Introverts versus extroverts: mental health during the pandemic, Part 3 (includes video story)

The coronavirus pandemic has created a sudden shift of lifestyle, and not everyone has been able to handle social distancing, the decrease of income and the lack of interaction with others. It’s led to depression and anxiety for some.

Interestingly, introverts seem to enjoy their time at home much more than extroverts.

(This is the third part in a series. For part 1, click here and for part 2, click here.)

Twenty-four-year-old Florida International University journalism major Dailen Vera is an introvert. Her worries at the beginning of the pandemic were like everyone else’s: money and bills. She lives alone and still hasn’t spent much time with her family.

But, she says, social distancing has given her the chance to practice activities she once enjoyed such as playing the ukulele, painting, singing, reading and photography. Dailen has used this time as a pause from her daily school and work routine. She has always preferred staying home and enjoying hobbies like these, but says that her part-time job and writing homework consumes most of her time prior to COVID-19.

Thomas Schmuki, a 70-year-old portrait and editorial photographer, has felt quite the opposite. Thomas is an extrovert. He’s forged many relationships throughout his life, the lack of which has led to depression during these months of quarantine. Since the beginning of March, Thomas has felt quite alone. He’s used to having friends and family around. Living inside his home without being able to go to a restaurant, the beach or a gathering has increased his anxiety and stress.

Licensed marriage and family therapist Dr. Maria Angelica Mejia explains that extroverts need to have physical touch with others to reenergize themselves while introverts instead use individual hobbies to relax. Introverts don’t need consistent interaction to feel happy; meeting with family and friends once a week or so is enough for them.

Her advice for both personality types during this crisis is to simply find what they truly enjoy and make the most of it, whether it is meditating or having zoom meetings with family and friends once a week.

The pandemic provides time to work more on oneself and what we truly desire, admire and need to feel alive and well. Dr. Mejia says life is about feeling successful and happy, and finding joy is the answer to a fruitful life.

Born and raised in Miami, Florida, Edmarys Menendez is an FIU alumna who studied Broadcast Media. This journalist enjoys interviewing and finding out people's passions and hidden talents. Her goal is to become an on-air studio host with her own show. She is a freelancer and has danced for more than 10 years. This passionate and optimistic student is more than ready to fulfill her journalism career.

Sergio Meso is a media professional with extensive experience as an on-camera talent, digital journalism, media production and storytelling. He is seeking a Bachelor's in Communications focused on Broadcast Media at Florida International University-School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

Melissa Charria was born in Miami but raised in New York, she is currently attending FIU and studies Broadcast Media with a minor in Marketing. She enjoys video production and being on camera as well. She is a passionate and positive student who is looking forward to finishing her degree and putting her work out in the field.

Shadia Karina Charouf, born in Miami, Florida, is currently attending FIU and is majoring in Communication: Broadcast Media with a Minor in International Communication. Shadia is fascinated of the world around her which has led her to grow a fondness for travel, culture, and adventure. Her creativity can be found in her writings like poetry and short stories, and through her detailed eye that has allowed her to capture moments through photography along with her storytelling abilities through videography and production. Shadia is an aspiring Journalist who intends to turn every inspiration she finds, into artwork, one story at a time.