Feelings of loneliness can range from a simple melancholy that passes quickly to something that becomes quite a serious mental health issue, which can have a severe impact on your wellbeing.
In these uncertain times under the shadow of the coronavirus pandemic, day to day life for many people living with lockdown restraints has meant many are separated from friends and family. So it’s no wonder that loneliness is more prevalent than ever, and for those who have perhaps never had to deal with the experience before, it can come as something of a shock. Fortunately, there are many ways to combat the problem, so here are five suggestions that could make a difference.
In what used to be ‘real-life’, most of us could rely on meeting other people in social settings if we needed to keep loneliness at bay. The ‘new normal’ looks like restricting those opportunities for quite some time even as society comes out of lockdown, so it’s only natural that ‘virtual’ meetings that take place online will become even more critical.
As anyone who uses forums or Facebook groups will know, online communities can offer as much humor, friendship, and support as meeting in person. No matter what your interests or hobbies might be, there is sure to be a group of like-minded individuals out there online somewhere, and the beauty of it all is that they are only a quick Google search away.
Although it wasn’t too long ago that video calls were still in the realms of science fiction, one of the things the lockdown has revealed to many people is that today they are a reality that can be used by anyone. Facebook, Zoom, Skype, and others, all offer services that can be accessed for free and offer high-quality sound and visual connections in real-time no matter where you are in the world.
Video calls are a fantastic way to combat loneliness as they offer the advantage of seeing the facial aspects of human conversation, which means so much. As they even work well on smartphones, the chances are that this is one side effect of the pandemic that could change the way we all communicate for good.
Talk to a therapist
Many people already know that the conversations you can have with a therapist can be amongst the most important that you have with anyone. As well as being able to talk through things that worry you, the ability to discuss matters with another person in total confidence can be an advantageous experience.
As a way to combat loneliness, it really can’t be beaten. Even if you don’t have a therapist or have been wary of trying it up to now, you can use an online therapy review to find out all the details and hopefully, the perfect solution, too.
Some countries have applied stringent measures during lockdown periods to try and minimize the rates of infection, with varying levels of ‘stay at home’ rules being applied. However, even the most draconian have allowed for leaving your home at certain times. Even if you don’t feel like doing so or don’t need any extra groceries, you should get outdoors at every opportunity within the guidelines.
Fresh air is always a good thing to help keep any negative thoughts at bay, while walking is also a great way to clear your mind. Sunshine helps to make vitamin D in the body, and that helps fight respiratory infections, so going out on a beautiful day is good for both mind and body.
Staying fit is something that everyone should be thinking about, especially if they are not used to being indoors for long periods or have had a usually active lifestyle curtailed.
With gyms closed and outdoor time-restricted, the last few weeks have been a trying time for many. However, indoor exercise and keep-fit regimes are a great way to keep your mind focused and take it away from dwelling on negative thoughts such as loneliness. It works even better if you set yourself target-orientated training routines, and it gives you the motivation to achieve something while productively occupying your time.
With the next few months uncertain when it comes to how the pandemic will continue to affect day to day life and place obstacles in the way of meeting up with friends and family, loneliness is likely to be a problem that will continue to rear its ugly head. Even so, every cloud has a silver lining, so if it means you end up video calling people who live on the other side of the world or take up a new keep-fit challenge, there are plenty of ways in which combating loneliness could improve your life.