With the recent events of the COVID-19, life has become very different for many humans all over the world. In America, many of us are being isolated in our homes. In Nevada specifically, all non essential businesses have been ordered to close for a 30 day period. This has led to many individuals loosing their jobs, staying inside, and having fear over this virus. With no other options but to protect the safety of others, people have to now wander how they will focus their time. This begs the question, is being quarantined/self isolated a positive experience or just plain lonely? The answer to this question is subjective, each individual will find themselves in diverse situations during COVID-19.
Depression is real for many people in quarantine. Some live all alone, their only form of social interactions is going to these public places with their friends/family members. There is fear in visiting family members right now because they do not want to cause potential harm to them or put them at risk of this disease. Those who deal with depression on a daily basis may have specific routines, activities, or appointments that are now impacted. This set back can feel like a halt on an individuals mental health progress. Feelings of loneliness are to be expected and those dealing with being lonely are valid in that feeling. Self-isolation can at times feel like you are trapped, and do not have enough moral support. In Psychology Today's article "Quarantine and Loneliness" it states, "Loneliness is a serious health risk. Recent research suggests that in industrialized countries about 1 in 3 or people feel lonely to some degree, with 1 in 12 feeling it severely." At times we can feel guilty about our loneliness compared to those suffering from this deadly virus but feeling guilty does not lessen our feelings.
Just like depression, loneliness is something to be taken seriously. Many individuals are starting to feel these symptoms only a week into their 30 day isolation period. So how can they stay positive, feel less alone, and actually try to enjoy this quarantine? Below are some ways that you can do so if you find yourself feeling lonely.
1. Work out at home.
It is true, our mind and body are highly connected. In Nevada, all gyms have closed and left people unable to do what helps keep their mind calm. But this does not have to stop you from breaking a sweat in your own living room. Fortunately, you can do so for virtually free. There are thousands of you tube videos that demonstrate how to workout from home, some that you do not even need weights for but just everyday household products. Any type of practice you enjoy such as Pilates, yoga, HIIT training, you can find online with a simple search.
Some example YouTube channels include: GYMRA, FitnessBlender, Women's Workout Channel, Chris Heria
2. Foster an Animal
The ultimate way to lessen the feelings of loneliness is to have an animal to stay with you. Many shelters always need foster homes for their pets and what a better time to make an impact on that animals life, and your own.
Some examples of shelters in Las Vegas, Nevada area include: The Animal Foundation, Nevada Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, H.E.L.P, Golden Retriever Rescue, Golden's Without Borders, Heaven Can Wait Animal Society
3. Zoom Call your Friends and Family
Zoom is a free website platform that allows you to have multiple people on a video call at a time and from many places. It is traditionally used for web conferences for businesses but now is being highly used for friends and family to connect during this time. It is even possible to play virtual board games together through screen sharing.
Sign up on zoom.us.
4. Read Self Help Books
During a time of loneliness or depression it is easy to binge watch TV and eat a bunch of snacks. And sometimes that is all we need to just take our mind off of the craziness of the world. But with extra time means extra opportunity to better help yourself and learn some coping skills. There are thousands of self help books that offer an enormous amount of knowledge.
Some of these us at Skye would suggest are: The Four Agreements, The Secret, The Power of Positive Thinking, The Subtle Art of not Giving a F*ck, Girl Wash your Face
5. Go Out in Nature
Although this is not always an option for all of us, due to some closures of national parks ect., it is possible to go in nature without putting others in danger. Go on a walk near the woods, near the desert, near flowers, near trees, near any living plants. Surrounding yourself with living things like plants help you feel, well more alive, and less lonely. Being able to get out of the house even if only for 15 minutes can boost your mood.
Some examples of trials in Las Vegas are: Calico Basin Trail, Old Spanish Trail Park, Buckskin Cliff Shadows, Cottonwood Canyon, Pecos-McLeod Trailhead
For more information regarding COVID-19 go to cdc.gov