Here are some suggestions to help manage anxiety and loneliness during social isolation.
The coronavirus has dominated our lives for the last month. We’re bombarded, necessarily so, with news of it, and on top of that, we are physically separated from our family, friends, workplaces and schools.
Being worried and isolated can take its toll, both mentally and physically, and can lead to depression, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. To combat this, many people ﬁnd success with the following:
- Take a news break: Although it’s important to stay informed, overload can take its toll on your mental health. One very reliable source of information is cdc.gov.
- Limit your time on social media sites, which have an overabundance of COVID-19 stories, not all of which are factual.
- Acknowledge feeling lonely, sad, frustrated or depressed.
- If you feel overwhelmed, talk to someone you trust.
- Take breaks. Give your dog some exercise or go for a walk. Just make sure you follow the guidelines of keeping a distance of six feet away from others.
- Call friends.
- Use video chat to feel more connected. This technology allows you to see the facial expressions of friends and family.
- Host a virtual book club. Invite friends to read a book and discuss it in a video chat.
- Prepare a virtual dinner. Ask friends to make a dish and share the recipe. Sit down together to eat while talking with one another on the phone or through Zoom or Skype.
- Get some exercise. According to a study in the journal Frontiers in Psychiatry, physical exercise can reduce depression. You can exercise at home—put on music and dance or follow along with an exercise video. You can also invite friends to join you, virtually, via video chat.
Paul B. Hall Medical Group offers behavioral health services close to home. Greg Horn, APRN is accepting new patients of all ages. He offers in-office as well as Telehealth visits from the comfort of your own home. To schedule an appointment, call 606-789-3188.
Sources: cdc.gov, nih.gov, nih.gov