What a bustle it’s been, right?! Schools, restaurants, fitness centers closing. Essential travel-only rules being instituted. I’m spooked, how about you? And along with the scariness of the situation, there is isolation…for a long period of time and an uncertain period of time.
As humans, we thrive on connection, and while introverts may be quietly rejoicing to a certain extent, there will come a time (yes, even for introverts) wherein the social isolation may become just a bit much. Unfortunately, isolation can often lead to the onset of depressive symptoms. And with prolonged exposure to anxiety and stress our systems have experienced (and will continue to experience), we are only left more susceptible. Below are some thoughts and ideas I have for you to combat the potential impacts of social distancing. Take what you will and make it yours, friend.
Organize Zoom parties. Even if the party’s just you and one friend, that’s still a party! It may not feel the same, but it’s a great temporary solution to combat the sadness and potential depression that comes with isolation.
Get outside (in an open area). Take a walk around the neighborhood, steer clear of parks, or find a nearby open field. The vitamin D and fresh air are not only good for our souls, they’re good for our immune system strength. Just as humans thrive on social interaction and connection, we also thrive on regular doses of nature. And while you’re at it, engage in some grounding exercises to calm anxious thoughts and feelings.
Focus your efforts on a task or project. Take this extended time of slow down to work on something that’s been on your to do list or that you’ve wanted to do for a while. Learn how to play the guitar. Learn a new language. Organize your pantry. This will not only give you a nice boost from accomplishing something, but it will serve as a good distraction. And while I don’t encourage distracting completely from thoughts and feelings, we all need a mental break now and again.
Start a new habit. 30 days is about the time it takes to form a new habit. What do you want your life to look like after this isolation is over? You can take advantage of this time to make shifts you’ve been wanting to make. There are so many exercise platforms offering complimentary subscriptions right now, may you start practicing yoga. You could pick up a regular reading habit. You could learn how to meditate (I recommend mindfulness).
Reach out for help. Now, more than ever, we need therapy. You may be viewing it as a luxury right now, or perhaps you always have. Not so, friend, it’s not a luxury it’s a necessity. Providers are scrambling to be online-accessible, some insurance companies are allowing telemental health regardless of plan, and states are even making this judgement as well. Therapy is more accessible than ever before. Take advantage!
For information about my newest service – Message Based Therapy – click here. It may be difficult to carve out an entire hour with the kids home, etc…This could be a good fit for you.