Life as we know it has been entirely disrupted by the global pandemic. You may have lost your job, or have switched to working from home. If you live alone, this means that you might be entirely isolated from other people. This might mean that you are dealing with feeling extremely lonely, anxious, or depressed. This might make it tempting to put yourself and others at risk by socializing despite CDC guidelines not to.
While this is a challenging time for us all, we urge you not to gather with friends against the social distancing orders. These are difficult to cope with, particularly alone, but they are there specifically to keep us all healthy and safe. If you are feeling isolated, there are things you can do to feel more connected.
Signs You Are Struggling With Feeling Isolated
You may be having a hard time with social distancing if:
- You’re feeling bored
- You’re restless
- You’re feeling lonely
- You’re struggling to sleep
- You can’t focus
- You’re anxious
- You’re depressed
- You’ve lost interest in your passions and hobbies
If you’re struggling to shelter in place alone, we see you. Reassure yourself that these circumstances are temporary, and the meantime, here are some things you can do to feel more grounded during this time.
Stay in Touch with Friends
To a degree, everyone is dealing with feelings of isolation. This means you likely have more friends than ever who have the time and motivation to keep in better touch. Technology makes it easier than ever to keep in touch, whether you use text messages, video chat, or phone calls. When you’re feeling lonely or bored, make a point to reach out to a friend or family member.
Monitor Your Social Media Use
When you feel lonely, it’s natural to think that turning to social media may be a way to feel connected. However, social media can cause anxiety, and in the current circumstances, it’s impossible to avoid a lot of news coverage and hot takes about what’s currently happening in the political sphere. Consuming too much of this does more harm than good.
Make sure to set good boundaries around how much social media you will use. Set specific times you use it, or a set amount of time. Also make a point to unfollow anyone who makes you feel anxious. Do your best to create a safe space in your social media platforms to make them more helpful.
Consider a Pet
If you don’t already have a pet, now may be the perfect time to get one. Animals make for great company, as they offer endlessly unconditional love and help you keep a regular routine. If you don’t have the resources to adopt, you might consider becoming a foster instead.
Being sedentary naturally creates more feelings of anxiety and sadness. Not to mention, it gets quite boring after a while! You can combat these feelings by making a point to stay active. Though you can’t hit the gym, you still have a whole range of options of how to get moving. You could try running or biking outside, a home exercise video, or some yoga, for example. Physical activity also has the added benefit of releasing endorphins, which elevate your mood.
As long as you respect the guidelines of social distancing, you can go outside to participate in some physical activities. Being stuck inside is likely lending itself to creating feelings of containment. Getting outside and getting some fresh air can do wonders for your mood, so make a point to go out for a walk once a day to get the blood flowing and your mind outside the limits of your home.
Try to Stay Positive
In these dark times, it can be difficult to remain optimistic. It’s important to keep a healthy perspective on what’s going on. This is temporary. In time, you will be able to meet up with friends, spend time with family, and go back to work. By sheltering in place, you are doing your part to protect others and yourself from this disease. It may be difficult in the moment, but we will get through this by putting the good of the many first.
Consider Talking to a Professional
If you’re struggling with feelings of loneliness, anxiety, depression, fear, or stress, you may benefit from talking to a professional. At New Transitions Counseling Center, we understand that as someone who lives alone, you are facing unique challenges that may leave you feeling like you are totally on your own. We are here to say that you’re not. We can help you navigate these big feelings through our online cognitive behavioral therapy services in Palatine. Contact us today to learn more about telehealth and how it may help you.