We have all felt lonely at one point in our lives, but sometimes we face the extremes of how lonely we can be. Isolation is hard to handle for anyone, but those who have a mental illness may feel it more than most. Individuals who have depression and anxiety, for instance, may be having an especially isolating time with the coronavirus keeping everyone at home and distanced from each other. Since winter is coming up, and the amount of time we will be spending indoors and isolated from others is about to increase, it is important to have coping mechanisms in place.
Firstly, it is good to acknowledge that countless other individuals are also feeling isolated during these challenging times. Reach out to your friends and family! There is a good chance that they are feeling lonely as well. Keeping connections with the people important to you is a good way to remain social and remind yourself of the people that you are important to. Set aside time in your day to call a friend, send someone an email, or write a letter. We may not be able to see each other in person, but we can still be connected to one another.
Being alone and at home for the majority of your time can enhance boredom and make you feel antsy. A good way to combat this feeling is by making a general outline for your day. If you have a list of things you want to get done or you want to enjoy doing that day, it will make you feel more productive and less likely to end up feeling bored and anxious. Make sure to take breaks from screen time, whether it is for work or school, and remember to do things for yourself too. Bake a new recipe you want to try. Pick up a book you’ve been meaning to read. Go for a walk and breathe in the nature. You will begin to feel less isolated if you learn to feel comfortable being alone with yourself and doing little things to make yourself happy.
It’s alright to feel lonely sometimes. What you feel is valid and it is okay to feel sad and alone occasionally. When you get into this headspace, remember that you may be separated from your friends and family but you are not disconnected from them. Reaching out and asking for help from friends, family, or professionals can make you a stronger person and will remind you that you don’t have to go through this alone. Take the things in your life one at a time, celebrate your accomplishments, and be kind to yourself because you are doing your best to make the most out of this tough situation.
– Haidyn Emmerich
Nourish Your Mind Blog Contributor