Introverting at its finest

#MondayWithAimée

Life has taken a weird toll on all of us. Like the weirdest…but at least it’s on all of us. Which means it’s so much easier to have compassion and to understand what everyone else is going through because we are personally also going through it. At least, that’s the way I want to see it. I had originally planned to make a little (ish) list of books that I loved and that shaped my life and writing experience, but I thought maybe I should widen my horizons today. As a professional introvert myself, I thought I could provide a great list of what introverts love to do on a daily basis, but that can be useful for you right now.

First of all, let me reassess the terms “introversion” and “extroversion”. When you type in Google “introvert + definition” the definition “a shy, reticent person” comes out. Oh boy, does that make me angry because it is so far from that. The terms come from Jung, and it is to differentiate two attitudes according to people’s interests. One of them being people and the world, the other, introspection or their inner world. You may also have heard that it’s about to way you recharge. Extroverts tend to fill up their energy by being in social situations. Not only do they love to see people, but they need it. Introverts, on the other hand, need some alone time, because they feel drained by social situations. A time where they are free to do whatever they want and yes, usually, it includes quieter activities. Introverts aren’t necessarily shy, antisocial or scared to go see the world. Anyways, this is a conversation for another time because right now, the world is asked to act like introverts and for once, we rise, my sweethearts!

Here’s a list of activities you can do on your own or with your family.

  •  Read! It’s never been a better time to dive into an imaginary world and forget reality for a few hours. Books are the best friends when you need to be alone but don’t want to be lonely. I’m sure you have books at your house that you never read but always intended to do. It’s the time, now. You can always reread your favourites, they’ll make you feel at home. Can’t access books? Find audiobooks or ebooks on the internet.
  •  Watch movies // series. You can go see my list of soothing art I wrote for the Holidays! They are still my go-to…Plus Knives Out that moved to the top of the list. You guys need to watch this movie asap. (https://b0ld.ca/2019/12/18/soothing-art-over-the-holidays/ )
  •  Stretch // move. There are tons of online workouts on Youtube, but one I love is a channel called Yoga with Adrienne. (https://www.youtube.com/user/yogawithadriene)
  •  Clean and declutter deep! You have time to do a deep clean, so use it! A great environment makes you feel better than a cluttered space. There is probably a space to clean you’ve put off…take a few hours and clean, throw away or give away and reorganize.
  •  Reorganize your room or apartment. It can be fun and refreshing to move furniture around. Plus, it makes your place feel like a completely different space, so you’ll feel less trapped in your home.
  • Thinking of space, if you are in school and all your classes have gone online, think about organizing a school workspace for you to be productive. A desk where you can teach your brain that this is “work/school place” and you get work done at that desk. When you get away from the desk, your “workday” is done. You need to separate work from home even if both are in your house for the time being.
  •  Clean your social media subscriptions. It’s the time to go through all your Instagram subscriptions and decide who you really want to be influenced by.
  • Take this time to regroup, refresh and restart. Clean your mind, your space and your heart, and think about what you can change in your life. What are your priorities? Are they the good ones? 
  •  Do a fun spa-at-home day! Take a bubble bath, do a face mask, drink wine, put slow music on, get your boyfriend or your sister or anyone in your house to give you a backrub and calm down.
  •  Virtually visit museums! (https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/75809/12-world-class-museums-you-can-visit-online ) It’s museums you couldn’t visit easily anyway, so the online tours are great! Plus, some of them offer more information that you would get if you were in person. Culture! Fun! All in your PJs!
  • Do a puzzle. It may sound like a grandma’s activity, but who said grandmas can’t be fun? Plus, it’s very soothing and calming. You can do it while watching a movie or listening to the radio, even.
  • Find colouring books or websites on the Internet and take a few minutes to feel like a small child again. It will ease your mind. 
  • Learn something! Either be a language or new words, a dance, a song, an instrument or a new game, get your knowledge into the mix.
  • Create playlists for different moods. You can have one to dance, but you might want to create one that helps you focus and be calm for when you will need to study.
  • Feed your brain! Play mind games or do word puzzles. I swear it might make you feel like a 75-year-old grandma, but you’ll be a clever one.
  •  Be creative in your own way. Either by painting, writing, singing, writing a play, filming a video or a short film, invent something and do art. Take the forced time off to get your brain active. If you’re not super creative or don’t feel very artistic, try! It doesn’t have to be good, it just has to exist.
  •  Bake// cook! Not only will it be delicious, but you will also enjoy the process. Put on some music and dance off to it. You can even try a recipe that is usually too long for you to do. Bake bread! It takes time but it is soooo therapeutic, and you’ll feel like the perfect 1950s housewife. Or househusband? You’ll feel very successful and homey, anyway. 
  • You know the things you’ve been putting off for weeks? Now is the time to do it!
  • Keep your schoolwork up to date, because you will have to come back to it eventually if you are in school and you don’t want to be too behind or thrown out of the loop.
  • Spend quality time with the people you’re stuck with. Shut your phone and television and play games, chat, dance. Remember that they are in the same situation as you and that they need the support as well.
  • Talking about dancing, have a dance party by yourself! Dancing, even if you are not the best at it, makes you feel lighter and better. Not only does it make you move your body, it makes your brain refresh too.
  • Listen to a podcast, an audiobook or the radio. There is an undying source of content you can consume and discuss with people online or your friends. Use the internet for the right reasons. (Personally, Thirst Aid Kit (https://slate.com/podcasts/thirst-aid-kit ) makes me die of laughter, but I also love TedTalks! (https://www.ted.com/podcasts )) 
  • Search your favourite websites or Instagram pages, they might offer some cool activities for you to discover during this period. Some artists release their shows for free, some give you access to free workouts, they release content made to entertain and help you. 
  • Discover blogs and great YouTubers! There is a creator for every single one of us.

