your walls. Bringing it back to “making your dream room,” take down those posters that have been up since middle school, and put up things that align with your current interests. Put up some pictures of your friends, some memories from this present stage of your life… And why not bring back those middle school arts-and-crafts skills and make a collage to put up too?

Paint your room. On the rare chance that you have paint waiting to be used, well. Need I say more? 

Actually clean. Disinfecting, dusting, vacuuming – the whole shebang. It’s the perfect final touch, the cherry-on-top of having a fresh new room. (And with it being allergy/flu/virus season, no harm in cleaning it all right?)

Take a deep breath, and practice self-care.
Celina Timmerman-Oversized Tshirt And Cup
Celina Timmerman / Her Campus

Inhale, exhale. Remain calm. It’s important to remain informed, but do not overwhelm yourself with what the mainstream media is constantly bombarding onto you. Fear and mass paranoia leads to unnecessary panic, which is not a good mindset to have when everyone is under such great stress.

 

Stay updated in palatable doses and relax. Take the time to focus on yourself and your own personal needs. Make a list of good habits you want to get into and work on them. Lie down, take a nap, fix your sleep schedule if you’re feeling ambitious. Lessen your screen time. Stay hydrated. Do a face mask. 

 

Focus on you.

With all this time on your hands, remember 1) to wash your hands, and 2) that you are doing your part by remaining indoors. Self-isolation and social distancing will help slow down the spread of the virus and make it easier to combat, but that is dependent on our own resilience. 

 

Inhale, exhale, and breathe. We’re gonna get through this. One day, indoors, at a time.

Julien Padillo

West Chester '22

Julien Padillo is a third-year Media and Culture major at West Chester University, with minors in Digital Marketing and Digital Humanities & New Media. She has an affinity for writing, taking on anything from short stories, to poetry, to a research-backed essay. Huge Oxford comma stan (+ also of anime, cartoons, and taking naps). The end goal is this: she wants to be a part of the conversation – using her words as her voice and means to get there.
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