The year 2020 has been quite intense so far but things seem to be returning to normal slowly. However, we have all had some time to reflect on our lives and a lot of us have felt isolated. We have been restricted from seeing family and friends and we have been forced to stay confined to our homes for the majority of each day.
Being trapped is one of the hardest feelings to overcome. You notice more and more what you can’t do or where you can’t go. It’s in those moments that we realise how often we distract ourselves in life. We don’t focus on ourselves, just on filling our time so when you can’t do that, you begin to feel trapped. That’s when we need to find ways to redirect our thoughts and fill our life with positive things. Below is a list of 10 ways to cope with isolation.
1. Join online forums/social media
One of the elements of feeling isolated is feeling lonely. If this is the case, social media is a great way of connecting with people. You can find pages or profiles of people with similar interests and connect with people through the comment sections. It enables you to communicate with people from all over the world. It doesn’t necessarily mean you need to make lifelong friends but it can be a good way to have some kind of interaction with other people when you would otherwise be restricted.
There are also forums like Quora where you can communicate with people about similar topics of interest or even get advice on certain struggles you may be having whether they are emotional or technical.
Here's our anxiety space on Quora where there are open discussions: https://www.quora.com/q/anxietytipsandadvice
2. Focus on a project
Being or feeling isolated usually means that you have some extra time on your hands. If you have some free time, you can start on a project that you may have otherwise postponed. It may be something work related, like a business idea or it could be something that will benefit your daily life, like redecorating your house or having a thorough spring clean. Doing something productive will help focus your mind to a more positive place.
3. Call people
We are so fortunate to have so many different forms of communication. If you are feeling lonely, call a friend or a family member for a catch up. It’s reassuring to hear a loved one's voice and we often forget to pick up the phone because we are used to texting or communicating in a way that doesn’t involve that much interaction. We normally just meet our friends and family but there are times when we cant and in those times, it can be good to pick up the phone for a quick chat.
Exercise is great for both body and mind, especially if you go outside. Go for a walk, jog or bike ride to get yourself out of the house. It’ll burn off some energy and you are likely to see others which can again, leave you feeling less isolated. Just saying ‘hi’ to passers by is a good way of connecting with people.
5. Join a club
In order to find people who have similar interests as you, you can join a club. If you are restricted to being at home, you can probably find some kind of cub online. There are virtual classes where you can connect with other students so there is likely to be a similar thing for clubs. It’ll get you communicating with others and being productive which should make your life that little bit more fulfilling.
6. Online counselling
As there is an increased awareness of the need of support for mental health, there are more counselling apps available where you can receive support from professionals. Being isolated is really tough on mental health and despite you trying various things, it doesn’t lift your spirits. Perhaps you don’t have anyone that you can confide in which increases that feeling of isolation. Those are good instances to look into online counselling. Although it doesn’t get you out of the house, it can help get you out of the negative mindset.
If you can get out and about, volunteering is a great way to give yourself purpose and meet others. Volunteering at an animal shelter can be particularly rewarding as you are bringing a bit of extra joy into their lives.
If you can’t get out, perhaps you can use platforms like Quora to help others. See which questions are asked and if you feel you can offer a good answer then do so.
One of the best things about reading is being transported into another world. You get to know the characters and become involved in their story so what’s going on around you in reality, doesn’t really matter when you’re reading. Find a book that grabs your attention and watch yourself fall into their world. It is one of the best feelings out there but it can take time to find the right story.
9. Playing video games
This is one that again helps you either get involved in a story (if you are playing single player) or enables you to communicate with others. It’s a great way to connect with your friends if you are all able to play together but if not, it can be a good way to meet people. You don’t necessarily need to talk to them but it is more fun knowing you are interacting with real people.
10. Finding your purpose
Being isolated or feeling lonely can give you the time you need to find your purpose in life. When we find our purpose, we are happy even if we are alone. Try to find things that you are passionate about or enjoy and add those into your life. Usually following your passion will somehow find a way of monetising itself so that it can become your career.
There are many different ways to combat isolation and loneliness but ultimately, it’s about becoming comfortable with yourself. You will always be there for you; people come and go. Take the time to look at the things you would like to add to your life and see how you can add them.