lessen loneliness while social distancing 

Four ways to lessen loneliness while social distancing 

Behavior, ,

Social distancing helps protect us from contracting COVID-19. But distancing may not be good for us psychologically. Today we suggest four simple ways to help protect against the psychological damage from distancing. Untreated, loneliness is a health hazard, comparable to the hazard of smoking. 

Cruelly, the people who most need social distancing—the elderly and those with chronic diseases—are the people already most prone to be lonely. Whether or not we are in a high-risk group or not, here are suggestions to help us.

1) Social closening (yes, this is a word) 

When we must be physically distant, and not touch others, we can connect in another way—telephone. Everyone is texting everything all the time, so perhaps a real phone call seems antiquated, But we get much more social feedback if we hear a voice, rather than just reading a text. A video call, even better.

Emojis are a way we add emotion and nuance to text conversations. Telephone calls don’t need emojis. Try to call at least one or two people a day to see how they are doing. If you ever needed an excuse for a phone call, COVID-19 gives you that. Prioritize friends or family members you may not have talked to in a while. And try to call someone living alone, or who is older, who probably already feels isolated and lonely. Not only will it make them feel better, you will feel better.

2) Mindfulness, meditation, or prayer

Research studies have shown that each of these helps strengthen our immune system. The scientific evidence for these helping is stronger than for a daily multivitamin helping your immunity. 

For mindfulness or meditation, you might need help to get that going, since it requires focus and discipline. If you know someone who does it, ask them how they do it, or find an online app, or check out this article.

3) Do something small for someone else

Volunteering, even in a small way, gives people a sense of purpose and reduces anxiety. An example: organize a way for elderly and high-risk people in your neighborhood to get groceries. There are many people with needs, alone but too proud to ask for help. You can be their hero.

4) Exercise

You can’t go to the gym or participate in group sports now, but it’s a perfect time (if you don’t have symptoms, and keep at least a meter away from others) to take a long walk or bike ride every day. If you can’t get outside, try an online workout routine posted by many gyms which have temporarily closed. Any physical exercise boosts your immune system, and reduces stress. Try to get at least 30 to 60 minutes of physical activity per day.

Approached in a positive way, a crisis can bring out the best in people. 

It is our choice.  This pandemic gives us an opportunity to finally do something good for ourselves and for others.

To find a doctor, of any specialty, anywhere in Brazil, check out our website: www.ProcuraMed.com.

See also in ProcuraMed:

If you have symptoms: is it a cold, the flu, allergies, or coronavirus?

How to boost your immunity in the age of coronavirus

Esta postagem também está disponível em: Portuguese (Brazil)

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