§  If you need suggestions, here are a few women you might vibe with: Rowena Tsai, Michelle Choi, Best-dressed, Kalyn Nicholson, Amy Lee, Elena Taber, MuchelleB, Lavendaire, Claire Marshall.

  •  If you can, go for a walk. Fresh air and exercise will make your brain breathe. If you can’t, at least open the windows and the blinds and let the fresh air and the sunshine in. Sit on your porch and look outside. The world is still turning and you are still breathing. There’s something to be grateful about, always.

Remember that even though you’re an introvert or you’re violently encouraged to act like one, emotional isolation is never a good thing. Your mental health is important and you need to take care of it as well.

  •  Facetime a friend or a family member and chat with a coffee. For example, fellow B0ld writer Seb and I set up a “quiet time” Facetime call. (I have yet to find a cooler funkier name.) We don’t even need to chat, we just read, journal, stretch, sketch, doodle, do what we want but in silent. We unwind together, even if we are forced to be apart. You don’t even need to chat with your people, you can just let you know you are there. 
  • Write kind and encouraging messages to your people or maybe to people you lost touch with. 
  •  Journal!
  • Talk about it and your feelings. It’s normal to be scared, anxious or uncertain, but do not keep it in. What you let out liberates you, what you keep in eats you.
  • Don’t be shy to ask for help. 
  • Don’t spend too much time on social media. Over exposition will make you overly anxious. If you do the right things, you don’t need all the content on the internet. You can check up once in a while and look for the right resources, but too much will make you more anxious or worse, will make you believe it’s not that bad. Be informed and aware without going into extremes.

Support your community. We are all in this together and it’s a rough time for everyone.

  • Give blood, give money to food banks if you can. Ask your elderly neighbours if they need food. Obviously, be careful while talking to them and helping them. You know the drill. There is someone more vulnerable than you that might need your help. There are easy ways to make someone smile and feel supported.
  •  You had tickets for a show? Do not get a refund, especially for the little plays or the smaller artists. These artists do not have financial security. See it as a way of helping and supporting art. A lot of theatres have it all explained on their websites and they offer compensation in more art.
  • When this crisis will calm down, buy local. The little shops will need your help to survive. 

And remember, you are forced to sit on the couch. It’s not the worst thing you’ve been asked to do, sweethearts. We are all in this together and it’s beautiful to see the world unite over this. People are singing together, creating playlists and videos, giving free access to shows and workouts, everyone is helping each other out. There are so many great initiatives that sprung during the last week that makes me hopeful.  The world is still spinning and there is still hope and beauty in the human heart.

Stay safe, sweethearts, and I will see you in two weeks! In the meantime, go give the other articles a read (you have time, I know!) and leave a little like, it makes us smile.

-Aimée.  

Photo by Ylanite Koppens

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