This quarantine life is hard, friends! But as an extrovert, this brings on a whole different set of stressors. Stressors I, as an extrovert, didn’t know existed. On a typical day, if I was bored or sensed my toddler was restless, we would get in the car and go. Where? Anywhere. But quarantine and COVID-19 has put a complete halt on (what seems like) my past life. In my “past life,” we would have been knee-deep in birthday parties or family gatherings. Literally, anywhere and anything to keep checking things off on the day’s to-do list. But all that now seems like a distant, very missed, memory. *Cue the dramatic music…
But in all seriousness, if you’re an extrovert like me, being at home and having restrictions on your social life and agenda book is really tough. For my home-body, introverted boyfriend, THIS THE LIFE. I, on the other hand, am not used to this life and have declared it NOT FOR ME. So I have come up with some practical ways to make this quarantine life a little more tolerable.
Make New Friends (But Keep The Old)
If there is anything I am most grateful for during this quarantine, it has been the ability to make so many new friends. About 12 weeks ago, Miami Moms Blog announced that they were going to start hosting weekly virtual coffee dates. What I thought was just going to be a really awkward interaction between a bunch of moms has turned out to be one of my most cherished times during quarantine. I have made a solid group of new friends who I probably wouldn’t have had the opportunity to meet if it wasn’t for this lockdown. If you haven’t checked them out yet, I encourage you to! We meet every Tuesday night at 9PM and it’s a really good time!
I’m also grateful that I’ve been able to reconnect with old friends. Now that everyone “seems to have more time on their hands” (I say this lightly), it’s been really nice to CALL or ZOOM and catch up. I don’t remember the last time I’ve had time to actually engage in a full-blown conversation with a girlfriend that didn’t last 10 minutes at a time or revert back to an auto text reply that read, “Busy at work. Call you back?” My best friends live in Georgia and we’ve always relied heavily on our phone calls and text messages. But those were always scheduled and planned in specific time slots each week. The fact that we can rip that part out of our calendars and have the freedom to choose ANY day has been really nice.
Join A Virtual Book Club
Before becoming a mom, books were a part of my everyday life. I use to take public transportation to and from work and that was one of my favorite moments. But once I became a mom and started exclusively pumping (for 14 MONTHS) I traded physical books for Netflix and really didn’t have time in my “schedule” to read anything in its entirety.
One of the beauties of social media is that you have the platform to follow people with like-minded hobbies. I follow a mommy duo who are also best friends and live in different states (like mine do) and who recently announced that they would be hosting a book club. I jumped all over that! We connect with other women in a chat and discuss the book there daily, along with biweekly Zoom calls. It’s been both refreshing and exciting!
Get to Know Your Neighborhood
Prior to quarantine, we had just moved to our new apartment about 15 miles away from where we first lived as a family. Needless to say, 15 miles in Miami can seem like different planets. We also went from living in a complex without a community pool, a dirty playground, and without a balcony in our unit. Upgrading to a complex where we DID have these things, was like DISNEY for my son and stepdaughter. Sadly, we only got to enjoy our new amenities for 1 month and 18 days after moving in.
We had to come up with some pretty creative ways to pretend like the pool and clean playground no longer existed since they closed. We turned to Miami Moms Blog’s 101 Quarantine Check List and we started small. Like taking walks around our new neighborhood and throwing bubble parties on our balcony. Our kids almost forgot that our unit (literally) views our (sparkling) community pool. Once Miami-Dade Parks and Recreation announced they were opening, we starting walking within social distancing limits there. We even “got lost” and found a beautiful nature trail!
It’s Hard But We’re Doing It
This pandemic is hard, Momma. But we’re doing it! All these activities are things you don’t truly have to be an extrovert to enjoy! They apply to all of us because, at the end of the day, we’re all riding this wave. And one thing is for sure: we need each other more than ever during these times of isolation.