The world is trying to keep up with this new normal isolation. This mask-wearing staying home culture happened fast. People are losing jobs, and loved ones— while still trying to maintain a sense of normalcy and looking for ways to connect socially with people.
Singles who want a partner can feel more alone than ever.
And there’s a need to connect with someone on their search for love. But how? How are you supposed to look for love when you’re depressed and single while sheltering in place?
People are jumping on Zoom, skype, phone calls, Animal Crossing, telehealth counseling services, and dating sites with virtual features. There are many ways to connect, and socializing with others is good for your mental health.
Humans are social animals by nature, and singles need to focus on things to keep themselves mentally healthy when they’re alone and feeling isolated during the pandemic.
There are plenty of singles who are used to spending a lot of time alone.
But complete isolation and lack of communication can take a toll on your mental health.
Two-thirds of people (in normal circumstances) are likely to be affected by a mental health problem sometime in their life. And during the coronavirus, it is causing more depression in many people right now. It could also increase the already grim death toll due to non-virus related issues. People need the right tools and methods they can find online to help themselves.
Well Being Trust, a national foundation promoting mental, spiritual, and social health, released a recent study with the American Academy of Family Physicians. Their “Projected Deaths Of Despair” report estimates another 75,000 people could lose their lives due to suicide, alcohol, and drug-related deaths.
If people can feel supported by the right people and resources, life can get better.
There are good reasons to keep looking forward and even better ones to seek help when you need it.
Susan Pinker, Psychologist, says a person to person connection releases feel-good neurotransmitters that regulate anxiety and stress responses.
“Face-to-face contact releases a whole cascade of neurotransmitters and, like a vaccine, they protect you now, in the present, and well into the future, so simply […] shaking hands, giving somebody a high-five is enough to release oxytocin, which increases your level of trust, and it lowers your cortisol levels, so it lowers your stress,” stated Pinker.
Right now touching someone new is taboo.
One study revealed physical touch from a romantic partner could help alleviate physical pain. It’s hard to have physical touch when you’re single and isolated.
People crave connection for multiple reasons.
And no matter what’s happening in the world, people still want to get together. But it’s not always possible. And lacking social connection with an already not-so-great mental state can make things even more challenging.
Another study published in the journal PLOS stated having strong friendships can help people decrease mental decline. Connecting with friends now is more important than ever.
A study on first-year college students found having social support helped with reducing depression. There are known elevated health risks associated with social isolation which is happening to more people more than ever.
Another thing is, many people who already have relationships can also feel isolated.
Chronic loneliness can set in when a person doesn’t have financial resources, mental support, and relationships, or the networks to fill their social needs.
With unemployment rates soaring money is tight for many, and people aren’t getting together like they used to, and it’s especially hard for singles.
There are ways to help singles get through depression and loneliness with the right tools and social support. Here’s a quick list. You can see if any of these things are a good fit for you. Doing simple things first can help you start feeling better today.
Know this— even if you don’t feel good, it doesn’t make you a bad person. It makes you human. Most people have some depression at some point. And with the state of the world going in unknown directions can make it more scary and confusing. It’s hard for lots of people right now.
Feel your feels
If you’ve got to cry it out, cry it out, until you’re finished. The tears might do you some good.
Get out the books, or audiobooks
Read something inspiring. There are many free audiobooks with the hoopla app from your library, and lots of blog posts and articles out there for any topic you can ever imagine.
Connect with some new groups on Facebook. Find people with similar beliefs, hobbies, or passions and join some conversations there, or start your own. Connecting with people on social media can make you feel part of something. You can be part of a digital community that supports great friendships and encourages camaraderie.
Do some writing
In the Artist’s Way book, Julia Cameron recommends doing a brain dump every morning by journaling. I did this for a long time, and it helped me release a lot of head trash. When I woke up, I would write and get it out. So I wasn’t carrying around things that had been lurking around in my brain for years. Writing is a great release for negativity and depression.
If you have a negative thought…
Come up with one that’s just a little bit better. You don’t have to go from the pit of despair to saying everything is perfect (because that doesn’t usually work). You can walk your way up the good-feeling thoughts step-by-step.
Call a friend
Talking can help release oxytocin that’s also known as the feel-good hormone. In one study with 22 women, the groups that gossiped increased their oxytocin levels. Who knew gossip could be good for you?
Try virtual dating
Moonit, the dating startup, has new quarantine features that were designed for lonely singles who are under quarantine. You can connect with other people in chat rooms, play 3D games, and have virtual dates with your matches anywhere in the world. You can be a jet-setter in your PJs.
Listen to positive music
If you binge on sappy depressing music, it can keep you in a depressed holding pattern. If you care about feeling better, listen to something that doesn’t bring back bad memories, or at least play some albums that keep you in a more neutral place. Breathe by Telopopmusik is one of my all-time favorites to get me feeling smoothed out.
Heather Gail George is one of my favorite meditation teachers, and she’s also a Doctor of Chinese Medicine. She offers lots of free, guided meditations on her Lotus Way Facebook Page.
Find a therapist
There are hundreds of therapists sharing their services on Psychology Today who offer video therapy sessions. You can find someone who has the modality that could help you feel better and work out the kinks.
Talk to someone at the suicide prevention hotline.
If you need help right away, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 or call 911.
When there are significant changes in life, and we know there are, being depressed or feeling anxious can take a toll on your mental health. You are not alone, and I hope this article has given you a few of the resources to feel better soon.