Covid19 has taken over my life in unexpected ways. Tho I’m not confined because I’m on a stay home notice, and I’m not being quarantined, I am a lot more easily irritable and agitated these days.
For a while, I couldn’t quite understand why.
But now I think I do. I seriously suspect that this agitation has to do with the whole Covid19 lockdown situation (yes I’m calling it that even though my government calls it a circuit breaker). It has actually caused my world to be even more invaded than ever before, despite the fact that we’re all suppose to ensure safe distancing from others by staying in.
And the introvert in me is protesting this big time!
Here’re three reasons why this Covid19 lockdown has actually agitated introverts like me more than usual.
1. The loss of quiet time
It’s always been important for me to have my quiet time when there’s no one around to talk to me or bother me. My never-ending stream of consciousness, ideas and thoughts can be given full reign, and I can more easily extract out those that will help me figure out things in my day-to-day living.
Most mornings I could have that since the wife’s at work and my kids are in school.
Unfortunately, this constant presence of people (especially my immediate family) around me every waking moment now doesn’t give me much quiet! The constant noise and demands for my attention are simply overwhelming at times, making me feel like running out and getting as far away from them as I can!
2. The loss of alone time
I draw strength from being alone. Don’t get me wrong. I need companionship as much as the next person too. But what really refreshes and re-energises me is when I can have time to be with no one but me. When I don’t have to be smart and conversational, to be able to come back with brilliant repartee. I can just be all by myself. To me, that’s the sweet spot.
I know this better now than ever before. Such alone times I can spend well in reading, writing, listening to mood music, or just simply sitting still and thinking. Or I can take nice, cooling long walks to the beach nearby with my earphones on, and a feeling that I don’t need to meet someone else’s expectations, or show my achievements to another as a means of proving my worthiness. None of that nonsense.
3. The loss of ‘center-ing’ time
Finally, I’ve been more agitated because I’ve allowed my ‘center’, my soul and spirit’s anchor, to be shoved aside with the invasive reality that Covid19 has brought on. Without the benefit of time to pause and think, when the world’s awake and right here constantly in my living room, study room, bedroom, dining room, kitchen and yes, even the loo, I find it hard to make sensible evaluations of what I am reading (in newspapers and websites), listening (to voices, radio and podcasts), or seeing (my noisy children with their noisy toys and scuffles!).
And when faced with challenging moments like the disobedience and meltdowns of my kids (who are also dealing with being at home more – though they probably can’t understand why they get more temperamental), or the constant sound of my wife on her work conference calls, is it any wonder that I am a jack-in-the-box just waiting to be unleashed?!
What oh what can I do??!!
Well, I guess I have to fully bow to my inclination now to be an early riser so I can have back my quiet, alone and center-ing times to myself; at least for a couple of hours before the wife and kids awake. You see, while I do tend to be an early riser, I used to continue staying under the covers and willing myself to sleep again, all with the hope that I can get back the hours I lose by rising before the sun does. And I want that sleep because I tend to be more tired easily later in the day, not having had my requisite seven to eight hours of daily sleep.
Well, guess now I just have to go to bed earlier each night at say 11 pm, and limit my screen time to before 10 pm. Anyway, most experts recommend that gap time between screen and bed time, in order to prepare the mind and body to fall asleep more easily and fitfully.
So to fight back and regain all these three times, I have no choice but to wake up early, shake off the sleep from my mind and body, so I can regain all these times back.
Otherwise, I too would be a loser to this pandemic in potentially and permanently damaging ways!