Social distancing and self-isolation are our new and strange reality and, it is a challenge for everyone. We are social beings, so being in lockdown or quarantine can become lonely and boring.
Here are some tips to combat the lockdown blues:
1) Stay in touch
The need for communication has never been bigger. Research shows that positive social support can improve your resilience for coping with stress and even remote social interactions can reduce loneliness. Here are some tips to remain connected when you’re practising social distancing or in quarantine:
- Think about how you can interact with others without putting your health (or theirs) at risk. Can you speak to your neighbours from over a fence or across balconies? We’ve seen this being done in Italy.
- If you find yourself lonely, video call a friend or family member. Seeing their facial expressions and reading their body language will help you feel like you’re not alone in your home.
- Check in with your friends, family, and neighbours regularly. Wherever you can, assist people who may be more vulnerable (for example, those with no access to the internet or who cannot easily use the internet to shop online).
- Spend the time connecting with the people you are living with. Use this time to improve your existing relationships. Showing genuine interest in others, sharing positive news and memories is a great way to spend time together.
2) Find your community
Explore different platforms and find support groups and online communities that fulfil your needs and interests. It is the perfect opportunity to meet like-minded people and you can begin to build your own safe space online, allowing you to escape from your home to a space filled with interesting people.
3) Keep yourself occupied
It is important to find constructive things to do:
- What about tackling that unfinished work around the house or, just tidy up your room or home. If you have children at home who are old enough, get them to lend a hand. Hygiene is the top priority during the coronavirus crisis, so this is a great opportunity to teach your children how to do housework. Doing it together could be a fun project plus, it will teach them they are also responsible for keeping the house clean.
- If you have a garden, dig it up and plant vegetables. You can use the internet or call your gardening friends or experts to give you tips on what to plant and how to get started.
- Use your technology. We have the miracle of modern technology at our fingertips these days. There are hundreds of apps you can download to help you get through this challenging time. You can learn a new skill or a new language – there are apps for almost anything.
- Podcasts are also highly recommended as it creates the feeling of being surrounded by others in the room. This will stop you from feeling lonely as you will have distractions all around you.
4) Stay active
Regular exercise is good for the mind and the heart. YouTube has tons of workout videos you can do online from the comfort of your home. There are all kinds of workouts available, with something for everyone. There are even personal trainers offering online sessions live on Instagram.
Alternatively, you can jog or walk around the house, up and down stairs or, build an obstacle course in your home for you and the kids. Just be sure that it is safe and does not lead to accidents.
5) Support each other
We are all in this together, so it is essential that we support one another and show compassion to those who need it. It’s not just family and friends who require support, but others in your community. Older people and those staying alone may be more susceptible to feeling lonely. Reaching out to someone online will brighten their day and yours too. Showing kindness to others not only helps them but can also increase your sense of purpose and value.
Stay home and stay safe.
Busting boredom and loneliness in lockdown written by Tessa Pretorius