How to Cope with Loneliness during the Coronavirus Pandemic
At Insight Matters we have 55 talented psychotherapists, psychologists and counsellors. We are proud our therapists come from diverse backgrounds, ethnicities, the neurodiverse and LGBTQ community and are passionate about supporting our clients on a wide range of issues.
Along with supporting our clients through counselling and psychotherapy we also want to help them become more informed and assist them to take charge of their own mental journey through psychoeducational articles written by our therapists.
Linda Wilkinson is one our psychotherapists and she offers a safe, empathic and non-judgemental space for others to work through the challenges they may be experiencing.
We are all living in very unnatural times, whether you are self-isolating due a suspected exposure, in the high-risk category or staying at home to help prevent the spread of infection, you may find yourself experiencing feelings of loneliness and isolation.
While some of you maybe already familiar with spending long periods of time alone, for many of us including myself this is a new experience. I found it difficult to admit to myself that this was how I was feeling. I was missing the connection of my loved ones, my work, my routine, my freedom. This urged me to put together some ideas for those of you who maybe finding it hard to cope with feelings of loneliness and isolation.
- Find ways to connect with others.
If you are comfortable using technology there are numerous ways you can stay in touch. Staying social in non-traditional ways can also help you feel less isolated.
. Place calls using zoom, skype of facetime.
. Re-connect with someone you have not spoken to in a while by making a phone call
. Send a handwritten letter or make a post card.
. Sign up to online forums about your interests and hobbies
- Comfort yourself.
Find ways to comfort and nurture yourself.
. Give yourself a huge tight hug and really feel it
. Have a relaxing lavender bath
. Give yourself a foot massage and hold your foot in the warmth of your hands
. Have a cup of herbal tea
. Light scented candles
. Cook your favourite comfort food
- Get Creative
Getting lost in creativity can be very therapeutic.
. Write short stories.
. Start to paint, art is a wonderful way to express your feelings.
. Get creative in your work shed
. Begin using your needles and wool or tapestry project again.
- Engage in Healthy Distractions
. Reading can be a great distraction, books, poetry, magazines of interest, join an online book
. Watch TV, podcasts, TED talks, Youtube topics of interest, Boxsets. Netflix.
. Play a musical instrument, listen to music, create a playlist of feel good music.
- Stay Moving
. Exercise is really important for our mental and physical wellbeing, it can take in many
. House work and cleaning
. Walking up and down the stairs
. Taking part in an exercise class on line.
. Joining a yoga or Pilates class on line.
- Show Compassion to Others
This may seem counterintuitive, but offering help and a listening ear to others who are also feeling lonely and isolated can make you feel less lonely yourself.
- Self Compassion
Practicing self-compassion is very important at this difficult time. Don’t put undue pressure on yourself with the “shoulds, musts and oughts”. We are all going through challenging times right now. If you find yourself struggling with difficult feelings and emotions, don’t resist them, gently accept them as they come and go, this helps to take away their power and ease your struggles with them.
If you are really struggling with loneliness and isolation during this time and are not able to pull yourself out of those feelings, it is important to reach out. Online counselling is available. Don’t go this alone.
I hope this provides some tips to those of self-isolating and feeling lonely.
Linda Wilkinson MIACP