For many people there will be a tough, but necessary period of social isolation. Many of us will miss seeing family and friends and taking part in our usual hobbies, interests and activities. It shows how important friendship and connection are in our lives, and how difficult it can be when they’re missing. Social contact is a fundamental human need. Without it, you may find yourself spiraling into negative thoughts and feeling very closed in. The goal of social distancing is to be alone, but not lonely. Here are some ways to achieve that.
Research suggests that when people lack social connections they are more likely to suffer from physical health problems. Exercise and vitamins can help here.
Scrolling through feeds and superficial commenting is more harmful than helpful. But, you can use social media and video conferencing software to have meaningful interactions.
The basis of social connection is having something in common. Whatever your interest, there is an online community of people who share your passion.
Eat healthy and follow a consistent sleep schedule. Take time to slow down and reflect. Look at each negative thought you have about you or the world objectively. Adopt a temporary vs. permanent mindset. All of this will pass.
Don’t be hard on yourself for the feelings that come up. All your feelings are valid. But, remember that your feelings don’t dictate your reality. Feeling lonely doesn’t mean you’re alone.
Write in a journal, paint, take photos or try a new recipe. Watch YouTube tutorials and learn a new skill. Creative pursuits that are engaging have been proven to alleviate feelings of loneliness.
It is important to remember that if you feel self-isolation having a very negative impact on your mental health, you should seek professional advice.