To help flatten the curve of the current COVID-19 pandemic we find ourselves amid, we are being asked to isolate and practice social distancing.
During this time, it is important to be aware of the difference between physically isolating and feeling isolated emotionally.
The concept of emotional isolation is not new, or as a result of COVID-19, but something that many of us may have experienced before, like, new mothers, retirees, expats, immigrants, the list goes on… The feeling of isolation is generally experienced because of a change in environment or circumstance that has pushed us into unfamiliar territory and out of our comfort zone.
Unsure if you’re feeling emotionally isolated? Your body may tell you in the form of:
- Aches and pains
- Lack of energy or motivation
- Anxious, sad, lonely or negative thoughts or feelings
- Irrational behaviour or moods
- Difficulty sleeping or increased fatigue
Listen to your body’s warning signs and become aware of your feelings. Awareness is the first step to finding a solution.
How can you combat feeling isolated, because of isolation?
- Enjoy the extra time you have with the loved ones you live with. Take the time to have in-depth conversations, play games, exercise, learn, or partake in any activity that will allow you to enjoy some together time. This is an opportunity to bring families closer together, so take advantage of it!
- Stay socially connected, digitally
- Video chat or play games online with family and friends
- Rekindle old friendships from across the globe
- Have a virtual family reunion
- Join online groups or clubs in line with your hobbies
- Become a ‘virtual’ volunteer and offer your time and services remotely
- Practice gratitude and mindfulness. This time will pass, so enjoy a slower paced life while you can. Now is the time to do the things you’re normally too busy to do, so use it!
- If you’re struggling mentally, seek professional psychological help. Remote consultations are available via telephone or video conference
COVID-19 driven physical isolation is changing the way we interact socially, but it doesn’t mean that we can’t interact socially and become isolated. We need human interaction to stay mentally healthy, so it’s important to stay connected. Technology truly is amazing, and we can maintain our social connections from a safe distance during this unusual time. Just remember, you’re not alone, even though you may feel lonely. We’re all navigating the same unfamiliar territory right now, but we can get through this; together.
Written by Lorraine Sindel