The onslaught of COVID 19 did more to our society than infect and kill. On the peripheral of this is another epidemic, one of Isolation and Depression.
Humans are social creatures. We need each other to survive. Because of COVID some of us are now judging our social interactions by what’s deemed ‘safe’ and what is not. This especially true of those with compromised immune systems or other high risk factors
The elderly are especially vulnerable to this isolation. Because many are self-isolating to stay safe, the instances of social anxiety are increasing. Some now see social situations as a threat.
There are many hazards of living an isolated life, especially for an extended period of time. Anxiety, depression, PTSD are a few things that can result. It can also effect sleep patterns and physical well-being.
Isolation creates loneliness. Loneliness breeds depression, anxiety, addiction, eating disorders and personality disorders. We want to be less lonely but are now afraid to socialize because of this invisible threat. Even if we are not afraid of becoming ill, the social anxiety now created is almost unbearable.
So what’s the answer to the loneliness created by isolation? That’s the big question here, isn’t it?
Take Care of Yourself– Do what you can with the things you can control. This is not the time to slack off on sleep, exercise or diet. Keep a regular sleep routine, walk every day, if you can. Meditation, deep breathing and yoga are good outlets.
Socialize As Best You Can– With the technology of our phones, etc. there are many options for reaching out to others. Be it Zoom or Face Time or another application, there are a lot of options for staying in touch. Send emails and texts, visit friends on social media, or pick up the phone and call someone. If you are filled with social anxiety, this might be the answer to opening that door for yourself.
An unexpected text or message from you could brighten someone’s day and make a world of difference in how they feel that day about not only themselves but the world around them.
Look online for religious services or events at community centers, the library, or other facilities in your area.
Spend Time With Family– More likely than not, your family is feeling just as stressed about being isolated as you are. Reach out to them and let them know that they are not alone.
Change Your Mindset- Avoid thinking about what ‘might’ happen, or worst-case scenarios. This only leads to anxiety. Practice gratitude. Find something, or a few somethings every day to be grateful for.
Take a Break From the News-Yes, we want to be informed. But a constant barrage of what is happening in the world will not leave you with a positive outlook. Take the news in small portions. Limit yourself to a certain amount of time each day. 30 minutes, 60 minutes, whatever works for you. For myself, I watch until I see the weather forecast, then I change the channel. In that few minutes, I’ve seen enough.
Get Busy- Start that craft project that you’ve been putting off. With YouTube, there is no reason you can’t learn line dancing, cooking or sheepherding! Get outside. Garden. Exercise is a great deterrent for depression.
Help Others- Focusing on other’s needs can take your mind off of your own.
Get Help- If you are suffering from anxiety, depression, or just need to vent, don’t be afraid to reach out. Sometimes it helps to simply be able to express what you are feeling. If you can talk to a friend, start there. If not, talk to your doctor, a teacher or someone else you trust.
There are many helpful resources out there. Please visit my Mental Health Help Page HERE: for a list of more resources and other useful information and articles.
A last thought on the subject of Isolation and Depression: We’re all in this together and remember, that as harrowing as it is, this is a temporary situation. You can’t control everything. Just do What You Can.
Thank you for Joining me on this Journey. Penny ❤