The Covid-19 Virus outbreak has affected millions of lives around, physically, financially, and emotionally. After Covid-19 hit in the year 2019, most states introduced a lockdown to curb the spread of the virus as it is mainly spread through physical contact. Meanwhile, other states encouraged people to work from home to avoid overcrowding.
This outbreak did change the way of everyday life. A lot of restrictions were imposed over the last one year to break the chain of spreading this virus. Although there has been a reduction in restrictions with some people getting vaccinated in 2021, Covid-19 still continues to affect our lives. Some parts of the globe are experiencing a second wave, compelling the regulatory authorities to impose lockdowns again. Moreover, there is still a need to adhere to safety measures until vaccines are available to all.
Dealing with social distancing and living in continuous fear can affect our mental health, resulting in repercussions that can be detrimental to our overall well-being. If you are having this problem or know somebody that does, then this article is for you. Continue reading below for more insights on how to deal with lockdown loneliness.
The Effects of Lockdown Loneliness on Mental Health
Social connection is a significant factor for a human’s mental health. When you are denied the freedom to socialize with friends, workmates, or relatives, you develop loneliness.
According to research conducted between April and 3rd May 2020, about 7.4 million people in Great Britain were reported to experience loneliness. Meanwhile, another study revealed that the initial phase of coronavirus saw most people in the United Kingdom experience loneliness.
Without a doubt, loneliness harms mental health. Here are some examples of its negative impacts:
1. Loneliness can Increase Inflammation
Loneliness increases the sympathetic nervous system’s activities. This affects a person’s ability to cope with moods and stress. You will therefore find a person with loneliness unable to handle stress.
2. Loneliness can Affect Cognition
You might experience problems with cognitive functions and attention problems if you are lonely.
3. Depression and Suicidal Thoughts
Depression is a health factor associated with loneliness. Those who are suffering from depression experience suicidal thoughts. Depression is one of the long-term effects of loneliness, and if not checked early, it might be hard to manage.
4. Cardiovascular Disease
Poor social relations associated with social isolation can cause heart diseases and risk of long-term conditions like stroke.
5. Premature Death
Social isolation can trigger you to smoke and feel physically inactive. Such habits can result in premature death.
Dementia is another long-term health effect associated with Covid-19 lockdown. Loneliness can have some long-term effects, including anxiety, depression, and dementia, which might be hard to manage.
It is essential to understand the signs of loneliness in yourself or others to help address it before it gets worse. Some of the signs that you are suffering from loneliness include too much love for possession, spending more time on social media, and staying too long in hot showers.
Methods on How to Deal with Loneliness During the Covid-19 Restrictions
Despite the Covid-19 restrictions, there are many things you can do to cope with loneliness. Below are some of the steps you can take to deal with loneliness:
1. Take an Online Course
You can join an online class where students engage in discussions. Choose a course of your interest whose discussion will make you feel better and engaged. Engaging in a discussion will deny you the chance of feeling lonely.
2. Video Calling People from Your Inner Circle
The fact that there is a social restriction does not mean you stop talking to your friends. You can engage in video calls to know how your friends are faring and let them know how you feel. That way, you will be socially engaged, thereby curbing loneliness.
3. Arranging for Walks While Keeping Social Distance
As far as you are keeping the recommended social distance, you can plan for walks with your friends. You should not contain yourself in the house. That will make you engaged and break the boredom that would otherwise have an impact on your mental health.
4. Make some Plans for Your Future
You have the perfect time to make plans for the future during the lockdown. That is because you are not as engaged as before. If you are working from home, that means that you have enough time for yourself. You can initiate some projects that will help you in the future while keeping you involved.
5. Helping others who are in isolation
Another thing you can do to suppress loneliness during the lockdown is volunteering to help others. You could, for example, call to check on those who do not have people close to them. Sharing what you have with those who might be in need will be a helpful step.
Also, you can help those struggling with technology by talking to them through setting platforms where they can virtually interact with others.
6. Go to a Virtual Concert
You can engage yourself in going to a virtual concert to suppress loneliness. This can be quite helpful if you are someone who enjoys entertainment with a crowd.
7. Know When you Need To Ask for Help
At times, you might not know when loneliness is setting in. If you experience signs of loneliness, you should ask for help to ensure your health is not at risk. Asking for help from friends and relatives can help you get the support you need to deal with your loneliness. You can also get help from professional counselors who can advise you on the best measures to suppress loneliness.
Everyone’s social life has taken a new path since the Coronavirus pandemic. Even if lockdowns have been lifted in some places, there are a plethora of restrictions on social gatherings. Also, it is best to avoid crowds and take precautionary measures to the extent possible. However, a lot can be done to deal with loneliness as we also try to keep the number of infections low.
Remember, with the availability of vaccines, there is hope that the virus will be gone in due time, and we can continue living our normal social life. The best thing to do is follow the health guidelines and embrace technology for communicating with those we love and need our support. To ensure you are mentally fit, you can call your doctor to get some online counseling, which will help you keep going.