When staying at home for long periods, with limited social interaction, feelings of loneliness can sneak up on you. Don’t’ let isolation and loneliness make it more difficult to navigate these uncertain times.
Here are some ways to manage loneliness and keep it at bay.
1. Get Moving
If you feel yourself getting caught up in a spiral of lonely thoughts, get moving. This is no time to be neglectful of your physical health. Besides, the mental health benefits of exercise are well documented.
Here are a few suggestions for staying active:
- Find videos for yoga, Tai Chi, dance, or various workouts.
- If possible, get outside and walk to a park, or walk in nature somewhere.
- Create workout stations in your home and yard and get going. Tweak them as you move through each one to make them most beneficial to you.
2. Find Ways to Connect
Physical isolation is one thing, but total isolation is another. While you may not be interacting face-to-face, there are other, non-traditional ways to connect with others. These may include:
- Online video chats via Zoom or Facetime. Even if you’re not technologically savvy, you’d easily get the hang of these online video chats.
- Daily or weekly calls with elderly family members or friends who are also home-bound. Schedule these calls, so you both have something to look forward to. Boosting someone else’s mental health will also boost your own.
- Writing postcards or letters.
- Engaging on Social Media
- Participating in online Multiplayer Games, such as WordFeud or Monopoly. You can invite friends and family to play or play with others around the world.
- Joining an online book club, or other such club.
3. Maintain a Schedule
Staying at home can often make the days seem long. It can also cause you to lose a sense of time and urgency in matters. This is why creating and maintaining a schedule while staying at home is important.
Following a regular schedule puts you in control of your day. It will also make you feel more productive. By evening, you can review what you’ve accomplished and how you can adjust your schedule, or do something better, the next day.
With that being said, include a little flexibility in your day for trying something new, or for a little self-care.
4. Learn a New Skill
There’s no better time to commit to learning a new skill than when staying at home. Make a list of what you’re interested in and find the best ways to learn them.
Is it a new line of work, or a new skill to help you in your present one? Do you have a hobby that you’re considering turning into a business but don’t know how? Do you want to learn sign language so you can volunteer somewhere? How about your ancestor’s native language? The possibilities are endless, so identify those that interest you the most. Next, find a way to learn them.
- Sign up for live webinars, workshops, or lectures. You’ll be able to type in questions and get feedback almost immediately.
- Find an online program you can take at your own pace. Many of these programs include a forum or social media page to connect with others who share similar interests.
- Watch TED talks and other motivational and inspiring videos.
- Read books on your preferred skill.
- Connect with others who have mastered the same skill, or are at the beginning as you are.
There are many new skills to learn, and numerous ways to do so. Find what works best for you.
5. Get Creative
Step back and consider ways you can be more creative. What have you always had an interest in? Creating something yourself can boost your confidence as well as your good mood. Here are a few suggestions.
- Write. Enjoy writing short stories, personal essays, or start that memoir or novel you’ve always wanted to write. You can even try writing poetry.
- Make Homemade jewelry, to wear, give, or sell.
- Take up photography. There are various subjects to focus on, from nature scenes to products. Learn which camera is best and how to use it efficiently. Practice while staying at home.
- Make Photo Products. Sort through your photos and create postcards to send to friends and family. Create a photo album or shadow box. Also, consider making photo gifts.
- Create a Quilt. Sort through your t-shirts and pull out ones with common logos to cut out and piece together in a quilt. These may be concert t-shirts or travel-related ones.
- Cook or bake something new. Experiment and create your own recipes. Take photos and share on social media or your own blog.
Be proactive in combatting your loneliness. Find ways to feel more productive, helpful, and connected every day. The most important thing to remember is not to linger in your thoughts and feelings of loneliness for too long. Get up, get moving, call a friend, follow a schedule, learn something new, and create something amazing,