Millions of people are in quarantine, causing many to suddenly feel very isolated and alone
Millions of people are in quarantine, causing many to suddenly feel very isolated and alone.
Psych Hub is an online platform that brings mental health education to the world. These professionals believe that significant progress and breaking stigma is achieved through widespread education.
The organization also features some of the brightest minds in mental health psychology and advocacy through its podcast and how-to series. Psych Hub offers the following tips for managing social isolation.
Even under normal circumstances, prolonged isolation can be harmful. It has been linked to heart disease, depression, dementia, and even impaired immunity. Social isolation can also exaggerate pre-existing symptoms like anxiety, depression, and even panic. So what can you do to stay connected and healthy while practicing social distancing?
1. Take care of your mental, physical and psychological well-being
While staying current on what's going on around you is essential, remember to focus on the positive. If you have negative thoughts or concerns, don't ignore them.
Instead, try to acknowledge and accept them, and then discuss them with someone you trust. Breathing exercises, mindfulness, meditation, and muscle relaxation can also help your mental, physical, and emotional state.
2. Work on yourself
Exercise is another great way to take care of your physical and mental health while in social isolation. Even if you can't go to the gym, find ways to walk, stretch, and be active within your space.
3. Stay connected
There are many ways to communicate with your family, friends, and others using technology such as video chat, text messages, email, calls, or various social media platforms.
Participating in safe and appropriate social media challenges can also be a fun way to help you feel connected. Interacting with people who use online support groups can give you great opportunities to talk about how you think and offer emotional support to others who need help coping with the pandemic.
4. Stay active
Long periods of physical and mental inactivity can lead to depression and poor health. Find a project you can do around the house or create a routine of activities to look forward to each day.
5. Limit screen time
Watching TV, surfing the Internet, and playing video games can be great outlets, but spending too much time in front of the screen is not healthy. Manage your use of electronic devices and consider setting reasonable limits each day.
If your work from home involves using a computer or phone, try getting up and looking away from the screen periodically.
6. Be aware of unhealthy coping strategies
In times of stress and even boredom, some forms of escape are resorted to, including food and alcohol. Be aware that overeating or drinking too much can lead to unhealthy habits with damaging health consequences.
Try using other strategies like meditation, exercising, hanging out with friends, and calling someone you love.
7. Find the good
There may be benefits to staying home. For example, if you have more time on your hands, it can allow you to start new projects, achieve some of your unique goals, or even get some rest and sleep.
Staying home with children or other family members can be an opportunity to spend more quality time together. Try to stay active, healthy, and connected with others during this difficult time. Quarantine doesn't have to be excruciating if you remember to take care of yourself and others during your time at home.