Words: Emily Venables
Many of us won’t be used to spending long periods of time on our own or having our social interaction restricted or in some cases eliminated completely. These changes can lead to feelings of loneliness and when we’re unprepared for it, loneliness can easily lead to heightened levels of stress, anxiety and bouts of depression.
However, it’s important to know - you’re not on your own! If you’re feeling overwhelmed by social changes, give some of these ideas a go to help distract yourself or connect with others.
Use the phone
Do you remember the days where our phones were exactly that, a phone! Nowadays it’s easy to forget that the devices we use to manage our daily lives actually still dial out to other people! Although texting and Whatsapping is a quick and convenient way to keep in contact, nothing beats a good ol’ natter on the phone! Call your besties for a gossip, check-in on your grandparents or ensure your mum you’re doing okay. They may be missing social contact just as much as you.
Be virtually active
Your physical and mental wellbeing are so closely intertwined, so whether you’re making big or small movements, every little helps.
Organising a virtual workout with friends, family or colleagues will not just encourage you to keep moving but it’ll also alleviate some feelings associated with being socially restricted. Try a guided yoga session together, work up a sweat with an online HIIT class or why not put together your own workout with a series of bodyweight exercises such as star jumps, push ups and squats? If you’re missing the free weight section of your gym, utilise what you have at home by lifting cans, water bottles or bags of flour and rice.
Get to know your neighbours
If you live in a populated area, the chances are you will have neighbours that you may not know so why not reach out and get talking to the people you live by? Try starting a conversation from garden to garden, or how about window to window? Small talk has a bad rap but there is certainly an upside in getting to know people who are close by and in the same boat as you.
Organise regular video chats
Now, more than ever, it’s important to keep in touch with your loved ones. With Whatsapp, Skype, Zoom and other video calling apps so easily available, saying ‘Hey!’ to your favourite people has never been easier. Agree on a time, a date and maybe even an activity – such as having a meal, drink or playing a game together – and pop it in the diary. This kind of social activity will help alleviate feelings of loneliness (especially if you’re on your own) plus it’ll give you something to look forward to.
5 more tips for managing your feelings while at home
- Avoid checking the news or social media first thing in the morning.
- Start a gratitude journal and write down what you are grateful for each day.
- Take regular breaks if you are working from home.
- Try meditation.
- Keep the pressure low; social media is showing us so many different things to do in our free time, but that doesn’t mean you need to pick up a new skill overnight, organise your closet or start baking. Do what makes you happy.
Did you know scents can help you relax?
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