Loneliness is common, and at some point in life, we experience it at different levels. Normally, if we’re feeling lonely, we simply catch up with our friends or family. We head to the gym, out for coffee, go shopping. Anything that allows us to be around other people, so we simply don’t feel so alone.
Today though, given the current situation with the Coronavirus pandemic, this isn’t possible, and loneliness is guaranteed to rear its ugly head. And it’s going to affect all of us.
According to a report released by the National Academics of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, loneliness has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, dementia, high cholesterol, diabetes and general poor health. Not only that, but it’s also been linked to excessive use of alcohol and smoking.
Given that we’re currently being told to stay home, practice social distancing, and to avoid anyone except our immediate family; we need to try to do as much as possible to combat it. Here are some strategies that could help you combat loneliness while in isolation.
Stay Connected With Family & Friends
Compared to 40 years ago, it’s easy to stay connected to family and friends. With social media, mobile phones, video chats, you can talk to each other immediately. This helps you to keep in touch, but also to check on loved ones who might be feeling anxious, depressed, or who are living with compromised immunity. You could even write each other letters and postcards – there is nothing quite like getting to the letterbox and finding a letter from a loved one!
Connect With Strangers
This might seem confusing given the circumstances but connecting with strangers is possible – and important for your mental wellbeing. Join and participate in Facebook groups so you can meet like-minded people who you have something in common with. Here you can chat about anything that interests you, from exercise to painting, being a mum to world news. You might also sign up for some multiplayer games that operate online so you can chat to your opponents; or join QuarantineChat – an online system that allows you to talk to anyone around the world who is also in isolation. You never know, you might even make some new friends (at a safe distance).
Find Your Own Comfort
If you’re going to be stuck at home, make it as comfortable as possible. Cook healthy food, enjoy a bath, watch your favorite shows on TV, read books, light candles, meditate, and get a good night’s sleep. You might like to get creative and start a new project – write a journal each day or practice writing short stories; start painting or complete an adult coloring book. Or take this time to give your home a good spring clean – clutter has been linked to depression.
The most important thing is that if you are feeling lonely – talk to someone. Anyone. If you don’t have friends or family, and don’t feel like talking to random people you meet in an online game, give us a call. We’re here to listen, offer great advice, and help you get through this. And you WILL get through this.