We have all been challenged with social distancing due to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Pandemic.
With these adjustments we face many feelings, such as sadness, anxiety, worry, depression, anger, frustration, loneliness, and more.
With social distancing we may feel like we have lost that sense of being connected with our support system, family, and friends and we begin to feel lonely.
Even those that like to do things more independently can face these feelings of loneliness when we are forced to isolate.
So how do we cope with loneliness when we are supposed to practice social distancing?
Here are a few tips on how to cope with feeling lonely:
Just because we are practicing social distancing and are alone, it doesn’t mean we have to feel lonely.
Feeling lonely is usually associated to feeling like we are not connecting or have anyone to connect with. And with this current situation, we can definitely feel lonely, but remember you still have your connections, your support, your baseline that you can reach out to.
So reach out and connect with them through technology or other means to counter the feelings of loneliness.
Distract yourself with activities you enjoy while getting your mind off things. Engage in healthy coping skills and activities that make you feel better. We discussed coping skills in our previous article “Coping Skills to Manage Depression and Anxiety”. Engage in any healthy activity that makes you feel better.
You can also try something new! Now that we have more time and are at home, try something new or that you always wanted to try. It’s a perfect time to challenge yourself with a new activity or hobby.
Try connecting with others to help others. This is a great strategy to get our focus off of how we may be feeling with loneliness and we shift the focus on helping and connecting for others sake. Connect with your neighbors, friends, family, and community (while practicing safe social distancing of course) on what they may need to fight feelings of loneliness with a simple check in. This small interaction can do wonders for us in fighting loneliness.
Don’t pass up opportunities to connect!
Quite often, when we are experiencing loneliness and depression, we start to isolate more. Even when we want that connection and it’s offered, we may be inclined to deny it because we feel lonely. Don’t pass up the opportunity to connect with others. Use that opportunity and challenge yourself to get that social interaction we all need.
Return to the basics of communication.
Even though we can’t physically be with our loved ones, friends, and support group, that doesn’t mean we can’t feel connected with them. Return to the basics of communication with letter writing, emails, calls, text, or any other form of connection. If letter writing is not a task you regularly do, it can serve as a coping skill in multiple areas and be a cathartic approach to communicating your feelings and connecting with someone else.
If you are struggling with feelings of loneliness during this time, reach out to someone, anyone!
Try connecting with your family, friends, social support, and even reconnecting with people that you haven’t been in contact with for a while. Connect with the people you feel comfortable with.
You can also reach out for professional help to discuss these feelings and for additional support. Psychologytoday.com and Goodtherapy.org are great resources to find a therapist in your area.
Remember, even if we are alone during these circumstances, it doesn’t mean we have to feel lonely.
We are all in this together!