How to Help Yourself and Others Cope with Social Isolation
Have you ever felt, in one way or another undue stress? How do you cope with it during this Corona Virus crisis?
Sometime this March 2020, many countries around the world, including the United States, have started implementing a countrywide lockdown.
A majority percentage of the population was not allowed to go out. Many were allowed to go out only to buy essential things like food and medicine or those who need to work because they belong to the frontline.
Now that some companies are reopening their businesses, some people are still left alone. If it takes a long period of time, it can impact on one’s psychological well being, especially among the elderly.
Isolating yourself can cause depression. The present situation has caused a lot of stress to people from all walks of life. Many lost their jobs or were unable to operate their businesses as they used to be. Aside from economic needs, an atmosphere of fear from contacting the deadly virus has become prevalent during this time. Social isolation has become an additional factor in the stress that everyone feels. There have also been many reported mental health cases during this period.
Because of this, the World Health Organization (WHO) issued “Mental Health and Psychosocial Considerations during the Covid-19 Outbreak”. (Source: https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/mental-health-considerations.pdf?sfvrsn=6d3578af_8)
Here is a quick list of advice on how to avoid causing mental stress to other people and yourself:
- Avoid referring to people with the disease as “COVID-19 cases”, “victims” “COVID-19 families” or “the diseased”. Instead, they should be referred to as “people who have COVID-19”, “people who are being treated for COVID-19”, or “people who are recovering from COVID-19”. This is to reduce the stigma that is causing undue stress to people who have COVID-19.
- Minimize watching, reading, or listening to news about this virus that causes you to feel anxious or distressed and get the facts only once or twice a day from WHO or the local health authority.
- While protecting yourself – always doing the regular hand washing and wearing of safety products, you must be supportive of others. Call a neighbor or a friend to check if they need anything and offer help or assist in the best way that you can.
- Instead of propagating fear and negativity, you must spread positivity and inspiration in social media and all forms of communication.
- Honor health care workers and those who work on the front line.
Here is a quick list of what you can do during your isolation:
- Stay connected and maintain your social networks via email, telephone, social media, or video conference.
- Have a regular exercise. Exercise has always been known to reduce stress.
- Keep regular sleep routines. Continued lack of sleep is known to cause depression and anxiety to any individual. Having ample sleep and rest also boosts the immune system and makes your antibody strong to fight bacteria and viruses.
- Eat healthy food. Nothing beats the effect of healthy food to your well being.
- Commune with nature. Connect with nature by doing gardening or simply by looking outside of your window. See the green trees and the birds outside. Some people consider this pandemic a blessing because they were able to appreciate nature and developed a green habit. They learned how to do gardening or even simple hydroponics.
When this is over and you need to physically get in contact with others, you must always wear protective equipment such as KN95 respirator face mask and protective face shield. It will be a good idea to make your own homemade hand sanitizer or buy if you have no time to make one. If you own a business, ensure workplace safety, and make your customers feel safe with automatic sanitizer/soap dispenser and social distancing barrier like acrylic sneeze guard.