Covid-19 has essentially changed every single aspect of our lives. I cannot stress enough the importance of being connected during these trying times. As physical distancing becomes a “new normal” for us, not being able to hug someone, shake hands or perform a simple act of kindness such as holding a door open, can not only be daunting but also quite depressing.
As we navigate through the new rules, the importance of caring for others and staying safe absolutely must be balanced with the importance of staying connected to others. Loneliness and depression can be just as detrimental to our mental health as the virus is to our physical health. As a matter of fact, if your mental health is compromised, your immune system is at risk, thus compromising your physical health anyway. It’s a lose-lose situation.
Pre-pandemic loneliness rates were already quite high but are only being exacerbated during Covid-19. However, that does not mean that it cannot be turned around. Whether you, or someone you know, is feeling the symptoms of loneliness and depression either before the pandemic or since, there are many things you can do to normalize your life and counteract the negative effects of isolation.
Use These Strategies and Tips to Stay Connected and Combat Depression:
- Go for Walks – Fresh air and sunlight will help you to feel better and better each and every day. Find a walking partner and walk in nature to give yourself a sense of accomplishment and good health. If you cannot find a partner, walk your dog. Walking alone can also be quite invigorating, just make sure to be out in the open and safe.
- Take Care of Yourself – In order to connect with others effectively, we must first take care of ourselves so that we can convey the positive energy that we also want to receive. Begin by making sure that you are getting the correct amount of sleep, exercise, and healthy foods.
- Keep in Touch – Try to schedule at least one phone call each day with someone who you enjoy talking to, someone who inspires you. If you feel that you do not have enough of those people in your life, try doing a good deed by connecting with others who may need you more than you need them, i.e., call the nursing homes or assisted living and leave your name and number for those who do not have any family members to connect with. You will not only feel great about doing a good deed, but you may also make a forever friend in the process.
- Be Grateful – Take a few moments each day to pause and be grateful for the good things you have in life. Gratitude will not only help to make you stronger emotionally but will also help you to connect better with others.
- Anchor yourself in the present moment with a mindful yawn and a slow stretch.
- Bring attention to your body by noticing your body sensations.
- Next, bring to mind a sight or memory that you are grateful for.
- Then, increase the volume – dwell on it – savor it!
- Learn Something New – Another great way to connect with others is to take a virtual class. Is there something you have always wanted to learn? Aromatherapy? Creative writing? Ministry? How to crochet? Classes are currently all being held via Zoom or some other online platform, giving you the opportunity to learn from the comfort of your own home while still connecting with and meeting new people. As a bonus, you get to learn a new hobby or get certified in something you love.
Remember, by purposely staying connected during these times, you will be preventing the physical ailments that come with loneliness and depression while also making a difference in the lives of others. By lifting the spirts of others, you will also be lifting your own.
― Susan C. Young
To your wellness,
“The effects of counting blessings on subjective well-being: A gratitude intervention in a Spanish sample.” Martínez-Martí M. L., Avia M. D., Hernández-Lloreda M. J. Spanish Journal of Psychology. 2010 Nov; 13(2):886-96.
Why relational connection is so important during the coronavirus pandemic. (2020, August 18). Retrieved from https://www.smartbrief.com/original/2020/03/why-relational-connection-so-important-during-coronavirus-pandemic