Coping with social isolation during COVID-19
Living alone for over 30 years has taught me ways of dealing with isolation. In the beginning, it was harrowing for me. The loneliness was intense and frightening. Below is a list of activities I do which create enjoyment.
Hugging my fur baby
My greyhound Dreamy is a relatively new part of my world. We have been together for two years and he is now my constant companion. I am lucky that he mostly enjoys my cuddles. He likes to sleep on my bed, but he is too big for that. Nevertheless, each night when I head to bed he is laying in the middle and gets off grumpily when I get in. His gentleness reminds me to be gentle on myself during these different times.
Keep as much of your life as possible the same. Remember not to restrict yourself any more than necessary. You can’t go out for a meal, get take away. When you go shopping, buy a takeaway coffee to bring home. Reward yourself for doing what is right at this time.
We may not be able to hug people as usual, but we can still relate to them. There are plenty of ways to do this. I have always kept in touch with my friends who live away from me. Now I do the same with those who live near. I ring them, text or message them frequently. Facebook Messenger has the option to make a video call, so we can see our loved ones, too. Other options are Skype and Zoom which are a form of video conferencing.
I am often on Facebook checking how my friends are doing and reacting to their posts. It is a good way of encouraging others. Personally, I find jokes and messages of hope a source of great encouragement. Sharing pictures from my life helps me maintain contact with those I love.
Regular exercise is a great way of keeping yourself in a good frame of mind and fit at the same time. Dreamy and I walk each day. Social distancing measures here in Australia allow women to walk with someone else for safety. Sometimes I walk with a friend and we buy a coffee afterwards and chat in a socially distanced way.
Start a new hobby. Plant a garden. Use your time to create something. Rearrange your house, fix broken items. Start a journal. Study online. Learn something new. Starting a project gives us focus and purpose.
Spend time with your kids and partner. Learn to enjoy them and discover new things about them. Create memories together.
Don’t forget to laugh during this season. Jokes relieve tension and lighten our soul. Laughing from the heart is healing. Laughing with a friend is a great way to connect.
Above all, take care. Remember, no matter what you are doing right now, your life is important. You are important.
In love, Jenny