Life post lockdown will take its own sweet time for creating a new normal. How do you do that?
It's different for introverts and extroverts. Let's explore further.
Did you know that an extrovert has an inner introvert and an introvert has an inner extrovert?
Are You Curious Why Things Feel Like a Drag During Life Post Lockdown?
A simplistic definition of an introvert is a person who needs alone time to recharge and an extrovert recharges when connecting with others.
Being an introvert myself I rejoiced the gift of downtime and lone time during the lockdown. As I interacted with people, mostly my clients, and listened to their stories, I can say with conviction that extroverts have struggled more during this lengthy lockdown than introverts.
For over a year you might have been homebound for the most part. Even if you had to go to work, you went out for work and other necessities and then kept very much to yourself and those living with you. You might have gotten proficient with online apps like Facetime, Zoom, WhatsApp, and other direct messengers to connect with your loved ones who do not live with you and for work as well.
So, now that the lockdown is being lifted, even as an extrovert are you finding that social interaction is tiring?
Humans are creatures of habit more so during life post lockdown
During the lockdown, if you are an introvert, you settled down into your introvert nature and thrived. Now that the lockdown is being lifted, the occasional outing is like a treat and you welcome it eagerly.
On the other hand, if you are an extrovert, you feel you are ready to rush out and engage in whatever was “normal” for you before this lockdown. So at the end of the event or day when you find yourself needing a long lone time to unwind, you might feel surprised.
Next time the phone rings or you get invited to a tête-à-tête, you postpone it for a bit until you feel you are ready for it or even indefinitely. Your inner introvert got stronger and now needs more downtime to recharge.
Simply speaking, you got used to the lockdown lifestyle.
Rest is the best medicine even during life post lockdown
If you are an introvert your friends and family are familiar with your ways and may not impose anything out of the ordinary on you.
For the extrovert, it’s a different story. You might want to play the way you played before and then at the end of the day or the time you spend outdoors you ask yourself “what’s up with me?” You are surprising yourself with the new you.
You might ask yourself questions like “am I being lazy?” “am I feeling unmotivated?” or “am I seriously stuck?”
No, my dear, you are neither lazy, unmotivated, nor stuck. After over a year of living in survival mode, with a nonstop bombardment of fear-based news, social media, and staring at some electronic device, you feel exhausted. There’s a difference!
The inner you now got used to a lifestyle that is different from what you were used to prior to this lockdown.
Now is the time to start a “new normal” for yourself on your terms. You decide how you want to step into the world post lockdown and you can only do it when you deliberate on it.
I need you to rest. Rest is more than sleeping. Rest means resting the body, rest means resting your mind and your heart too. You do it by not thinking. When a thought arises say to yourself or out loud “not now!” You do it by taking a break from your emotions. When they arise, you gently say to yourself “let’s rest for now!” and your heart listens.
Thoughts become things even during life post lockdown
Did you know that each of your emotions arises out of thoughts you think? It could be a conscious thought or subconscious. Subconscious thoughts are those thoughts that when they show up, you wonder “where did that come from?”
So when you say to your thought “not now”, you give your mind a break, your heart a respite and you permit yourself to rest.
As an extrovert, you might receive many invitations. Things you loved to experience – a late night with your girlfriends or bosom buddies – talking about nothing – maybe you need to space them out and instead rest.
Remember, you are stepping into a new world, a world after a lockdown. And, too much, too fast, could and will shock your system – your body, your mind, and your heart.
Instead, I would encourage you to start a new habit of noticing things. Learning to rest from the goings and comings during the day and in life.
Here’s another thing you could take a break from – the need to get things done.
Personal Confessions from my life post lockdown
I have my organizer friends who love everything being at its respective place. I am not that. As a Buddhist, I go for the middle path and say to myself “If I pick up my blouse a little bit later from the bed, neither does the bed mind nor does the blouse”.
Also, two of my favorite pastimes are trying to make sense of things. I have spent half a century trying to constantly figure out things, words, objects of art, jokes and it can be tiring.
So if you want to understand something, it doesn’t need to be now. It too can wait.
Sticking to a schedule is not my forte. I will show up for my appointments with others, but appointments with myself usually have to wait.
I know that many nice things come out of the discipline of sticking to a timetable. But for now, if you feel like the dishes can wait and the bed doesn’t need to be made right after you jump out of it, indulge in the extended pause from life.
Things can wait, your breath, your life can’t.
Lastly, I would love for you to remember that your heart is your perfect guide. Follow your inner voice. Listen to that child within you and ask her or him what they want to do now. If it’s work, then work, if it’s rest, then rest, and if it wants to play then play.
During this lockdown, you had no one else but you, your thoughts, and maybe your journal to truly converse with. Now that you are being released from this metaphorical prison in which you were locked down, take your time to step outside on your new terms.
Keya Murthy, M.S., is an author, an accredited clinical hypnotherapist, and a spiritual life coach. Her mission, promise, and blessing to each of her students are to help them heal their hearts to live a successful life, confidently. To get started book your clarity call now or subscribe to my newsletter.
Image by Gayatri Malhotra on UnSplash.com