Social Distancing For Empaths & Introverts - What You Should Know
Social Distancing For Empaths, Introverts & HSPs -- What You Should Know
In light of current events, the world today seems as if it was mysteriously flipped upside down from a completely extroverted one, into a profoundly introverted one. For the most part, extroverts are now experiencing that same draining discomfort, frustration, and anxiety that introverts endure every other day of their entire lives.
However, this is more than just a serendipitous switch out of extroversion, it's a manic thrust into introversion: people are being quarantined, unable to go out to clubs, bars, restaurants, religious gatherings, and other social gatherings. People have no choice but to stay inside their homes, the lucky working from home, and the others fighting to keep their jobs or to rescue and care for people who need it most.
A Much Needed Rest
Amid all the cancelations, unexpectedly, it has shown most of the world how overburdened and overworked we all are. With most people doing the work of 3 people, along with family, personal and community obligations, we were all stretching ourselves way too thin. It was as if, finally, we had permission to slow down. By canceling all meetings and events, we were faced with this brutally honest truth -- we were working way too hard, and it was unsustainable.
As introverts, highly sensitives & empaths who are sensitive to stimuli and other peoples' energy, we may at first feel very much at home with social distancing. However, as the events unfold at a dramatic pace, different kinds of pressures mount. And that’s actually a good thing! It means we are starting to see things from a new perspective.
That being said, here’s a simple structure of how to take care of ourselves as introverts, to center ourselves and continue to find the joy of social distancing during this uncertain time.
How to Work Through Long-Term Social Distancing:
Now is a time to nourish your mind, body, and soul. It’s self-care to the extreme like we never had the chance to experience in a lifetime. Here are 9 tips to help you enjoy it too, and ensure your time spent by yourself never gets stale:
- Limit your intake of mainstream news and social media, which hypes up the fear and twists facts to get high ratings. Do go directly to reputable sites like the CDC and WHO for health information. Work on a continual positive perspective of all of this.
- Make a routine for yourself to provide certainty amid vast uncertainty. Upon waking up, grab a cup of coffee, and enjoy it looking out the window. Spend some time in the morning in silence with a book, a journal or some nice music. Devise the routine that works best for your natural rhythms.
- Allow yourself to be scared. Now is the time to face your shadows – why do you react to stressful scenarios the way you do? Take inventory in who you’ve become, what makes you angry and what triggers you. Because in an event like this, everyone is going to get deeply triggered.
- Keep it simple with food. Make it healthy, wholesome and simple, with foods you can store for weeks. Here are some ideas:
- Brown rice with olive oil & herbs
- Hard-boiled eggs, a dash of salt, olive oil & dried oregano
- Sugarless granola with soy milk & frozen berries
- Flash-frozen fish and frozen organic veggies
- Beans, rice and dried herbs
- Canned sardines in olive oil with potatoes and canned green beans
- Pasta with sauce, dried herbs & parmesan cheese
- Exercise at least 20 minutes to ground yourself in your body. Exercise keeps endorphins high and is essential to ground yourself in social distancing mode.
- Morning yoga or pilates to get the blood flowing and keep you grounded in your body
- YouTube for certain abdominal, arm and leg workouts
- Kickboxing workouts can be a good challenge
- Get at least 10 minutes of sunlight every day, any way you can. Open a window, go out on the balcony, walk in the garden.
- Stay grateful, no matter what. Gratitude is what allows us to flow through the fear and discomfort with grace. Find an old journal, grab a cup of coffee and write down 10 things you feel grateful for - there is a lot! - and why you feel grateful for it:
- I am grateful for my health because...
- I am grateful for this solitude because...
- I am grateful for the brave medical staff working to heal us because...
- I am grateful I have nutritious food because...
- I am grateful for my capacity to see, hear, taste, feel because...
- I am grateful the sun still shines to maintain life on this planet because...
- I am grateful the earth is renewing itself due to the lower levels of pollution due to people sequestering themselves...
- Forgive yourself and others. Forgiveness is spiritual cleansing.
- Imagine all the people that hurt you in your life. Imagine them in front of you as you explain how they hurt you. Then imagine them saying "I'm sorry; please forgive me." And imagine yourself finally forgiving them, truly.
- Then, imagine someone you have hurt in the past or recently. Imagine them in front of you and telling them "I'm sorry, please forgive me." And imagine them forgiving you.
- Do this with as many people as you can think of that you feel a burden or grudge with, and whoever you did not treat so well. Forgive and you start to live in peace.
- Watch for people who need help. Slow down and keep your eyes open for those in need.
- On your next grocery run, you may notice that an elderly person is waiting in their car to ask you to go inside to purchase groceries for them because they are not as resilient as you.
- Bring some extra food back for people who may not be able to get out to the supermarket.
- Check on your extrovert friends; they may not be ok.
Social Distancing Is Healing
These are very trying times, and it's by design. In social distancing, you will encounter demons such as financial and physical insecurities. Confronting these sorts of issues are existential, and if you reframe it a certain way, always for our greater good: The person who was constantly stressed in a role ends up having to look for another job and finds one much more fitting. The person who was once healthy comes face to face with death and realizes how fragile and fleeting life is. The person moving from paycheck to paycheck, in their desperation, ends up crafting a unique way to use their talent, moves to a different area, and now lives life on their terms. All in all, we have to believe that life always happens FOR us and not TO us.
But social distancing is more than just self-care. It’s actually extreme self-renewal. What if anything that causes social distancing is a call for us to go inward to purge our former way of life? What if it’s not suffering, but actually a time of healing that we desperately need? It is the time of the introvert, and therefore a message for us to listen more, to read more, to go inward, to connect more on a soul level, to go deep, to create. For most, this is uncomfortable, scary and restricting. Yet, it’s totally transformative. And it’s meant to be. It’s meant to be so in our faces, a global pandemic, for us to take a look at the way we are living our lives and our purpose on the planet.
It’s here to help us face who we’ve become, warts and all, go through all the suffering, and purge all our negativity to be replaced by only what is eternal – love, light, and joy.
“And the people stayed home. They read books, and listened, and rested, and exercised, and made art, and played games, and learned new ways of being, and were still. They listened more deeply. Some meditated, some prayed, some danced. Some met their shadows. And the people began to think differently. And the people healed. And, in the absence of people living in ignorant, dangerous, mindless and heartless ways, the earth began to heal. And when the danger passed, and the people joined together again, they grieved their losses, and made new choices, and dreamed new images, and created new ways to live and heal the earth fully, as they had been healed.”
The end beginning is near.
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