The situation we’re in at the moment — where our safety depends on us staying put at home for at least the next couple of weeks — is unprecedented, to say the least. While it seems like we’re being urged to ‘make the most’ of this time at home, for some of us, it’s not that easy. After all, humans are social beings, and remaining cooped up at home, even with family, can send us into a spiral of loneliness.
What is loneliness, really? Simply put, it’s an experience characterized by a gap between the type/frequency of social connection we desire, and what we are actually able to engage in. Distress occurs when this gap widens, leading to a domino effect that could also result in physical and mental health issues.
However, the good news is, it can be managed. It’s only important that you recognize when you’re feeling that way, and proactively try to remedy it.
Here’s a few tips on how:
Reframe the experience
There is great comfort in the realization that you are not the only one going through this. It’s not as though you’re stuck at home, while others are putting up pictures of group vacations and parties on social media. The truth is that millions around the world are sharing this very same experience with you. What you are now part of is essentially a ‘community act’ — one where we’re each doing our bit to keep the other safe. So why not change the narrative? Tell yourself ‘I am keeping myself and others safe’, instead of ‘I am stuck alone’. After all, right now, we’re caring for society as a whole, in the biggest way we ever have and probably ever will.
Do what you love
It’s likely that a lot of us, for months or even years, haven’t found the time to do what we really love. The daily hustle eats into most of our day, leaving us too exhausted to pursue our passions. And there’s never been a better time than now to revisit those. Carve out an intentional space for ‘creation’ in your day. Studies have shown the ability of the arts to elevate one’s mood and boost positive emotions — so use this time to write poetry, work on a blog, or try a new recipe. Read that book that’s been lying on your shelf for ages and pick up that home improvement project you had to abandon midway. There are so many ways to take your mind off these current circumstances — the options are truly endless!
This is another aspect of our lives we often ignore because we’re often ‘too tired’ or ‘too busy.’ And now, with gyms and fitness centers cancelling classes, it can be even tougher. Working out regularly has immense positive effects on mental and physical health, so now that you have the time, why not spend half an hour every day doing something good for your body? There are a whole range of exercises you can do from the comfort of your bedroom, with little or even no equipment. Just check out our expert-led cult.live classes on the app, and pick the workout you think works best for you — choose from HRX, dancing, yoga, and more!
Keep in touch – digitally
In this day and age, staying connected is the least of our problems! Yes, you can’t meet your friends and colleagues like you used to, and it can be even tougher when you’re living alone or with roommates. However, the lockdown doesn’t mean you can’t still see them and speak to them. Download one of the many apps that support video calls, and schedule daily or weekly catch-up sessions with friends and family. You’ll be surprised at how much better you feel after a quick chat with a loved one.
Limit exposure to COVID-related news
While it’s important to remain up-to-date on what’s going on, the barrage of information on the pandemic will only exacerbate anxiety and loneliness. Try to limit exposure to not more than an hour a day, and once done, make a conscious effort to stay away. Keep yourself busy, and make some time for daily meditation, even if it’s just ten minutes. Mindful meditation has been shown to ease worries and calm distracting thoughts that could lead to stress and panic.
These are unique circumstances that most of us have never experienced, and none of us could have been prepared for.
All we can do is stay calm, find comfort in loved ones, and hold on to the certainty that this will all be over, and we will go back to our normal lives at some point — sooner or later.
However, if you still find yourself feeling scared, lonely, or depressed, we’re here to listen. Start online therapy with one of our mind.fit therapists and freely discuss your concerns.
Sometimes, all it takes is an objective third party to help ease our minds. So, do what is best for you, and most importantly, stay safe and stay healthy!