Mindful Tips For Social Distancing Without Feeling Isolated
The U.S. is now home of the most confirmed COVID-19 cases in the world, which is going on to create a pandemic of loneliness. Before the outbreak, still more than half of American adults (52%) said they felt alone at least some of the time, but social distancing is driving our demographic of lonely souls to spiral out of control.
Before I explain how you can go about avoiding feelings of loneliness, I’ll let you in on a few statistics.
In America, 49% say they don’t have friends, 52% feel left out, 58% think no one really knows them, and 61% say those around them just don’t share their interests and ideas. Per 2019, Gen Z has a loneliness score of 49.9, making them the loneliness generation by score. Next in line, Millennials have a loneliness score of 47.7, and Gen X has a score of 47. Being the least lonely generation alive, Boomers have a loneliness score of 43.2.
There are many reasons we feel lonely. Specific to social isolation, online classes and remote work is doing the most harm to our physical and mental health. Here are a few practices you can implement into your life to prevent feelings of loneliness amidst your COVID-19 self-quarantine.
- Find Balance. Americans reported less rates of loneliness when they got just the right amount of:
- Physical activity
- Social interaction
- Set a Routine. Although we’re confined to our homes, it’s still important to wake up around the same time everyday, and have a morning routine that overlaps into your day. For example:
- Set an alarm
- Change out of your pajamas, shower, etc.
- Eat a balanced breakfast
- Do yoga/exercise before logging into work or your online courses.
- Take 15-minute and lunch breaks
- Be stern about your clock-out time
- Have a set dinner time
- Unwind before bed with phone-free yoga/exercise
- Get Outdoors. If indoor exercise and yoga doesn’t sound fitting to you, it’s completely safe to take a quick break for fresh air. Going for a hike, doing some yard work, or walking your dog is a great way to do this. Leaving your phone indoor is a great, mindful habit during the state of pandemia to prevent contracting and spreading the COVID-19 virus. Going outside can help you get natural Vitamin D you’ve been missing out on, as well as keep you fit and active.
- Stay in Touch. Part of the reason social isolation makes us feel so lonely is because we rely on the relationships from our friends and family to stay afloat. During your quarantine, make plans to check-in regularly with your loved ones, and plan virtual hangouts with them to keep in-touch.
On the other hand, you can turn to technology for entertainment while under quarantine. While it’s a great relief, all mindfulness can’t be treated with yoga, socialization, and exercised as previously recommended. Alternatively, you can plan a virtual game night with those you’re missing out on contact with. For example, many of our favorite video, board, and card games are available to play with our friends online. These include: Fortnite, Minecraft, Mario Kart Tour, Yahtzee, Monopoly, Chess, & Cards Against Humanity.
Movies can also provide a major sigh of relief. The voices and visuals provided in film help us feel less lonely, instead making us feel like there’s another human in the room with us.
Thanks to the advanced times we’re in, technology can provide you with a way to watch movies with your friends and family – even when you aren’t in the same room (or house). Check out Netflix Party, which is a Chrome extension that syncs your movie or TV show in alignment with the friend you choose to watch with. Netflix Party also adds a sidebar to your film so that you can chat with whomever you’re watching with.
However, these aren’t the only routes you can take in treating your social isolation blues. It was just announced that our state of quarantine has been prolonged another month until April 30, 2020 – so don’t make the state of your mental health wait. Act now. Social interaction is essential to our health, and physical distancing doesn’t have to leave you feeling alone.
We’re all in this together. Click the following link to see the full infographic outlining how to practice social distancing without feeling isolated.
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