The 6 Keys To Staying Grounded & Connected During A Period Of Isolation
It’s so easy to become stuck in our heads and fall victim to mental health disorders during a period of isolation. That is part of why seasonal depression is such a large phenomenon. As humans, we find purpose in doing. We find purpose and happiness in solving problems and connecting with one another. When that ability is taken away by a mandatory period of isolation, what do we do? It can cause risk for us to fall into depression, anxious thoughts, and/or spiritual lack. Since the world is undergoing a large scale experience of isolation, now more than ever we need to find human connection and stay grounded in who we are and what our world is. We need to work on avidly avoiding feeling stagnant. Here are some tips to avoid falling into a potential depression and ease the anxiety that might come with these shaky times.
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1. Keep in touch with your loved ones
This may seem like a given, but it is often something we overlook or take for granted. If we spend too much time around a person or a group of people, we can become irritated by their actions or habits over a period of time. Likewise, we might take these people for granted and not reach out enough. Right now, the world needs each other. We are depending on the universal force that ties us together in order to conquer the fear that is plaguing us all. That force is love. That force is connection. Use it. Remember it. And never take it for granted.
We are fortunate enough to live in a time where we are more connected than ever through social media and other technology. When was the last time you used this to your advantage? Ensure that you are reaching out to those that help you remember who you are, where you came from, and what fuels you.
2. Show gratitude
Things are changing rapidly right now and everything feels very uncertain. Remember to show gratitude for the things you have that might be easily stripped away tomorrow. Nothing is ever certain, a testament that is proving to be true now more than ever. Show the Universe that you are grateful for everything you have so that the Universe is not tempted to humble you.
3. Get out of your head
Find a way to escape overthinking and fearful thoughts by removing yourself from your headspace and getting into the physical every once in a while. Find something that you want to work at improving physically, if you are able enough to, of course. This could range from starting a yoga practice to trying to run a over a mile to trying to be able to do the splits. Find a physical practice that can help remove overthinking and place you back into the present.
4. Find a routine
Recent events might have thrown off your tried and true routine and left us all feeling very empty and energetically out-of-whack. Manage to find a new routine in the moment. This isolation will not last forever and you will be able to resort back to what you know, but for now, focus on grounding yourself in the present and find something that works for you. This will be especially helpful if you need the discipline to work or do schooling from home.
5. Recognize life for what it is
When you take away all of the potentials and the what-ifs you are at less at risk for being overwhelmed. Take a moment to think about where you are in life and how things are. Recognize that a lot of the external factors are things that you cannot change. All you can do is focus on how to move forward and your reaction to everything. Remember to not feed into the fear that is fueling the world and instead move forward with love. When you help create a better atmosphere for everyone and focus on enriching the lives of others it helps remove you from enhancing your own anxious thoughts and other problems you might be experiencing. Though things might not be ideal right now, it is what it is for now. How can you approach it in a way that is beneficial to the world?
It is easy to confuse reflection with dwelling. Do not dwell on the past since that only breeds “what-if” scenarios which, in turn, spike depression and anxiety. Instead, notice what might have led up to this moment. Were you burning yourself out? Is this isolation period a wake-up call to call your best friend more? Have you been lacking in any healthy habits? Reflect on you got to where you are now and ways in which you can use this period to work on elevating yourself.
7. Distract yourself
It is important to note the distinct difference between distraction and avoidance. Avoidance is avoiding the thoughts and uncomfortable emotions and trying to suppress them by forcing yourself to “think happy thoughts” and embody “good vibes only”. However, we are human. This is not practical. We have such a wide range of emotions and they are there for a reason. Isolation most likely will bring up unpleasant feelings and thoughts as we are stuck to face our own selves, including the bad. Distraction involves recognizing the thoughts but not giving into them. Recognize what you are thinking and feeling, accept it is part of our nature to find problems to want to fix, think of ways to fix it but do not dwell. Feeling but not dwelling on these emotions is essential in distraction. Feel it all, address it, and then find an activity to stimulate the mind in another way. This could be in the form of partaking in a new hobby. Maybe you learn to cook, knit, sing, draw, or learn a new language. Maybe you could finally read that book that has been sitting on the shelf for a few months now. Maybe you could distract yourself by calling your friend and talking about a new movie you just saw. The list is endless. It is important right now to not dwell or get sucked into a loop of negative thoughts and emotions when it is so easy to since our lives have become far less busy.
The age-old answer to getting and remaining grounded. Just try it for a while and you will experience why the hype for it is so prevalent. It helps to detach us from our thoughts and observe them in a more objective manner which helps us avoid falling victim to depression and anxiety. Meditation reminds us that you are not your thoughts and your thoughts are not necessarily you. If you have trouble sitting still and trying to meditate on your own, there are a plethora of great online guided meditations available though multiple platforms. There are apps such as Headspace and Calm (both require additional costs) and there are YouTube videos that help as well. Anyway you may decide to embark on your meditation journey, there is a great advantage to starting a meditation practice in the digital age.
9. Take time out
Within the last decade or so, life seems to be a never-ending loop of overwhelming tasks and messages. It has been hard to just disconnect from everything and take things slow. Use this pause to your advantage. Even if you have to still work from home or focus on caring for your family or loved ones, things are still less intense which gives us a moment to sit back and just rest. When was the last time you allowed yourself to do nothing? Embrace your inner couch potato for a second and your mental health will thank you.
10. Catch up on sleep and create a healthy lifestyle
Our physical health is a direct influence in our mental health. The way we take care of ourselves is vital in achieving overall contentment and a happy mind. You can use the extra time that stems from this isolation to cook nutritious meals for yourself and begin a healthy bedtime practice to help get more sleep. Likewise, the extra time on our hands can be used to catch up on the much-needed hours of beauty rest. Proper nutrition and an adequate amount of sleep is essential in helping our bodies manage stress better and boosts our immune systems which can impact the negative thoughts and feelings that come and go in our minds.
Though it is easy to fall victim to negative feelings and thoughts, particularly depression and anxiety, in conditions such as loneliness or isolation we must actively work on staying connected to ourselves, one another, and the Universe. It has never been more essential that we connect with others to spread the message of love and reduce fear and find similarly find ways to use this period to our advantage to elevate ourselves. Stay safe, healthy, and happy with these tips.
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