As we all face the uncertainty of Coronavirus (COVID-19), many of us who do not work essential, public-facing jobs are doing our part to protect ourselves and others by staying home. While this is certainly a good thing to do, it has some tough emotional consequences, like learning how to cope with isolation.
The isolation many of us must experience from family, friends, and loved ones is one of the most difficult things we have to deal with during this time.
I know it’s hard not to see people you care about face to face, or give a friend a hug, especially if you’re facing other big struggles like losing a job, or losing a loved one to this terrible virus.
But there is always hope. And there are things you can do to stay connected and get support to adjust to this “new normal”. Here are some things that I’ve seen have a positive impact on coping with isolation.
How to Connect When You're Isolated
Video calling friends and family is how many of us are maintaining the emotional connections with the people we care about most. You can video call from a computer or a smartphone. There are lots of video messaging and conference call programs that have a free version available for download. I’ve noticed that scheduling video calls, just like you would schedule in-person hangouts, helps me remember to reach out to people who need encouragement, and it gives me a sense of routine.
Starting a Book Club
Many people I’ve talked to since we began social distancing and sheltering-in-place have told me they have more time to read. If you and a friend like to read, now is the perfect time to start a book club. You can pick a new book, or stick with one you both love. Read it together, or read on your own and set up times to discuss it by phone, video, text, or email. It’s a healthy distraction that keeps you from getting overwhelmed by the news of the day, while still making self-care a priority.
Streaming Spiritual Resources
Since most faith communities rely on large gatherings for weekly worship, they’ve had to close their doors for now. But you can still stream online services and other encouragement from many faith communities and leaders you admire. While it’s not the same as worshipping in-person, it encourages me to know that people are still coming together to remember God’s love and faithfulness, even during an unprecedented time.
Connecting with a Mentor
One of the most important things you can do during this time is focus on your mental health. Make it a priority to get support from people who are trained to offer guidance and encouragement during this difficult time. TheHopeLine is here for you when you need us. Our HopeCoaches offer online mentoring (via chat or email) that you can do while staying safe at home.
Mentoring is a great way to stay in a more healthy, balanced mindset, while still having a chance to be open with someone about your feelings. If you’re dealing with especially challenging issues, we work with an amazing group of partner organizations that provide more specialized support.
No matter what, we are here for you. Talk to a HopeCoach today to find emotional support during this period of necessary isolation due to Coronavirus. We are ready to listen, and we will find a way forward together to help you cope with the isolation.
When you experience isolation, it can be difficult to know how to make the loneliness go away. Read my blog for tips to help here.
Photo by Trent Szmolnik