How We Can Battle Coronavirus Loneliness
Whether you are quarantined due to suspected exposure, staying home because you are in a high-risk category, or at home to help prevent the spread of infection, you may find yourself unprepared for the feelings of loneliness that will likely follow. Here are some ideas on how to manage your feelings of loneliness during these uncertain times.
Keep to a schedule
Even if you are isolated at home, try to keep to a regular schedule as much as possible. While loneliness can feel like it will never end, trying to make these days feel as "normal" as possible will help you to get through.
Start each day with a plan of a few things that you will do, keep a daily diary about how you are feeling and what you are doing, and keep a symptom log if you are managing illness.
While you do not want to feed your anxiety and fear through constant updates about the state of the virus, keeping up to date on the latest advice and health information may give you an edge when it comes to protecting your mental health and as a result this will reduce the impact of loneliness.
Limit your media consumption to an extent. Watching too much news, reading too many articles, and consuming too much content can be overwhelming. You might decide to check the news twice a day. Or you might decide to limit your time on social media if everyone is talking about the virus.
Stay Active and Fit
While it's easy to focus exclusively on how to manage your mental health and loneliness directly during a crisis, we sometimes forget that our physical and mental health are just as significant.
If you spend 14 days of isolation not getting any exercise, this will have a detrimental effect on your ability to cope mentally. Below are some ideas of at-home activities that you can keep doing to stay active.
- Practice yoga or at-home workouts by following Youtube videos.
- Go for walks around your neighbourhood or in your garden if you’re worried about going out of the proximity of your house.
Connect with others
Perhaps the best thing you can do to combat loneliness during this period of isolation is to connect with others. While you may not be able to visit with family and friends in person, that does not mean that you cannot connect.
Family & Friends
If you are comfortable using technology, there are numerous ways you can stay in touch. If you prefer more traditional ways of communicating, there are still options for you. Below are some ideas how to stay in touch with your loved ones.
- Send a letter
- Call someone
- Video calls using facetime
In addition to staying in touch with family and friends, you can also combat loneliness by participating in online exchanges with other people around the world.
Here are some ways you can do so:
- Joining Facebook support groups
- Signing up for online forums
- Joining and playing multiplayer games
Find Sources of comfort
Finding ways to give yourself comfort even when you are feeling lonely can help to improve your mental health. Below are some ideas of "comfort measures" that you can take even if you are alone.
- Take a nice, relaxing bath
- Cook some comfort food
- Herbal teas
- Watch TV
Expressing yourself through creative means can be therapeutic, whether it involves painting, writing, dancing, etc.
Here are a few arts, writing and home projects you can try:
- Write a journal
- Start a daily blog
- Short story writing
- Needlework, knitting or crochet
- Create a photo album
- Jewellery making
- Redecorate your house
Another way to combat loneliness during this time is to distract yourself with activities.
Here are some ideas:
- Reading, join an online book club, magazines, listen to audiobooks
- Watch TV or movies, series on Netflix, live podcasts
- Listen to music, or play an instrument, create a playsuit
- Start a puzzle
- Online classes
Start planning ahead
While it might feel like this loneliness will last forever, there will come a time that you'll be back to your usual routines. One way to feel less alone now is to make plans for the future or do things that help you to focus on the future and what to look forward to after lockdown.
Here are some ideas:
- Make a future list
- Plan events with friends or family for after lockdown
- Make a bucket list
- Make some goals