Change is hard. This kind of rapid change is especially hard. In an effort to slow the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19), schools have closed for the year and businesses have shuttered indefinitely. Health officials are imploring the public to stay home and cancel any in-person social interactions.
Weddings? Proms? Coffee with friends? All canceled.
A few things that aren’t canceled? Empathy. Kindness. Our faith in humanity.
These mandatory closures in the interest of public health are causing massive disruptions in everyday life. And, while the first few days of isolation may feel like a welcome chance to lay low for a bit, here’s the reality: the news is scary, we’re in this for the long haul, and lack of human interaction can feel really lonely.
Here are some ways to prioritize your mental health if you’re feeling anxious and lonely:
Reach out for help. Crisis Counselors are available to help you move from a hot moment to cool and calm totally free, 24/7. Text HOME to 741741 to connect with a Crisis Counselor. Read more on Coping with a Disaster or Traumatic Event.
Get some fresh air. Social distancing doesn’t mean you can’t go outside as long as you keep a distance from anyone who isn’t part of your family. Go for a walk! Take a hike! Do some outdoor yoga! The natural world is your oyster. Dive in.
Prioritize mental check-ins. Now is the time to pick up meditation, start journaling, or tap into some mindfulness techniques.
Connect. Skip the scrolling and make your time online intentional. If you’re used to working in an office and are suddenly working from home full-time, chances are you’re missing one of the best parts of work—friends. Instead of diving right into virtual meetings, spend some time catching up and checking in on each other. Schedule virtual hangouts with your pals. Take your usual lunchtime and get on a group FaceTime. Or, if you’re still in school and studying from home, set up a virtual study session to cheer each other on as you go.
Turn off those notifications. When you’re stuck at home all day in times like these, it can be easy to get sucked into an endless hole of news updates. Schedule a few dedicated times throughout the day to check in with the news and get the most important updates. No need for the minute-by-minute play-by-play of COVID-19 happenings to make you spiral.