Isolation and loneliness represented huge societal problems long before COVID forced us into quarantine. More people than ever live alone, and worse, many lack the friendships or close family relationships needed to support their mental health.
It’s no secret that loneliness can give rise to issues like depression and anxiety, but its physical manifestations are also alarming. We are beginning to see this play out after months of lockdown.
While nothing will replace traditional, in-person interactions, we can still make an effort to preserve our mental and physical health. These suggestions may help:
Take Advantage of Digital Solutions
Video chat may not be an ideal substitute for in-person conversation, but it’s better than nothing. After months of lockdown, however, it can be difficult to remain motivated. Build chat sessions into your schedule — you’ll be amazed by how quickly a virtual discussion with a loved one can make you feel better.
Cuddle Up With a Pet
Sometimes, we need the physical sensation of touch more than we need another Zoom conversation. During COVID, pets can supply this when hugging a human isn’t safe. The mere act of petting a cat or dog reduces both heart rate and blood pressure. If you don’t already have a pet, this could be a great time to adopt.
Beyond isolation, many of the physical risks of lockdown involve a general lack of exercise. If you’re struggling to get motivated, sign up for scheduled Zoom workouts or, better yet, head outside for a brisk walk. A few moments of outdoor activity can make a world of difference.