Updated: Feb 7
There’s a terrible pandemic that’s all over the world right now. We’ve all been affected by it, some of us more than others. For some, the worst part is yet to come.
Most recently it’s shown up in the United States. The powers that be are preaching social distancing and isolation. “Stay home to save the world!” they keep telling us. The government is advising and in some cases requiring the postponing of any large events, closing restaurants and banning anyone from gathering in groups larger than 10 people here in Boston. And those of us that have day jobs are working from home for the foreseeable future.
Some people are required to stay in their homes at all times except for absolute necessities, like going to get groceries and medications.
This is a very scary situation, especially if you watch the news, which I suggest you don’t. More on that later. It’s hard to wrap your mind around it because the smartest people in the world don’t have any answers for us. They are doing the best that they can, but there are still a lot of unknowns.
It’s hard to know how to handle something like this. There is no precedent, no set of guidelines to go by, nothing really to compare it to. We’ll all just figuring it out as we go along.
Feeling overwhelmed is normal
It’s easy to be overwhelmed right now. A lot of people are. It’s completely normal and totally ok. As INFJs, we like to feel like we have a plan and a goal. Right now there are no long-term plans because we don’t know how long this will last. That’s the hardest part for me. But it’s important to remember that this will pass. There will be life after this situation. It will come to an end and things will go back to being normal, though you might still stockpile toilet paper for a while because we all know that the trauma of not having any will not wear off soon.
It’s also ok to be ok
We are classic introverts who love to stay home and hide in our rooms. While some of my friends and co-workers are panicking about the “please stay home” warnings, I’m over here in my room thinking that not really much has changed for me. I’m completely ok with being at home for 2 weeks and not really going out much. I have a whole list of things to do and don’t really need to go out much.
If this is the case for you too, try not to feel guilty about it. It’s ok if you’re ok. You don’t have to panic just because everyone else is. Keep on carrying on. Work on your projects and check in on your friends every once in a while. We got this!
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You don’t have to take care of everyone else
As INFJs our first instinct is to worry about how everyone else is doing. I’ve checked on my friends over and over again, especially the extroverted ones because they really are struggling right now.
It’s important to check in on them and make sure they’re ok, but you don’t have to take on what they’re going through. Some people are having a really hard time managing their stress and anxiety about this situation. Because they are not used to this type of anxiety it’s spilling out of them in waves. Remember that their anxiety is not your anxiety. You do not have to take that on and own it, even though you might feel like you should. Offer your support as a good friend would, but don’t take their feelings and emotions to heart.
It’s not your responsibility to make sure they are ok to the point where you are not ok. Remember that. You have enough to deal with on your own.
Make time for yourself
When you’re quarantined in your home if you’re alone, you’re good to go. You have all the time to take care of yourself. Just remember to take breaks from you work and your projects and spend some time resting and recharging.
If you have other people in your home, especially if you have little people, this will be a little bit harder. But it is still important for you to make time for yourself. You still need the same amount of time to recharge, in fact, you probably need more than usual because of all of the stress of this situation.
Here are some self-care ideas to help you recharge while at home.
1. Let yourself feel icky
When we are in really stressful or overwhelming situations it’s easy for us to try to push out those feelings and want to feel better right away. When we do that we are just prolonging the icky feelings. The best thing you can do is to let yourself feel icky. Know that it’s ok to feel whatever you are feeling. Give yourself some time and space to really feel them. Cry if you need to. Get your anger out like you need to. Whatever you are feeling, feel it. It’s ok.
2. Make cookies
My favorite thing to do is make cookies. When I get stressed or overwhelmed I generally make cookies. Baking is a great way to distract yourself and make your family happy too.
3. Binge-watch something
I love watching Netflix and Hulu. There is always another documentary or series that I’m going through. It’s a nice and welcome distraction for what’s going on in the world today.
4. Do that thing you keep putting off
You’re at home and you have a bunch of time on your hands. I know there is something that you want to do that you’ve been putting off. Maybe it’s cleaning out your closets or reorganizing your office. Maybe you’ve wanted to start writing a book. Whatever it is, use this time to be productive.
5. Do something creative
You could also do something creative. Writing is a great way to express what you are feeling. Art is another amazing way to help you relax and express yourself. Whatever creativity you enjoy, spend some time embracing it.
6. Reassess what you’re doing with your life
This is one of my favorite hobbies as an INFJ, especially when I feel lost and unsure of the future. Now is the perfect time to ask yourself if you’re happy. Ask yourself if you only had a couple more months on this Earth would you be doing what you did today? Make a plan to make some changes.
7. Work on your resume
One of the biggest things we are unhappy with is our work and our jobs. Now that you have some time, if you are unhappy with your job, dust off your resume and see what needs to change. While right now may not be the best time to look for a new job, it will be here soon. You should be prepared.
8. Think about starting a business
Now is the perfect time to start a new business though, especially if you want to write a blog or start a podcast. There are so many people who make a full-time income from doing these things and it’s entirely possible for you too. You can read more about it here.
9. Don’t watch the news
One of the worst things you can do in a situation like this is constantly watch the news. This is especially true if you have anxiety. Remember that they make money by selling commercial space, not by reporting the news. What they report is a sensational version of what’s going on. I highly suggest that you find a reputable source of information and check it once a day for updates.
If you are in the United States you can follow these sources:
10. Spend some time with the people you love
This is the perfect time to reach out to your friends and family to check in on them and reconnect with them. While you may not be able to go and see them, you can call them or message them to see how they are.
I highly recommend that you video chat with them. I know it sounds scary and awkward, but it makes a huge difference connecting with people when you can see them, even if it’s through a computer or phone screen.
11. Take advantage of all the freebies going on right now
There are so many people offering free chats and courses right now. You need to take advantage of as many of them as you can handle. You could learn so much from some AMAZING people!! Here’s just a few of them that I have seen:
Mel Robbins is doing a Facebook live video every day at 12pm ET.
I did a podcast episode about how to turn this crisis situation into something better. You can watch it here.
There are so many things you can do with your new-found free time. I hope you stay safe and well and that you use this time as a way to learn and grow and get something positive out of it!
As always, I’m here if you need me. You can find me on Instagram @infjwoman.