This pandemic has required that we distance ourselves from others: 6 feet social distancing, quarantine, no large gatherings, and online interaction. Though we are all trying our best to get through this pandemic, it is important that we acknowledge the loneliness that comes with all these precautions.
“Social psychologists define loneliness as the gap between the social connections you would like to have and those you feel you experience.”-Harvard Magazine
You are not alone. Loneliness is not easy to spot in people. Though, many people experience loneliness and chronic loneliness.
“If you’re on Mars and you have the most powerful telescope, that can look through walls, you can find all the isolated people on planet Earth…But you couldn’t find the lonely people”
-Jeremy Nobel (lecturer at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health)
Podcast - NPR (See Link Below For more Details)
The first step in healthy coping is acknowledging how you feel. Taking note of how you feel is important because it gives you a place to begin working with your emotions. Do not minimize these emotions. These feelings are completely valid and you deserve space to express and work through them.
A healthy way to cope with feelings of loneliness is to increase your feeling of connection with people and yourself. This poses many challenges during this pandemic however there are several ways you can try doing this:
– Interact online with the people you care about.
– Make a phone call or text a loved one.
– Try journaling. You can find cool prompts to respond to or you can just let all your thoughts out on the page.
– Become a part of an online community which shares your same interests. For instance, If you are a comic lover, try to find like minded people in forums, Facebook groups, twitter, etc..
– Reconnect with yourself. Take some time for your hobbies/passions. You can paint, draw, nit, read a book and so on.
– Create a routine. Routines can help us navigate the day better and even get excited for activities to come as time goes by.
– Celebrate yourself on good days, these are hard times !
– Breathing exercises can help with intrusive thoughts and rationalizing. When your mind is buzzing, slowing down and focusing on your breathing can ground you and aid in redirecting negative thoughts.
– Try connecting with a therapist. Therapy can be done online now too. If you have insurance call them, and ask for a list of therapists that are covered. This can prove to be quite beneficial to your mental health.
– Visit our Hotline tab to find the right hotline for you.