COVID-19 pandemic got you down or feeling lonely? About half of the U.S. is feeling the same way. Social distancing while saving lives, has been taking a toll on Americans’ increasing feelings of social isolation. With high blood pressure, heart disease, cancer, and depression just a few of the conditions that you have an increased risk for because of social isolation, it’s obvious that it needs to be addressed.
Since having to work from home, the telecommute has cut our gas bill but added to our loneliness. It was already known that remote workers are more likely to report feeling lonely.
- Remote Workers feel isolated 53% Vs. 47% of In-Person Workers
- Remote Workers say they lack friendships 63% Vs. 46% of In-Person Workers
And now K-12 Teachers who are the least likely to experience loneliness, with school closures may be starting to feel isolated.
To practice social distancing without feeling lonely we’re going to need to find a balance. Set a morning routine to reduce mental fatigue and to foster feelings of wellbeing. We are after all creatures of habit, add a walk outside to your schedule, to get some fresh air and exercise, while maybe walking your dog.
Maintain your relationships while maintaining social distance. Set time (in your routine perhaps?) to check-in with family and friends, via virtual platforms like Skype, Google Hangouts, or WhatsApp. Humans are hard-wired to interact socially, and why not? It not only allows enhanced collaboration but has health benefits.
Think outside of the box:
- Watch Netflix together which supports synchronized streaming with chat groups
- Play Minecraft, Monopoly, chess, etc. online with friends
- Create a digital space via webcam to share with others and say hi
Remember, some forms of communication offer more for your health than others. As Dr. Jonathan Kanter of Washington University advises, “A phone call with a voice is better than text, and a video chat is better than a telephone call.”
Be patient with others and keep up the social distance, but don’t let loneliness creep inside.
Learn more about social distancing and social isolation here!
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