MENTAL HEALTH

Feel less isolated by making connections

Make it a priority to regularly talk to the people who are most important in your life, whether it be in person in masks
Make it a priority to regularly talk to the people who are most important in your life, whether it be in person in masks and socially distant or on the phone, through texts or online. (Adobe Stock)

If you’re like most people, staying away from friends and family during the pandemic is getting tougher. We humans, by nature, are very social creatures. Relationships make us happy.

If you live alone, you’re likely feeling vulnerable to depression, plus other odd emotions you can’t describe. It’s typical to feel hopeless at times.

To get a grip on your emotions, ride out the storm of the pandemic, and get your mental health to a better place, try a few steps to create predictability. A routine, planned activities, and connection to specific people can help you regain your balance.

These tips can help:

• Keep a regular schedule. If you’re working from home, it’s easy to stay up late and oversleep in the morning. Instead, use an alarm to wake up at the same time each day. Also, make it a point to go to bed close to the same hour every night. This establishes rhythm in your day.

• Try to talk by phone to a friend or family member every day. Texting is handy, but texting doesn’t allow you to hear the voice of people who really care about you.

• Plan at least one large goal or help someone else set a large goal. This creates a little excitement. For instance, sign up for a college class. Make it a goal to keep taking classes until you finish your degree. Or, help a friend plan a home remodeling project.

• Make a few goals for local or extended travel when the pandemic is over. Having something to look forward to will make you feel more normal.

This might be a trip to a regional zoo or it might be a drive to a national park. Engage a few people to share in these eventual activities with you.

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Feeling depressed is really having the feeling that you’re stuck. However, via your imagination and ability to dream of trying new things, you can build a little excitement and feel more in control of your life.

Sharing your life with people on Facebook can work, too. For example, residents of a mid-size town in Tennessee post past pictures of neighborhoods, celebrations, and events on a special group page they’ve created for their city.

This is a way to experience many shared emotions with other people. It’s nice when other people feel what you’re feeling.

We each feel less isolated when we join a conversation, even a virtual conversation.

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We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.