Introverts and Extroverts in a season of Lockdown

This article is brought to you by Kerry Mcleish from Rest For Life

Having to stay at home brings with it many challenges, these challenges will be different for each of us depending on a whole variety of factors. I have been reflecting on how being an introvert, or an extravert might affect our experience in this extraordinary time. In particular, how does this aspect of our personality influence the way in which we rest or recover from all that drains us in life? How can that understanding help us to find ways that help sustain us in the current situation?

By an introvert, I am talking about someone who is re-energised and refreshed primarily by spending time on their own, having space, silence, solitude and stillness. Whereas, an extravert would be more likely to be re-energised, and refreshed by spending time in communication, community, and company.


For some of us staying home means we are alone, physically isolated from everyone but, mostly in control of our own environment. For an introvert, this may actually not bring too many challenges. But for an extravert, this could feel stressful, or even exhausting.

The challenge for you extroverts is to find new and safe ways to connect with others, to find virtual community and conversations with individuals and groups. Many people are initiating video conversations with friends, meeting virtually for coffee, and organising group gatherings online. Maybe you could be the one to initiate something. There are many schemes connecting people in local communities, either to help or be helped. In the past, you may not have had time to be well connected locally; here’s an opportunity to meet a whole new group of people. So many activities are becoming available online. Being with others while also staying at home has never been easier; you can atttend exercise classes, pub quizzes, church services and choirs. Have a look around and find what works for you.


For others staying at home means being surrounded by others in a relatively small space. Each person with their own needs and personalities. For the extraverts among us, they may be enjoying the social interaction. However, for an introvert, you may be finding this overwhelming, anxiety-provoking and exhausting experience.

The challenge is to find ways to have time alone, pockets of quiet, even if you need earphones to achieve that. Choosing to go for a walk alone, to soak in the bath, or retreat to your bedroom/spare room. These are all ways of creating that vital quiet space.

You may also need to be careful about how much you communicate with those outside of your home; how may group chats you join or video calls you accept. You may not be able to fully control the amount of contact you have with those you are sharing your home with, so think carefully about any extra communication where you do have a choice.

Creating sustainable habits

In both cases, recognising what you need is the first step. Finding new, creative ways to meet your needs will take a little time. It will require experimenting and reflecting on what works for you and what doesn’t. Since we do not know the length of time this situation is going to go on for, it is important we invest time figuring out how to create a sustainabily healthy environment. It is important to make sure we keep as energised and well as possible, both for ourselves and for those you are in community with, both real and virtual.

Remember, you may have both introverts and extraverts in the same house; not everyone is aware of their own needs or reactions to the current situation. Perhaps you could start a conversation today around how to create safe environments for those with whom you share your home.

Rest for Life, provides coaching and training on how to learn the art of resting well.

Browse the reflective meditation library to help facilitate your rest today.

Why am I so tired when I am doing so little?

Mental, emotional, social and spiritual effects of living in lockdown.

By Kerry McLeish from Rest for life

Many of us are not doing our normal jobs at the moment, and we may be doing less physical activity than usual, but that doesn’t mean we are not working hard. Living in lockdown is a tricky thing to navigate.

Mentally we are all trying to figure out how to do life in these extraordinary times. Whether you are working at home for the first time, with all the challenges that this brings, or you may be trying to juggle three jobs at the same time, you’re paid work, parenting and teaching. Or even just trying to find a way to get enough food for next week, perhaps not only for yourself but for vulnerable others as well. We are all problem-solving in many and various new ways at the moment, and this can be tiring.

Living in lockdown

Many of us are working very hard emotionally right now. Caring for our families, friends and neighbours who may be struggling with the crisis emotionally themselves. We may be concerned, anxious, or even fearful ourselves about what tomorrow may bring. We are grieving for those occasions, events or regular activities that are important to us but no longer possible. All this is going on even if we and all those we love are well and safe. But of course, it is multiplied if anyone we care about is unwell. This emotional work drains us of energy and can leave us feeling exhausted without having actually ‘done’ anything.

Social distancing and social isolation have brought changes for all of us in different ways, and the effect can be socially exhausting. Either because we have little or no contact with anyone else, or because we are living in very close quarters with others and everyone seems to want to connect with us but in new and unfamiliar ways. We may be struggling with having too few or too many interactions in a day – either can be draining. In addition, many are finding that connecting through video calls is a great tool in this time, but it can be much more tiring than meeting with people face to face.

Lastly, during this time the big questions of life are starting to crop up, ones we usually can manage to happily ignore. Questions about life and death, about what I value most, what am I prepared to sacrifice, who do I trust, and what do I put my faith in. Some of us will be reflecting on these issues seriously perhaps for the first time, others will be working really hard to avoid thinking about these questions. Either way, this is spiritual work. 

So even if we sat in a chair all day and ‘did’ absolutely nothing, at the moment, we will all be working hard, mentally, emotionally, socially and spiritually if not physically. So, if you are feeling more tired than usual or completely exhausted, even though you feel like you are doing very little, this is not surprising. 

Be kind to yourself, and those you live with who may well be feeling the same. While living in lockdown, take time to rest, you need it, maybe now more than ever. 

Browse the reflective meditation library to help facilitate your rest today.