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  • Tips for Coping with Social Isolation

    Humans are social creatures and we don’t do well in isolation. We are meant to be with community, friends and family, it’s how we’re wired. This can be additionally difficult during the holidays or the pandemic. 

    Many of us have felt like prisoners in solitary confinement over the last couple of years because of the COVID-19 pandemic. And many of us have been feeling our own mental anguish and aloneness from this extended isolation.

    Who knows how long this may go on? While none of us have control over what viruses do, we do have control over ourselves and our perceptions of the world. With this in mind, here are some tips for coping with social isolation whether it’s from the pandemic or feeling alone during the holidays.

    Isolate Yourself from the Media

    If you’re paying attention, it almost seems as if the media is trying to confuse us and cause more worries than report on actual news. Watching too much news doesn’t help anyone’s anxiety levels, so stay informed as best you can but don’t binge-watch. If you do watch TV and or the news focus on uplifting events and shows. 

    Get Creative

    Being isolated can get very boring very quickly so it’s important that you try and get creative with your time. This could mean painting the living room and rearranging the furniture or getting your husband and kids to learn a new language with you. It could mean experimenting with an old recipe or making up a game with your kids. Just have fun and think outside the box!

    Reconnect

    Now is a great time to stay connected with friends and loved ones you haven’t spoken to in a while. Take the first step and reach out to someone you care about. Chances are they’re feeling isolated too and would welcome your connecting. And technology like Skype and Facetime makes it incredibly easy to chat with someone no matter where in the world they are.

    Stay Active

    A lot of the anxiety we may feel comes from the fact we aren’t moving our bodies as much as we usually do. It’s important to stay physically active during this time. So get outside and get some sun. Go for a walk or ride your bike. Not only is exercise good for us physically, but physical activity releases endorphins that make us feel good mentally and emotionally as well.

    Meditate

    The world can be a chaotic place right now and it seems we are being hit with noise and negativity from all sides. It’s important to make time each day for some quiet meditation.

    If you’ve never meditated before, that’s okay. Just try it.

    One of the easiest ways to meditate is through a listening meditation. Find a space in your house where you can be alone and get into a comfortable position. Close your eyes and breathe deeply in and out… and simply listen to the ambient sounds.

    What do you hear? The buzzing of a light? A fly? Your dog’s collar rattling down the hall as he scratches. Expand your hearing to see what else can you hear outside your house. Birds? Lawnmowers? Traffic?

    Simply breathe and listen intently for 5-10 minutes. When you listen, you can’t think at the same time, and so you will notice finally your thoughts go quiet. Or just notice your breath going in and out of your body. Ahhhh 

    If you find that the social isolation or feeling alone this holiday season is beginning to trouble you and you’d like to speak with someone, please get in touch. I would be happy to discuss how I may be able to help.

     

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