Loneliness and Isolation
In this pandemic, we are likely finding ourselves disconnected from others such as our coworkers, our loved ones, our extended families, or our neighbors. Finding ways to connect is an important part of maintaining our connections while also fighting against isolation. The impacts of isolation are many and can include feelings of sadness, increased anxiety, feelings of loneliness and even depression. Researchers have also linked social isolation to physical conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, and a weakened immune system. So, how to we stay connected??
First, I want to make sure to make the distinction between being alone and being lonely. The two are not necessarily the same. Being alone doesn’t have to mean we are lonely. There are times when solitude and alone time can be healthy. What I’m talking about is different. Loneliness is a feeling of sadness or unhappiness about being socially isolated. . Because of the impacts of isolation that I mentioned, it is important to find ways to stay connected with others.
Finding ways to connect can include video chats with friends and family, which is something that I have been doing almost nightly. Maintaining work connections through chats and video meetings is also important in that structure in our day can fight against feelings of isolation. Creating a PLAN with your family and friends to SAFELY stay in regular contact is also important as it can give us something to look forward to. Remaining connected is especially important for people who live alone.
Along with scheduled phone calls or video
conferences, we can also make sure to even text or email with friends, family and coworkers. It’s also important to talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling. Are there online meetings you can attend? Online religious or spiritual gatherings that you can sign up for. If you are parent, this may be the time to set up virtual play dates for your children to allow them to feel some sense of connection with their friends and classmates who they are no longer able to see on a daily basis. This can also benefit you as a parent as well for you to connect with other parents who are experiencing the same isolation.
Whatever the avenue you choose to connect please remember that these relationships are important to maintain to fight against our feelings of isolation, loneliness, boredom and so on. And if you feel that your connections are limited, now may be the time to reach out for help. If you are struggling with isolation, remember that there ARE people out there who are there to help. And if you want more information on fighting loneliness and isolation please do not hesitate to reach out to me! Always remember, you are NOT ALONE in this.