My name is Grey and I wanted to write about some tips and tricks for dealing with isolation. I have a variety of mental Illnesses. I also come from a family with someone who is immunocompromised and was secluded for large swaths of time. I’m reading a great deal of concern around mental health, social connection, and the impacts of isolation.
I’ll be real. Being isolated is hard but it’s is something that can be lessened and in this age of internet it can be easier than ever before. Additionally this can be a time to get to know yourself better!
The key to not going crazy in isolation is novelty. Either you create it, or your mind will for you, and trust me one of these options are better than the other. The easiest thing is to pick up a new hobby or indulge in old one’s you don’t have time for. If you aren’t used to free time start with something adjacent to what you normally do.
Is dance your thing?
Consider digging deeper into music, artists, history, culture, dance videos, solo movement, anatomy and physicology, sociology. Maybe explore that love through learning a new instrument, art, writing, styling, clothes ect.
This can be a time to learn things!
Is there something you’ve always wanted to learn? About the human condition? An art style? how to cook fillipino food? Marketing? Business? Coding? Another culture? Many artists are out of work and your support for them may be the difference between them eating or having access to their medication or not. Even using the money you would to eat out, and giving it towards an artist is a huge difference. Let them teach you something and you may find a love you didn’t know you had!
This is also a time to learn about yourself. Maybe you have a habit you want to break, or something you wish you did better. Maybe this is a time to learn what style you like? What you want out your relationships. Why do you believe what you believe. It’s a good time to journal and reflect.
Be sure to get sunshine and air. Open your windows regularly. Wash your sheets and fold your towels. Dust. Go through your knick knacks and closet to music, getting rid of anything you haven’t used in the last year or 6 months depending. Light a candle or incense. Draw a bubble bath. Do a manicure and pedicure (yes even men. y’all hands are dry and rough.) Work out with body weight. Stretch daily. Take your vitamins. Eat healthy foods. Be sure to clean the common things you touch reguarly. Door handles, phone, switches and knobs and of course your sheets. Grab a new toothbrush too!
Speaking of food:
When this ends you want to make sure that you are in a shape you like. No matter if you want to gain weight or not be aware of eating while bored. Eating poorly makes it easy to slip into depression and over indulging in things like caffeine and alcohol can worsen anxiety and other conditions. Be aware of what you are intaking. there is no such thing as “bad” food but don’t slip into the habit of only eating comfort foods, eat your veggies too! Make sure you are getting enough protien, iron, and vitamins.
If you aren’t a good cook, it’s a good time to learn. start with easy things like eggs, pasta, potatoes and the like. then move into soups, and veggies. roast veggies. grab seasonings.
Some easy “mixes”
- salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder, garlic
- salt, pepper, lemon, basil
- salt. pepper, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, red pepper
- salt, Pepper, smoked parika, chili powder
Explore new foods!
Dealing with Social Withdrawal
Humans need connection to feel good. But! We have two things working in our favor right now. 1). that humans will bond with most things. 2). is technology.
1) Since we will bond with most things you have lots of options. Spend time with a pet or a friends pet. feed ducks, and visit with wildlife. Don’t have those? Get plants and care for it. Can’t do that. Get googly eyes and place them on random things through out the house. Draw smiling faces. Print off things that make you smile. There is a reason that tamogochi and pet rocks were/are popular. This is also a good time to get out the stuffed animals you hide. set your friends up..
2) If you really think you need help there is aways therapist who can be online or called. Otherwise there is the fact that the today we are SO connected with each other all the time. Use this to your advantage. There are online communities being set up all over the world. Get some friends together and use rabbit.tv to watch a movie. Face time your loved ones. Learn something new from an artist friend. Host music listening parties and play video games together online. Don’t forget to call up grandma and them. Lastly if it’s possible, go outside. Smile at your neighbors, walk to the grocery if you can. Video call someone while you eat dinner. Also open those windows if you can.
If you notice someone working in service thank them and smile. Reach out to your nurse and doctor friends and your artist friends and show them a little love. Drop a meal off at their door. Venmo them some cash. Paint them something showing your love and appriciation. Help your immunocompromised friends, Mentally ill, elderly and disabled friends.
(With Clean Hands)
- Drop off food
- swing by to help clean
- Make sure they have what they need
- make a care package
- take on a buden like calling an airline, phamacy runs, ect
- Bring them your favorite books, or tools for their hobbies
Help our parents who are still working. if you aren’t working maybe talk to the parent about taking on childcare and the money that normally goes to that goes to you. Look into tutoring kids via the internet. and be as calm as you can areound kids. They will remember this.
Isolation Doesn’t Have to be Horrible
Humans are hardier than we give us credit for. you will get through this and the isolation is helping so many people in so many fields, and in their chances of living through this. A few weeks alone is worth that and there are ways to ease some of the pain of not being directly connected. Hit the major areas, of connection, selfcare, food and novelty and you will get through this. And take your meds. If you are falling down into a bad space, reach out to your network and if not a therapist. We will get through this if we act together.
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