6 Ways to Curb Loneliness During a Pandemic
It's safe to say this year has been long and hard on everyone’s mental health. Worries and anxiety about this pandemic and its impact can be very overwhelming. Social distancing and all the precautionary measures make it even more challenging. It’s important to learn self-care strategies and get the care you need to help you cope.
Regular physical activity and exercise can help reduce anxiety and improve mood. Find an activity that includes movement, such as dance or yoga. Get outside in an area that makes it easy to maintain distance from people, such as a nature trail or your own backyard.
Eat a Healthy Diet
Choose a well-balanced diet. In times of stress we often turn to comfort foods packed with unhealthy fat, sugars, and refined carbs. But these foods, along with too much caffeine and alcohol, can adversely impact your mood. Focus on fresh, wholesome foods whenever possible.
Find time each day to make virtual connections by email, texts, phone, or FaceTime. If you're working remotely from home, ask your co-workers how they're doing and share coping tips. Enjoy virtual socializing and talking to those in your home. Whether you’re talking with a friend or loved one at a social distance, via video, or on the phone, it’s important to strive for more than just a surface connection. Remember the deeper the connection you establish, the more you’ll both benefit!
Explore Your Hobbies
Increased time at home can be a great for finding a new hobby or rediscovering an old favorite. It gives us something to occupy our extended time at home. All of those Pinterest DIY projects you didn’t have time for? Well now that you’re home 24/7 you have a little extra time to build that shelf or paint your living room a new color.
Spend Time in Nature
Research has shown that there are multiple psychological benefits linked to exercising and spending time outdoors. Nature can enhance your emotional well-being and amplify the benefits of physical exercise. Studies suggest that regular trips outdoors are a reliable way to manage stress and anxiety. Peace and mental clarity are a big reason why being outside is important, help find it by adding time in nature to your routine.
Use your TouchPoints
When you’re feeling uneasy or need to focus, use your TouchPoints to help you feel less stressed and anxious as we continue to navigate through these challenging times.
You can expect your current feelings to fade when the pandemic is over, but stress won't disappear from your life when the health crisis of COVID-19 ends. Continue these self-care practices to take care of your mental health and increase your ability to cope with life's ongoing challenges!
1 Capaldi C, Dopko RL, Zelenski J. The relationship between nature connectedness and happiness: a meta-analysis. Frontiers in Psychology. 2014. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00976.
2 Morita E, Fukuda S, Nagano J, et al. Psychological effects of forest environments on healthy adults: Shinrin-yoku (forest-air bathing, walking) as a possible method of stress reduction. Public Health. 2007;121:54–63. doi: 10.1016/j.puhe.2006.05.024.
3 Pearson DG, Craig T. The great outdoors? Exploring the mental health benefits of natural environments. Frontiers in Psychology. 2014;5:1178. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2014.01178.