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How to Deal with Loneliness and Isolation During Quarantine

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“How to Deal with Loneliness and Isolation During Quarantine”
By Sherrie Hurd, A.A.

“Being alone and being lonely are two different things. Learn how to deal with loneliness during this trying time. There’s nothing wrong with living alone. However, when quarantine happens, being alone may not be as comfortable as it once was. Even when we’re our only company at home, we can usually go out at times, but with a threat to our mortality at hand, this changes things. We must adjust to this change in our lifestyle.

Loneliness vs Being Alone: I’ve been alone before. When I first divorced several years ago, I had every other week on my own. The thing is, I still had to go to work and shop for food. I even spent time with a few close friends. I’m not alone now, but I can’t imagine how hard it would be for someone that is alone during this crisis, especially the more outgoing peopleBeing alone is okay, but being lonely can take a toll on your health. So, it’s good to have ways to fight off this loneliness many of us are going through now.

How to deal with loneliness? Dealing with loneliness isn’t easy for some people. After all, the norm is to go out and have fun when you’re lonely, right? Well, right now, we can’t run around and congregate in large numbers, we can’t dine out in nice restaurants, and we cannot even enjoy large spiritual gatherings. At least, we’re not supposed to do this. So, what can we do?

1. Digital socializing: Most of the time, I would tell you to get off your computer and go visit someone, but today, I won’t be saying that. Today, I will be telling you to spend more time on your computer and chit chat with some friends. I’m serious. Now is the time to socialize online and share your feelings with others.

While we are quarantined, we can share our loneliness and thus thin it out a bit. Now, I didn’t say spend every waking moment on social media and such. That would make us more dependent now and later on as well. I just think you should check in every day with a  friend or two and release a bit of that pent up tension.

2. Understand what you’re feeling: It’s important to understand the differences in alone, loneliness and solitude. If you can easily differentiate between these three, you will be better capable of dealing with the inability to go out or see others. Alone is a choice, loneliness is the feeling of disconnect, and solitude is being alone in your thoughts completely, which includes being alone and disconnected as well.

You can actually be lonely in a room full of people. Did you know that? So, loneliness can be combatted by actually leaving a room and choosing to be by yourself for a while. That seems strange, doesn’t it, when learning how to deal with the effects of loneliness? And that is why it’s important that you know these differences.

3. Be old-fashioned/use the phone: I remember when the only way to get in touch with friends was the telephone. We still have that option with smartphones. Maybe, instead of hopping on the computer, we can give someone a call. Spend time the old-fashion way, and talk about how you’re feeling with friends and even distant family.

Learn about what’s happening in their area. It works in pretty much the same way as social media and such, but it gives your eyes a rest. Keep in mind, too much screen time can give you headaches, and you don’t want to be lonely with a headache. Switch your contact abilities up a bit.

4. Get to know and appreciate yourself: Did you know that some loneliness stems from the fact that you don’t know who you are, or that you don’t like yourself? This is also a fact. Not until I spent some time alone during rotating weeks of joint child custody, did I learn who I really was, and guess what? I am a good person and worthy of all my dreams and goals. Many people lean on others to decide who they are and base their worth, and they should never do that.

Now’s the time to get to know yourself, and if you don’t like what you learn, then dig deeper and do some repair work. Just don’t let despair and depression try and tell you who you are. Remember this: you are beautiful, you are worthy, and you are needed in this broken world. Over time, this self-education will relieve quite a bit of your loneliness and you will love your own company.

5. Stay active: I know this is an option on many of my posts concerning a myriad of conditions and situations, but it works. In fact, I am such a fan of this option that I downloaded a free app for daily short exercises and Yoga sessions. At the moment, there are several free apps for your phone that guide you through workouts, and you should check it out.

As well as inside exercises, if you live in a remote location with distant neighbors, you can get some exercise outside. Take a walk, jog or if it’s warm in your area, plant a few herbs or vegetables. It actually takes quite a bit of energy to cultivate and plant a garden, even potted plants. Either way, find a way to stay active. This is how you understand how to deal with loneliness.

Loneliness during isolation and quarantine: These are only a few ways to deal with being quarantined, and it works with isolation as well. Considering, to be honest, isolation is used to keep the sick from infecting others, and quarantine is keeping you separated from the sick in most cases. These terms are sometimes used interchangeably or incorrectly, but you probably understand my point. Knowing this, you must find ways to keep yourself occupied, maybe even for quite some time.

You can also read, paint, listen to music, and reorganize your home. There are so many ideas, but it may be hard to think of these things because of the intensive loneliness, and the depression it may bring. I hope this helps a little, and you can offer other ideas in the comments as well.

We will get through this, so hang in there.”


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