Community//

Overcoming Loneliness in the Era of Social Distancing

The good news is that there are several healthy coping mechanisms that we can use to meet head-on the challenging effects of social isolation.

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The biggest challenge for many during this pandemic has not been severe COVID symptoms, but rather the decreased interaction and isolation that has been necessary in order to keep us safe. Living in what feels like a dystopian reality that is better suited for an apocalyptic movie, it is understandable that many of us feel alone, disconnected from others, and even disconnected from ourselves. The good news is that there are several healthy coping mechanisms that we can use to meet this challenge head-on.

One strategy that has helped me feel less lonely and more connected to the world around me is encouraging others through acts of giving. Now, more than ever, I realize how small acts of kindness can be uplifting to my family, neighbors, and even complete strangers! I have become more attuned to how uplifted I feel after giving to others. It brings me an immeasurable sense of happiness and joy! It makes me feel connected. It reminds me that we are all in this together and that I am not alone.

Don’t just take my word for it either. Studies show that giving is good for both your physical and mental health. The several benefits of giving include increased happiness and contentment, decreased depression, lower stress-level, and increased confidence. There is also evidence that during acts of giving humans release neurotransmitters that improve our mood, facilitate bonding, and make us feel all good inside. As they say, “Follow the science.”

If you are feeling alone due to physical distance, here are some acts of kindness that are sure to lift your spirit.

·       Go grocery shopping for the elderly.

·       Advocate for a humanitarian cause.

·       Adopt an animal.

·       Create care bags.

You might think that some of these acts are insignificant. However, even the smallest act of caring has the potential to heal the emotional challenges created by this global pandemic. By focusing your attention on helping another you are redirecting your mind from your own negative feelings. I encourage you to give it a try. Share your experience with me afterward. I’d love to hear about it!   

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