We Are in This Together!
Coping with Isolation During Coronavirus Pandemic
A note from our social worker
As the Coronavirus pandemic continues, and we maintain social distancing, feeling frustrated about being “cooped up” and isolated are normal. There are ways, however, to alleviate feelings of loneliness and boredom that most of us are experiencing.
It is helpful to take a slightly different thought perspective.
First, it is important to acknowledge the normalcy of such feelings without giving ourselves permission to act on them in unhealthy ways. A healthy way to do this is to reframe these feelings; for example, reminding ourselves that by keeping socially distant we are actually stopping the spread of the virus and as a result, saving lives. Another positive action to adopt while so much is closed, is to focus on what we are able to do, such as watch movies at home, read, listen to music, journal, sketch, do crafts, cook, or walk.
Self-care and routines are key, including healthy eating; getting rest; and managing anxiety through meditation, deep breathing, and exercise (such as yoga). Avoiding excess tobacco, alcohol and other drugs is important. Connecting with family, friends, or a faith-based community through phone, mail, on line, or social media can also lessen feelings of social isolation. Let your supports know how you are feeling. Contact a health professional if you are feeling physically unwell, and care for your emotional health, if necessary, by seeking support services including counseling or therapy (through telehealth or in person), speaking with a clergy member, doctor or contacting SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration helpline 1-800-985-5990). Additionally, while it is informative to tune into news for updates on the virus, it is crucial to limit news exposure, so as not to become upset or overwhelmed by hearing repeatedly about the pandemic. Always be sure the news is from a trusted source, such as local government authorities, National Institutes of Health, or the CDC.
Also, important to bear in mind is that this pandemic is temporary and we will get through it, even if our “new normal” does not look quite the way we are accustomed.