Five Ways to Cope with Loneliness

Loneliness can be a pandemic all on its own.

As a mother of multiple children, the Covid-19 lock-down has been both a blessing and a curse. It was a blessing because I got to spend a lot more time with my family, and get to know them even better than before.

Facing a world-wide health crisis together can be a great opportunity for bonding, if you have the right mindset. It was a curse because I had to learn a new way of life. I have always worked long hours, so adapting to spending all my time at home was an adjustment, to say the least. That being said, I am supremely grateful to have the love and support of my family during this time. Not everyone is so lucky.

For many people, this lock-down has been incredibly hard in terms of mental health. People who live alone, with no pets, probably burned through Netflix in the first month, and then had to cope with multiple months of social isolation, which can lead to mental issues like depression, anxiety, and even panic attacks.

We never realize how important our social lives are, until they are taken from us. So, for people out there who live alone, and are facing the possibility of spending winter in social isolation, here are a few tips on how to cope.

Keep a schedule. Being home all the time is rough, because we are in charge of our own schedules. Waking up, going to bed, eating breakfast, doing yoga, meditating, and spending time outdoors are all things that can be worked into a daily schedule to help keep us sane.

Find healthy hobbies. Exercise is super important during this time, but gyms aren’t your safest bet. Take up a healthy hobby, like walking, jogging, biking, yoga, or swimming. Engage in your healthy hobby three times every week. It might actually help you meet like-minded people, too.

Create something. Creativity is a great way to kill multiple hours, and level up your skill set. Dive back into old creative hobbies like writing or drawing, or try new techniques using online tutorials. You might discover something about yourself in the process.

READ MORE: 8 Fruits and Vegetables That Boost Your Mental Health

Get pets and/or plants. Pets are one of the best ways to cope with loneliness. I should stress however, that you shouldn’t get a pet unless you are willing to form a bond, and  stick with them through the end of their life. If that makes you nervous, get a fish. If that is too much for you, get a plant. The point is that caring for something else will give you a sense of purpose, and help stave off lonely thoughts.

Connect digitally. Reaching out to our friends and family can be difficult to do, but during this time, it is absolutely necessary. Video conferencing with loved ones is surprisingly comforting, and the small amount of social interaction can do wonders for your mental health. First, you have to reach out, then you have to follow through. However, it is one of the best ways you can support your mental health during these uncertain times.

Published by karenmsutton

HSS Orthopaedic surgeon in sports medicine | Mother of 4 amazing children | Team physician for USA Women's Lacrosse | ACL injury expert

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