Being isolated for long periods can induce emotional distress. So, it is vital to combat isolation during COVID-19 with positive tactics.
Today’s current state requires all people to stay indoors at all times, unless it is to purchase essential goods, such as food and water.
Other than that, only essential workers, such as our healthcare workers, can go outside for work. The rest either lost their jobs or had to adapt to a work from home situation, which is an entirely new and challenging concept for most of us.
Moreover, since we are experiencing harsh lockdowns across the world, small things that were part of our daily lives, such as social get-togethers, were suddenly put on hold.
Not being able to go to a friend or loved one can put a lot of strain on one’s mental health. And even if you are someone who enjoys staying inside your home all the time, the thought of it being mandatory can weigh heavily.
Regarding the updated COVID-19 information, the COVID-19 virus can last up to five days on specific surfaces. In this case, on glass surfaces, such as windows, drinking glasses, and mirrors.
With this looming on the top of our minds, it puts a lot of strain on our minds, which can cause adverse effects on our mental health. Being isolated for long periods will eventually induce a feeling of disconnection, resulting in depression, anxiety, and other emotional stresses.
That is why it is vital to tackle these issues to prevent the situation from worsening. Continue reading below as we discuss mental health and isolation during COVID-19.
The Connection Between Mental Health and Isolation
Ever since the Novel Coronavirus’s widespread, we were forced to isolate ourselves from others in fear of being ill from the virus. This means all forms of mass gatherings were prohibited. Isolation during the pandemic has also led to loneliness.
For businesses, they can only cater to a much smaller number of people, including their employees. Also, churches had to stop conducting public sermons. Instead, churches needed to use video sharing software, such as Zoom, Google Meet, Skype, etc., to spread their sermons.
What is the connection between being mandated to stay at home and our mental health?
A lot of people can live alone. As a matter of fact, according to the Wall Street Journal, an estimated 35.7 million US citizens are living alone.
This means living alone is not a negative thing, as most people portray it. Actually, even if others are living with others, they can still feel alone. Going back, how does isolation affect our mental health, despite millions of people living alone?
Well, most of us get lonely from time-to-time. But before this pandemic began, we were free to see our loved ones as much as we chose. Now that these travel restrictions are in place visiting our circle of people is an unlikely option.
This leads to a prolonged feeling of loneliness, which can cause several mental disorders. These can lead to depression, increased stress, and anxiety disorder.
On top of that, if left untreated, isolation (particularly isolation during COVID-19) can cause damaging effects to our mental health. Further, most of these effects are challenging to recover from. The most common is the increased stress.
One of the many causes of this may be due to the high amounts of worry about your health and your loved ones. Plus, you may also add the stress caused by work, financial situation, and isolation.
Not only that, whenever we go out to purchase essential items, new government protocols include social distancing, which requires people to stay at least six feet (two meters) away from other people. You can see this at grocery stores, restaurants, and any other establishment.
This matter can also instill a sense of loneliness in people. And that is why it is vital to catch these signs while they are just beginning to appear.
Ways to Prevent Loneliness and Isolation During COVID-19
Loneliness is difficult to tackle, especially today when we are being required to isolate ourselves from others. However, there are more than a few ways to help prevent long-term loneliness. Not only that, but these can also decrease stress levels and other mental disorders.
So, here are a few ways to combat loneliness during the pandemic.
Yes, visiting someone is unlikely today, but that does not mean that you can’t connect with them. You can call them to have someone to talk to, decreasing the effects of loneliness.
On top of that, technology allows us to call someone with the added benefit of a live video feed. This helps with loneliness all the more since you can see those that you are calling.
If you are struggling with a mental disorder, such as anxiety, calling someone to vent can also help decrease the symptoms. You may also opt to call a health professional (since most of their practices are now offering distance services).
Now, we know that this is entirely contradictory to what you might want to do during a pandemic, but hear us out. When we say, “Go outside,” we do not mean “go and see your friends or family and mingle with other people.” What we mean is merely going out for a quick walk.
Walking has a lot of benefits, not just for our physical health but also for our mental health. Breathing fresh air can also do wonders for your overall being.
Nevertheless, when you do go out to walk, make sure that you are equipped so that the virus won’t infect you. This means wearing a face mask while also carrying a small bottle of alcohol or hand sanitizer.
Join An Online Group
While we can’t join public communities, we can settle on those online. There are several online communities that you can join. Whether it is about fitness, book reading, blogging, writing, etc., you can join any community that fits your hobbies.
Thus, providing you with ways to connect with others that also share the same interests.
We know how stressful the current working situation is, which helps you stay busy while also keeping your mind off work. Not only that, but you are also putting your mind on things that you enjoy doing—this aids in relieving stress, improving your mood, and expanding your social circle, as well.
It is easy to feel lonely these days. Ever since the widespread of the COVID-19 pandemic, people needed to isolate themselves to limit infections.
Now, we see the importance of mental health more than ever. That is why it is crucial to keep your mental stability in check.
Call someone, seek professional help, exercise, and joining virtual communities can all help prevent the onslaught brought by isolation during covid-19.
Meet the Author: Lillian Connors
Lillian Connors is a Senior Content Developer at ACT-ENVIRO, with years of experience in developing content.
Throughout her career, she always looked for ways to contribute to the environment in recycling efforts while providing valuable information with her written articles.
She’s deeply into green practices, cherishing the notion that sustainability not only makes us far less dependent on others regarding how we live and do business but also contributes to our planet being a better place to live on.
When she is not trying to improve the things around her (and herself, for that matter), she likes to lose herself in a good book and sip on an occasional appletini.