During self-isolation you should stay in contact with your social network. Picture: MaxPixel.
During self-isolation you should stay in contact with your social network. Picture: MaxPixel.

How to cope with loneliness during lockdown

By Viwe Ndongeni-Ntlebi Time of article published Mar 31, 2020

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A large part of our lives involves social interaction - and this has been cut short very suddenly and without any preparation for how to cope.

For people not being able to spend the day with their colleagues, friends and family in the usual way, social isolation will impact significantly affect their mental health and may lead to loneliness. 

Even prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, loneliness had been identified as a concern for modern society. In large cities across the globe, up to 40 percent of people live alone, a trend that is evident increasingly among younger people. 

This suggests that loneliness may become a significant world problem in the years ahead. Latest studies show that loneliness can be as bad for a human being as smoking 15 cigarettes a day, so it’s really important for us to stay connected with our loved ones. 

If you are feeling lonely, here some of the things that can help you. 

Stay in touch with family and friends

Technology can help to create some semblance of social connection. There are a number of video-calling platforms you can use to stay in contact such as Facetime, Skype, Zoom, Whatsapp, and more. It's really important to stay in touch, an article by Harvard Medical School states “a relative lack of social ties is associated with depression and later-life cognitive decline, as well as with increased mortality.

Houseparty

Houseparty was released in February 2016, and by September that year had been downloaded over 1 million times. The Houseparty app allows friends and families to stay in contact with their loved ones, and to play games together. Once you have added your friends you can play games such as Heads Up, Quick Draw, and Trivia. 

Apps

Prakash Patel, a well-known figure in the digital marketing sector, has conceptualised an app with a team of experts that can allow for family and friends to get as close as possible to these family and friends occasions. 

“The app, called ForKeeps because it ‘Keeps Memories Forever’, is such a useful tool for recording the wonderful things about key life moments and holding those memories into the future, which allows you to create a digital album of photographs, videos (launching soon), comments and even wishes, which can be shared with anyone whom you’d like to include,” he explains. 

Be mindful of your thoughts

Loneliness can be defined as a state of mind, more than a fact or reality. Yes, being alone for long periods of time naturally can evoke feelings of loneliness, but it’s easy to get bogged down by those feelings and begin to feel certain that you are destined to be lonely for what feels like an eternity. Find ways of controlling  your thoughts and trying to be positive

Consider going to therapy

It goes without saying that if you are dealing with loneliness that is part of general depression, anxiety, or any other mental health issue, you should seek treatment from a licensed psychologist.

Even if you're skeptical of therapy's other values, it can be helpful for loneliness simply because you're being heard and valued. Sometimes it's just about somebody listening to you and letting everything out of your chest. 

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