Staying at home and keeping your distance from others is critical for your physical health during the coronavirus outbreak. It is equally important, though, that you continue to care for your mental and emotional health as well. Taking steps to understand how to avoid loneliness in self-quarantine can help you as you do your part to keep everyone safe and healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Even when you are feeling lonely because of self-quarantine, know that you are not alone. Many people are experiencing the same natural responses to the social distancing required by the coronavirus outbreak. Beyond a sense of loneliness, you may also feel some physical symptoms related to your new isolation.
Although researchers are scrambling to find a cure and a vaccine for COVID-19, the toll that isolation and loneliness may take on your physical health have long been known. When you do not feel connected to others you are more likely to catch a cold, experience depression, develop heart disease, have lower cognitive function, and live a shorter life. Long-term harm caused by loneliness is similar to smoking or obesity. So, it is imperative that you understand how to avoid loneliness in quarantine.
Learning how to cope with your new way of life will help you maintain your physical, mental, and emotional health as you self-quarantine during COVID-19. Some steps you can take to relax and improve your coping skills include:
- Relax your body often by doing things that work for you. Take deep breaths, stretch, meditate or pray, or engage in activities you enjoy.
- Talk about your experiences and feelings to loved ones and friends, if you find it helpful.
- Maintain a sense of hope and positive thinking; consider keeping a journal where you write down things you are grateful for or that are going well.
Options for Connecting
Avoiding loneliness can mean increasing your connections with others. In quarantine, you will want to take protective measures such as washing your hands frequently and wiping down surfaces in your home more frequently. You will also want to find ways to stay socially connected to other people. How do you do that when you are in physical isolation?
There are two basic options for overcoming loneliness. You can nurture existing positive relationships with other people, or you can form new relationships. Of course, as you are self-quarantining, developing and maintaining relationships with other people will depend on virtual connections. You can take a “digital action” to get in touch with a friend or family member whom you haven’t spoke with in a while or you can reach out to someone new that you’d like to get to know better.
Although you cannot be physically face to face with others in self-quarantine, you can use online options to see the faces of your friends, family, and other important human connections. Available platforms include Skype, FaceTime, Zoom, and other virtual options. You can also use the phone to make a call so you can hear the voices of other important people in your life. Of course, you can also email, text, or use social media to connect with others as well.
Take care to limit your online activity. Staying too long on social media sites can actually be detrimental to your mental and emotional health. The lack of physical activity involved in scanning online sites for extended periods of time can also harm your physical health.
Understanding what is going on in the world, in the US, and in your community regarding the coronavirus outbreak is important to avoiding loneliness in self-quarantine. It will help you to stay up to date on the latest information, but again, limit your media exposure. Watching or listening to news for too long a time can increase your anxiety and worry. You should also verify your sources to ensure they are credible.
Continue Your Path to Recovery
Reaching out to others to avoid loneliness in self-quarantine is particularly important if you are in addiction recovery. Many groups are offering secure, HIPAA-compliant online sessions so you can continue to connect with others who are experiencing the same feelings of isolation and anxiety. Take advantage of available technology to participate in support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, and 12-Step meetings.
Contact BRC Recovery for Help with Your Addiction Recovery During COVID-19
You are not alone during COVID-19. At BRC Recovery, we will continue to support you through your addiction recovery, so you can build the life you’ve always wanted. We specialize in helping chronic relapsers and those who think they are resistant to treatment. Please call us at 1-866-461-1759 with your questions and to learn more about the services we have to offer you to help you in your recovery.