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Experts agree that 'physical distancing' may be more beneficial than 'social distancing'

3 years 11 months 1 week ago Monday, March 23 2020 Mar 23, 2020 March 23, 2020 9:51 AM March 23, 2020 in News
Source: CNN

In recent weeks, social butterflies across the globe feel like they've had their wings clipped as they attempt to curb extroverted tendencies and become homebodies.

When CNN producer Ryan Prior delved into the subject of extroverts adapting to stay-at-home directives and social distancing practices, he found that quite a few were having a difficult time acclimating to the social shift.  

"We are social beings," Jaime Blandino, a clinical psychologist in Decatur, Georgia, told CNN. "My most extroverted clients are having the hardest time."

An extrovert is someone who feels most rejuvenated after spending time with other people. When they're alone, "they might not know what to do with themselves," she said.

As the US government prepares for a potential months-long fight against Covid-19extroverts will need to learn to create their own plans on how they might manage their own psyche as social distancing, quarantines and shelter in place orders become more commonplace.

Use technology to connect with friends

Experts suggest using technology to connect with friends. 

Your "usual habits are going to be disrupted," said Gretchen Rubin, the author of "Outer Order, Inner Calm" and host of the "Happier" podcast. An important strategy is to "reimagine what you want and get out in front of it."

Though nothing is better than face-to-face interaction, plenty of apps offer substitutes that are almost just as engaging.

Skype, House Party, and Marco Polo are a few that a number of extroverts have found useful.  

In Italy, where the whole country has been in lockdown for more than a week, throngs joined in a singing flash mob belting out the country's national anthem from their apartment balconies.

So, if anyone wants to use social media to round up their neighbors, it will likely be greatly appreciated.

"We could come out of this closer," Rubin said. "We're all going through something big together."

Exchange the phrase 'social distancing' for 'physical distancing'

Some say the phrase 'social distancing' may not be as accurate as the phrase 'physical distancing.'

Dr. Don Dizon, a professor of medicine at Brown University suggests that extroverts remain social by taking a bike ride or talking to neighbors over the fence. 

Even for those under 'stay at home' directives, it's still permissible to go for a walk and enjoy the weather, as long as one keeps a safe distance from others.

Read a good book

Experts also suggest reading.

Getting lost in the pages of a fascinating book can be fun, and offer yet another interesting topic to discuss with friends.

"Extroverts are very plugged in," Blandino said. "This is a time to practice slowing down and introducing new routines."

According to the advice above, as long as social butterflies arm themselves with a good book, a couple of video chat apps, and a daily schedule that includes a walk in the park, they'll find themselves adapting to the new social culture. 


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