You may be feeling cut off from the rest of the world and sidelined by the current situation. But it’s important to remember that the isolation measures now in place are designed to protect everyone, especially people who are over 70 or have underlying health conditions. So try not to look at it as being cut off from your community, but instead as an extraordinary effort to come together to protect and help one another. What a beautiful example of solidarity!
Make peace with solitude
Solitude may get a bad rap in today’s hyperconnected world, but it is not fundamentally bad. Start by asking yourself why the idea of spending time alone seems unpleasant or causes anxiety.
Find the good
Think of some of the benefits you get from solitude. Maybe you enjoy the quiet serenity of time by yourself. Or maybe you like to use it to read a good book, meditate, or keep a journal.
Quieting your mind but not necessarily your body
Time alone is also a good opportunity to reconnect with yourself and get back to what’s most important. What are some activities you haven’t done lately for lack of time? It could be something you enjoy like painting or knitting, or it could be that pile of papers you’ve been meaning to file or those family photos you’d like to organize. Spending so much time in your home can also inspire you to spiff it up and make it a pleasant, peaceful living space.
Practice physical distancing, not social isolation
While the public health recommendations require everyone to stay at home and avoid physical contact with others, that does not mean we need to be socially isolated. Physical isolation does not prevent you from keeping up your relationships with loved ones. We have so many ways to stay in touch today! There’s always the good ol’ telephone, and email for those who are comfortable with it, but you can also explore new communication technologies that let you to put a face on your conversation.Don’t know how they work or think they’re too complicated to figure out on your own? Why not ask your kids, grandkids, or tech-savvy friends for help—by phone, of course!
Use your support network
Despite the physical separation, more and more assistance and support initiatives are being created. Once again, we are all adapting to help avoid spreading the virus. For example, you can get your food and medication delivered to your home to avoid exposure in public spaces.
Don’t wait to hear from loved ones—reach out to them yourself! Sometimes we may hold back out of fear that we are bothering others. But if everyone waited for someone else to call them, no one would ever talk!
It all depends on your perspective
There are a lot of things we cannot do right now, but still plenty that we can. First of all, by choosing to follow the government’s directives and the measures put in place, everyone is doing their part to reduce the potential negative impacts of COVID-19.
We also have power over our own perceptions. As we mentioned above, you can choose to look at this lockdown time as an obstacle to your daily activities, or as an opportunity to get back to certain practices. So many comforting and enjoyable activities are still available, perhaps in a different format. Keep an open mind, and be creative! You can do some parts of your weekly fitness routines indoors instead of out. You can cook a nice meal and call a friend to talk instead of going out to eat. That’s the difference between passively enduring a situation and taking control of your own decisions.
Last but not least, don’t underestimate your own internal resources. Everyone can show resilience—the ability to overcome challenges and come out stronger because of what they have learned through the experience. Think back to your past. You have an abundance of life experiences to draw upon and a vast array of strategies you can use to tackle difficulties. This may be a good time to tap into some of them.